Power Rangers is the newest film adaptation of the superhero team made up of 5 teenagers from a small American town, Angel Grove. It stars Dacre Montgomery as Jason (Red Ranger), Naomi Scott as Kimberly (Pink Ranger), RJ Cyler as Billy (Blue Ranger), Becky G as Trini (Yellow Ranger), and Ludi Lin as Zack (Black Ranger), as well as featuring Brian Cranston as Zardon and Elizabeth Banks as the villain Rita Repulsa.
The major problem is that most of the Power Rangers are just incredibly bland. The characters of Jason and Kimberly, who are the two real leads of the film, just aren’t interesting and the performances are very one note. Jason is a disgraced high school football star, and Kimberly a former cheerleader who has been ousted. That’s pretty much the only way either of the characters are defined at all. Billy is the only one of the five who feels like a well-developed and likeable character, and a lot of that is down to RJ Cyler’s performance. He brings most of the humour and the heart to the film, whilst those around him offer nothing. As well as flat bland heroes Rita is a pretty terrible villain. Banks overacts so much that she feels a little like the Enchantress from Suicide Squad (without the inflatable floppy man dance).
The film follows a fairly generic Superhero origin story, but progressing at an incredibly slow pace. They don’t actually get to the proper Power Rangers action until the final act of the film. Before that we only get two brief glimpses of the Ranger armor. Instead we spend roughly the first hour and twenty minutes with a handful of brooding teenagers trying to figure out what is stopping them from morphing into their armor. It does finally kick into gear for the last half hour or so with a big action set piece where they try and stop Rita and her minions.
There is one short sequence in this with a pretty cool hand-to-hand fighting sequence, although just against an army of faceless CGI creatures. This is quickly abandoned for them to fight Goldar, a giant monster made from gold. Its big silly CGI fun, and what the film should have been aiming for leading up to it. Unfortunately the really awesome moment when they join together to form a Megazord was already revealed in the marketing so was completely ruined in the film. It was still the best aspect of the film, basically becoming a teen Pacific Rim, but it would have been so much more effective if it hadn’t already been shown.
This new iteration of the Power Rangers just doesn’t work. The characters are for the most part bland, and it takes an age to get to anything interesting. It may be offer some fun nostalgia for fans of the original series. But to those who have never seen Power Rangers before there really isn’t much here.