(Rated PG-13) 3 Power Rangers (out of 4)
It’s morphin time movie fans! Yes, the Power Rangers have returned to a local theater near you. “Saban’s Power Rangers” is the third theatrical film to feature the pop icons from the 1990’s. It seems like eons since the last big screen outings featuring the multi-colored heroes, and this effort is a reboot of the franchise.
If you are among the clueless when it comes to the Power Rangers, let’s just say some present day teens unearthed the Power Coins, a colorful collection of stones which provide the power source for the Rangers. The Power Rangers actually were on Earth during prehistoric times, and protected life on Earth along with the Zeo Crystal, which can be used by those with bad intentions to destroy worlds. Enter the newly revived Rita Repulsa (love the name!), played by Elizabeth Banks. Rita is out to find the Zeo Crystal and use it to destroy all life on Earth. Just prior to Rita’s return, the Rangers were in training to become Power Rangers in an alien ship they discovered beneath a mine. The Rangers in training are as follows: Kimberly Hart/Pink Ranger (Namoi Scott); Billy Cranston/Blue Ranger (RJ Cyler); Trini Kwan/Yellow Ranger (Becky G); Jason Scott/Red Ranger (Dacre Montgomery); and Zack Tayor/Black Ranger (Ludi Lin).
There is also a robot on hand for good measure called Alpha 5, who plays a major role in training the Rangers. Of course being teens, teenage angst is abundant among the Rangers, along with parental issues. When the teens are fully realized as Power Rangers they have full access to the Zords, mechanical devices the Rangers can pilot for use in battle. The Zords can link together and form the Megazord, a huge humanoid robot. Are the uninitiated still keeping up with me? If not, just pretend. When Ms. Repulsa has created her enormous minion Goldar, formed from gold, she is ready to begin her attack. Goldar is nothing to be trifled with as the Rangers soon discover. Speaking of the Rangers, they are a group of diverse teens that would be at home on any of the shows on The CW television network. In fact the Red Ranger, played by the aforementioned Montgomery, reminded me of Zac Efron lite. Eventually the multi-colored teens and the bad toothed Repulsa meet in a show down that nearly destroys the town they are trying to save. At least in this film, often besieged New York City and Los Angeles are spared.
The film features plenty of witty exchanges from the actors, and Banks is given plenty of opportunities to revel in her portrayal of the dastardly Rita Repulsa. The actors who portray the Rangers are believable, considering the material they are presented, and seem to be having a blast. This is one movie you really need to take for what it is, nothing more than B-movie escapism. I was shocked this film was not presented in the 3D, as the film would have benefited from being seen in the format. I’m sure Ranger fans will have some mixed feelings about this film, but no one can argue the rebooted “Saban’s Power Rangers” benefits from having a $100 million dollar budget.