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'Power Rangers': An amalgam of films done better

Published:Monday | March 27, 2017 | 3:00 AMDamian Levy
Five ordinary teens become extraordinary in ‘Power Rangers’.

When the five teenagers we've come to know and love finally don their armour, the evil Rita Repulsa remarks how cute it is that they finally have their super suits and dinosaur robots. She says this with an irony that is present all throughout the film. A movie that reveres its source material, just as much as it irreverently mocks it.

That source material is, of course, the Power Rangers television show, in which five teenagers with attitude are given incredible abilities and tasked with defending the Earth from alien attackers. The film follows the same basic formula, but with slightly better visuals than the low-budget television show it hails from. Still, there's nothing here that you won't find in the last Transformers movie.

Truly, Power Rangers is less its own property but more an amalgam of films done better. It takes its cues from The Breakfast Club, Chronicle, Pacific Rim, and others. It wears its references on its sleeve, but feels like a cheap copy in some instances. Despite not feeling wholly original, the movie manages to maintain an energy to it that keeps you engaged with its light tone and enjoyable moments.

 

Character selection

 

What works about Power Rangers is the rangers. The five actors pegged to play the young heroes are a cut above what you might expect. Perhaps because they've actually been given realised characters to dig into. For every logical inconsistency and 'so so' bit of dialogue in Power Rangers there are moments when the characters truly shine, with an ensemble cast that feels balanced and well utilised.

Power Rangers is a movie riddled with flaws. There are moments that simply defy explanation, with zord-sized gaps in the script. In fact, many of its problems are not dissimilar to the ones found in last year's travesty, Batman v Superman. The difference is, Power Rangers has such an endearing self-awareness that it's impossible to stay mad at it. I could see everything that was wrong with this movie, but I enjoyed it immensely nonetheless.