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Saban’s Power Rangers Movie Review

Reviewed by on Mar 24, 2017
Rating: 3 Star Rating

Check out Kidzworld’s movie review of the new Power Rangers movie. Can you relate to the teen characters? Is it mighty morphin’ fantastic or just an okay action flick?

By: Lynn Barker

In Saban’s Power Rangers, misfit high schoolers who would normally never be friends, meet at an abandoned mine, discover a long-buried spaceship, some glowing “coins” and get the news that they are the next generation of a long-lived warrior race called the Power Rangers destined to protect their town and the world against supervillain Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks). They’re superheroes! Jason, later Red Ranger, the leader (Dacre Montgomery), Billy, later Blue Ranger (RJ Cyler), Kimberley, later Pink Ranger (Naomi Scott), Zack, later Black Ranger (Ludi Lin) and Trini, later Yellow Ranger (Becky G.) are all thinking “yeah, right”.

Billy, Trini, Lead Ranger Jason, Zack, and KimberlyBilly, Trini, Lead Ranger Jason, Zack, and KimberlyCourtesy of Kimberley French

Elizabeth Banks as Rita RepulsaElizabeth Banks as Rita RepulsaCourtesy of Kimberley French

Back in the Cenozoic

Ancient Power Rangers are introduced way back in the Cenozoic Era on Earth as they die battling Rita Repulsa and her demon entity Goldar who are searching for the Zeo power crystal that can help her destroy worlds. Red Ranger Zordon (“Breaking Bad"’s Bryan Cranston), as he seemingly dies, buries the power “coins” that represent each color of Power Ranger, hoping that future generations of Rangers will find them.

Zordon (Bryan Cranston) speaks to JasonZordon (Bryan Cranston) speaks to JasonCourtesy of Kimberley French

Flash Forward

In our era, in small-town Angel Falls, football star quarterback Jason Scott and pals try to put a bull in a rival team’s locker room. The stunt goes wrong and, making a getaway, there is a car crash. Jason’s footballer fame days are over. Jason’s ticked-off dad says his antics have blown his future professional football career. Jason is sent to detention where he meets other “losers”; Billy, the smart OCD kid whom he protects from a bully, Kimberley, who used to be the prom queen type but has fallen from grace, and Trini who is the perpetual new kid in town because her family moves a lot.

The future Rangers explore the ancient caveThe future Rangers explore the ancient caveCourtesy of Kimberley French

At the Mine

All the teens plus Zack, a charming, flippant and cute Asian dude, end up at an old abandoned gold mine were Billy and his now deceased dad used to forage for strange stuff. Billy blows up part of a cliff and the misfits discover five glowing stones or coins of different colors. Each kid takes one and they have to escape security guards in Billy’s van. They try to race a train across the tracks…and don’t make it! They are hit and roll in a horrible crash.

Future Rangers discover glowing coins in an ancient wallFuture Rangers discover glowing coins in an ancient wallCourtesy of Kimberley French

Meanwhile and the Morning After

At sea, a local fishing boat picks up a very strange catch, a woman-like being seemingly dead but…is she? Mysteriously back at home after the crash, Jason dreams about it. He gets up and accidentally breaks the porcelain sink in his bathroom, at school, Billy discovers that he is uber-strong as he bests his bully. All of the kids feel abnormally strong and don’t remember how they got out of the car and home. To figure out the mystery, they go back to the mine where they discover they can jump canyons in a single bound and more. They fall through a water-filled quarry into a strange cave where they find an alien ship!

Jason Mid-morphJason Mid-morphCourtesy of Kimberley French

Vibrating Coins and a Crazy Story

The colored coins the group carries start vibrating and they are confronted by small robot Alpha 5 (voice of Bill Hader) who calls on Zordon, now only a spirit trapped in the cave walls, who tells the teens that the coins they hold “picked them” as the next generation of Power Rangers destined to protect life on Earth. Jason, deemed to be the group’s leader, sees a horrible vision of Earth’s future if villain Rita Repulsa succeeds in a plan to gain the power crystal to help her wreck the planet. Rita was originally a Ranger as well but her lust for power turned her evil. 

Robot Alpha 5Robot Alpha 5Courtesy of Kimberley French

Training and Morphing

Over time, the gang steps onto the “morphing grid” hoping to get their armor to be true Power Rangers but it doesn’t work. They train without armor instead and it is brutal. Meanwhile, Rita, who was the ancient female “corpse” brought up from the sea, has reanimated and is killing people to gather up any gold they possess. When she gets enough she will create Goldar, a huge destroyer creature who will help her find the Zeo crystal (which Billy has determined is buried under the town’s only Krispy Crème donut shop (don’t ask).

Rita's monster Goldar and the Rangers mix it upRita's monster Goldar and the Rangers mix it upCourtesy of Kimberley French

Are We Really Rangers?

After a lot of soul searching, more training, and a failed attempt to stop Rita without any Ranger armor, the group really gets to know one another and bonds as friends. They want to try morphing into Rangers again before Rita’s rampage kills more townspeople and she builds her giant gold monster. Are they up to the task? Will they ever morph into true Rangers in time?

Rangers finally morph into their armorRangers finally morph into their armorCourtesy of Kimberley French

Wrapping Up

I can’t compare the film to the original series or films because, although aware of them and having seen a few TV episodes, I wasn’t a fan. I do recognize that gone are those dorky spandex suits. Enter sleek, sparkly armor. The tone of the film ranges from real life teen angst to campy, over-the-top scene chewing by arch villain Rita Repulsa who lets us know that the playful, hokey, campy themes in the original Power Rangers TV series and movies are alive and well in this reboot. I could do without the cutesy robot Alpha but he’s evidently a big part of the original Rangers so we’re stuck with him.

Rangers ready for battleRangers ready for battleCourtesy of Kimberley French

The film has a good heart and you can certainly relate to at least one of the lead teens. The filmmakers do a good job of exploring each character, building relationships and encouraging teamwork before any Power-packed morphin’ gets started. The gang does seem like characters in the classic teen hit “The Breakfast Club” until predictable Sci-Fi elements kick in. Straight out humor pops in occasionally like when one of the Rangers in his mechanical dino-looking Zord, kicks and throws a yellow Camaro with a “Sorry Bumblebee”.

Rita plans her world takeoverRita plans her world takeoverCourtesy of Kimberley French

It is, thankfully, almost redundant in our day and age to say that I’m glad the female Rangers are as powerful as the guys, have just as much action and don’t need rescuing but this movie accomplishes that.  CGI fighting effects are okay although, to me, they looked a little less than “crisp” on screen. They certainly aren’t up to Marvel standards.

Although taking quite a while to get to the real Ranger action, I actually enjoyed the first half of the movie more than the action after the gang finally morphs into the Rangers which got a little too campy for me but that’s my taste. Fans should love it. Stick around for a short scene right before final credits in which we learn that the famous Green Ranger (Tommy Oliver) might be joining the team in the next film.  If we had ½ stars we’d go 3 and ½. As is we will go 3 on this reboot.

Saban’s Power Rangers Movie Rating:3

Saban’s Power Rangers Movie PosterSaban’s Power Rangers PosterCourtesy of Lionsgate

See Saban’s Power Rangers in theaters now!


Have Your Say

Are you glad there is an action movie focusing on misfit teen superheroes again? Were you or anyone in your family a Power Rangers fan? Leave a comment!