If the name of this movie means nothing to you, it most likely won’t win you over. If the name doesn’t ring a bell just stop right now. It’s not for you. If you’re a parent who has to see it with their kids, you might be pleasantly surprised. If you’re a fanboy (like me) you’re only going to walk out of the theatre disappointed if you have misguided expectations.
‘Power Rangers’ is big, colourful, dumb and cheesy. It makes no assumptions that it will break any molds and it doesn’t really try. It is self-aware enough to get lots of laughs. Some laughs are cheap but think people may be surprised at how many more laughs are genuinely earned. It’s got plenty of fan service and easter eggs for those in the know. There are some pitfalls that are not really a problem. In the end it delivers what is expected of it along with some meaty character stuff that can be rare in movies based mostly on branding. It’s divided critics but audiences seem content with the result. Like I said, you better know what you’re getting into if you see this movie ahead of time.
This movie has a lot that works; more than one may expect. Bryan Cranston does a favour for the franchise that used to cut him some extra cash (as a young actor doing voice-over) and uses his star power to give the flick some immediate credit. He does a fine job. There really isn’t a whole lot for him to do here. One day in some special effects makeup along with another day in front of a camera doing voice-over isn’t exactly flexing his muscle like Walter White did but he’s everything he needs to be. He’s also made some funny appearances on TV promoting the film like a good sport so props to him.
The young actors playing the Rangers are all well cast, each giving a solid performance and plowing through the cheesy moments while winning us over with the more thoughtful ones. And about thoughtful, this movie is more thoughtful that in ought to be. Defining 5 character personas and going through the whole team building thing in a single movie is a problem for some franchises. ‘The Avengers’ can get away with a 2.5 hour running time but this film knew it couldn’t. They establish all of that stuff pretty well and quite convincingly. The breakout star of the movie, by far is RJ Cyler as Billy Cranston/The Blue Ranger. He is a nerdy outcast who is “on the spectrum.” He’s socially awkward and doesn’t understand nuance but he is also extremely funny. Most importantly, he is funny in a way that is not mean spirited at all because of his condition. Rj Cyler steals every second of screen time he has. The film focuses on his character for story purposes in an interesting and smart way. The filmmakers must have known what their biggest selling point was. Look out for this kid.
It’s a lot of fun. Seriously. If you’re a fan you should like it. If you’re a fan and you don’t like it….