an early-bird review by the Azure-Winged Magpie!
GO-GO POWER RANGERS!
GO-GO POWER RANGERS!
Go-go Power Rangers! Go-go Power Rangers! Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangeee-rrrs!
Hello! Azure-Winged Magpie here!
Like every other kid growing up in the 90s, I got bit by the Power Rangers bug. Now I’ve always been a bit of a boy at heart and news of this film just set me right off into full, unabashed fangirlism.
Now I haven’t watched any Power Rangers anything for a long long time. But I remember the original series pretty damn well. The Crow says he was never really a fan. But growing up at that time? Y’all fuckin’ lying if you don’t admit that you didn’t love Power Rangers growing up.
This shit should be pure nostalgia for everyone who ever saw the original serial as little babbies. And then… when the trailers dropped…
Yeah. Things didn’t look really good.
But I held out hope. It couldn’t be THAT bad, could it? I mean… maybe it’s just the trailers which make it look like it’s going to be another generic uninteresting teenagers-with-superpowers film. Maybe it really would be pretty good.
But we all know how these things go…
That bastid Crow kept telling me it would be shit. He said it over and over and over again. He didn’t think it was MIGHTY MORPHIN’ POWER TIME!
That fucking idiot!
I was still fucking pumped for this film. Maybe not as much as I was before the trailers. But a little pumped anyhows. It’s meant to be a throwback to my childhood no? It’s meant to be a fun-dumb film that I can just chow on popcorn (or my illegally snuck-in Doritos) through. No?
It looked fucking horrible from the trailers. Yep. But what are you expecting? Fucking Andrei Rublev (review soon!)? This is supposed to be a popcorn film. It’s the kind where you switch your brain off and just let the film take you places. And it’s also a beloved piece of childhood for us 80-90s kids.
I just don’t want it to be one of those run-of-the-mill films.
So what did I really think about it?
IT’S MORPHIN’ TIME!
WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS MINOR SPOILERS
I just think I saw probably the best way to start reintroducing folks to the Power Rangers universe.
Like 65 million years ago sort of best way.
We start out nearing the end of the age of dinosaurs. The Power Rangers are… here. But things don’t look too good.
What went wrong?! Why does everything look like it’s all about to end? I’ll tell you why: The Green Ranger’s betrayed the others.
(╹ っ ╹✿)! oh noes! How dare she?!
On the verge of defeat, the Red Ranger calls in a fucking meteor-strike to take her out. And it doesn’t just take her out. It wipes out pretty much all large life-forms above the surface.
Bye-bye dinosaurs… 😦
Yep. Things were that bad.
Skip to… present-day Angel Grove! Wooot!
We meet our five heroes pretty quick. And they’re not exactly the same people from the show. But while they’re different I felt like each change that was made to them made sense. In a way these new kids felt more real. They’re current-day kids with real-life problems. And they’re quite a handful of characters and all.
The one which is probably closest to the original character (and I don’t really remember much from the original serial) is Jason. And that makes sense. We need that kind of anchor. And despite him being played the safest, he’s made to earn his role as the leader. I liked the fact that he didn’t just de facto take over jus’ coz.
The five kids find the power coins and are granted superpowers. But it takes a while for them to actually figure out that they actually have these superpowers. They return to the place where they found the coins in the first place.
There, they meet Alpha-5, and the loveable little bot takes them to Zordon. And Zordon is played by Bryan mo-[REDACTED]-ing Cranston (the man whose last name was given to Billy all those years ago). And who exactly is Zordon in this rebooted universe?
Remember that original Red Ranger? The one who called in the meteor-strike? That’s who.
Things go a little hairy when the Green Ranger (who survived the meteor strike but went into a deathlike sleep) comes back into the picture. She’s back on the hunt for the Zeo Crystal and has gone totally stupid in the head.
Unable to fully morph into her Ranger suit/armour any longer (a little detail which gets me thinking up all sorts of theories), she starts terrorising Angel Grove under her original name: Rita Repulsa.
Things go a little predictably from here on out. Because this is an early-bird review, I’ll be leaving out all spoilers in this post. Next month I’ll add spoiler-full versions of my reviews of both this film and Rogue One (which i never spoiled either).
There are a few shocking moments here though. The film really drives home the point that these kids can very quickly get into trouble (cue: aiaiai!). And to be brutally open about it… the ending wasn’t really as awesome as the build-up. The beginning was just too damn strong .
The Zords were kinda epic I guess. But there’s something about the flashy animation aesthetic that didn’t really click with me. The final battle is a 6/10 at best and raises a few questions which we could’ve done with answers to.
There is this one moment though. I won’t spoil it for you right now, but you’ll know it when you see it. That ONE scene is going to tell you EXACTLY what this film is. All at once.
The film has no illusions about what it is. It IS a fun (and slightly dumb) movie intended to be taken as one. It comes served with cheese and a side of glittery, polished camp. And when the original MMPR theme hit… OH.MY.MO-[REDACTED]-ING.GOD. Everyone in the theatre went NUTS.
It was better than sex. (Okay. Maybe not. But you get my point.)
Billy really stands out as the breakthrough character out of the lot. Alpha-5 is really fucking awesome as well. And Elizabeth Banks’ take on Rita Repulsa? She’s SO ridiculously over-the-top and hammy (in a fun way) that she steals the spotlight with every appearance. But everyone did a pretty damn good job. Zordon the Heisenberg (which is what I’m calling this version of the character) has layers to him. He has even an ulterior (and not for once entirely nicegasp!) motive. I fucking loved these people. And I love them because they fit perfectly into this rebooted universe.
Fuck the technicalities. I haven’t had this much FUN in a theatre in a long, LONG time. I mean… yeah, the CGI is a bit …much? I guess? The ending has nothing on the build-up. And there are some plot moments that just aren’t explained.
But the film more than makes up for it. The ending isn’t really THAT much of a letdown if I’m making it sound like it is. There are cameos from a few original cast members (RIP Thuy Trang). There are Easter Eggs and references EVERYWHERE. THE ORIGINAL THEME IS HERE. There’s THAT EPIC MOMENT I MENTIONED EARLIER AT THE END (it’s worth sitting through the flick for just to see that moment). Shit gets dark. Shit gets almost horrifying. A dude jerks off a cow (…forget I said that. He doesn’t really). Everyone is the best version of who they should be (flaws and all). Hashtag-Team-Billy. Hastag-Kim-for-BAE. Hashtag-I’ll-go-gay-for-Trini. And the post-credits scene is the BIGGEST MOST IMPORTANT THING THEY COULD’VE INCLUDED AFTER ALL THAT! This is everything I ever fucking wanted!
And…! AND…! AND…!
It’s okay… I’m good now.
Power Rangers is a fucking blast. Next chance I get, I’m going to drag that dopey old Crow with me and show him what fun means.
Switch your fucking brain off and just enjoy the damn movie. If you watched ANYTHING Power Rangers EVER, this film is made for you (with lots and lots of love).
THE CROW: 4.5/10
Okay, that wasn’t actually that bad. Krispy Kreme, anyone?
THE AZURE-WINGED MAGPIE: 8/10
Here’s a pretty poster!