Friday, March 31, 2017

Power Rangers

Boy, is this movie dumb. Imagine mashing up Breakfast Club with Suicide Squad, removing Margot Robbie, casting an even worse version of the Enchantress, and then inexplicably throwing Voltron and the Dinobots in at the end, and you might understand what you are in store for with Power Rangers. I have no attachment to the 1990s television show Mighty Morphin Power Rangers in which five teens from the same town find magic alien discs and fight various monsters (mostly pulled from stock footage of Japanese shows) every week to protect their home of Angel Grove, California, and felt lost early on in the gradually intensifying insanity.

The film has the multi-cultural breakfast club leave detention to be granted super-powers. Power Rangers hits most of the archetypes of John Hughes' classic. We get a troubled football star (Dacre Montgomery), the nerd (RJ Cyler), the beautiful girl (Naomi Scott), the outcast (Ludi Lin), and the crazy girl (Becky G.). These characters are all given names, but since they are only really differentiated by the color of their skin and threadbare character motivations, it's not worth the space to go into further detail.

Together this group will train with a robot (Bill Hader) and a giant face in the wall of a spaceship (Bryan Cranston) to ready themselves for a former Power Ranger turned evil sorceress (Elizabeth Banks) who wants to use a giant molten-gold monster to dig up a powerful crystal which can destroy all life. Did I mention this movie was dumb? The stars, like the characters they portray, are completely forgettable. And Banks is truly awful here, although to be fair the script doesn't offer her much to do other than overact in every scene.

Power Rangers isn't unwatchable but nor does it quite manage to fit into the so-bad-it's-good category either. The film is laughably bad at times without ever really explaining just what powers the Power Rangers have, what limitations there are to their abilities, how the Dinobots fit in, or how their powers work off one each other. The last of that list turns out to be a major plot point for the film as the group struggles to reach their potential but how that really works is only really explored on the surface level (I guess because there isn't much, if anything, under the surface of any of these characters).

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