Monday, April 3, 2017

[Review] Power Rangers

Yeah, I grew up watching some Power Rangers. But no, I wasn't really stoked about the reboot. Nostalgia isn't enough to save this humdrum origin story from being a Mighty Morphin' drag.

Let's cut to the chase: A group of classmates in a school full of "weirdos" and "criminals" all meet by a mysterious cliff (under very forced circumstances) and tap into its glowy gems. Much to their surprise, they're blessed with special abilities that will lead them to learn their destiny as the Power Rangers.

Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Becky G, and Ludi Lin are the cast that make up the Sharpie pack of superfighters. They're all fine enough, but they don't really have good material to work with. The script is littered with cringeworthy dialogue like "Sup crazy girl" and "Come at me bro", and the line where the stock bully asks "Did you just slap me?" right after someone clearly just slapped him. The Rangers even repeat each others' names an absurd amount of times, as if the filmmakers didn't think we'd be able to distinguish them, and to a certain extent, they were right. The characters are all one-dimensional and forgettable, even as they provide their own expository backstories.

The film itself doesn't have a strong identity either. It's somehow cheesy and overly serious at the same time, with a first half consisting mostly of uninspired teen drama tropes, leaps of humor that fall face-first, and formulaic superhero origin routines that are extremely similar to the 2015's sloggy Fantastic Four reboot or the much better Chronicle. Then all the "we're the chosen ones" and "weight of the world on our shoulders" mumbo jumbo runs through the motions, while shoehorning in some sappy sequences that never feel earned (the washed-out cover of "Stand By Me" doesn't help matters). Amidst all of this, the clumsy narrative still squeezes in the notorious villain Rita Repulsa (played by Elizabeth Banks). She's amusing in her own right, but honestly, the campy persona hasn't aged too well. It's more like a walking, glorified Halloween costume here.

This thing also takes WAY too long to kick into action. By the time the Power Rangers actually become the Power Rangers, the film is approaching its end and I was already dreading the next time I'd have to sit through something like this. And when the action finally does unleash, it's big and bombastic--yet completely weightless--like a Kidz Bop version of Pacific Rim. While tritely dipping into so many well-worn genres, Power Rangers loses itself. And its power.


( 4/10 )

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1 comment:

  1. Nostalgia seems to be the thing making more and more people interested in this movie, I guess! :)