If you were like me at some point you sat down and watched some version of Power Rangers. I was too young for the original but I vaguely remember seeing the film when I was little on VHS. Going back and looking at clips of "Wild Force" the one I watched, it was PAINFUL. As far as I can tell that was true of most of the series. You went for the fun action scenes not the characters. I of course was thinking we may get more of the same with this new one and thankfully I was wrong
Unlike the TV show and previous film this new Power Rangers actually does a decent job setting up this group of misfit kids as a group that through team work and friendship can become the Power Rangers and protect the world from alien threats. It felt a bit like Breakfast Club in that they all meet in detention on a Saturday. Maybe that was the idea and for the most part it works. Billy Cranston a guy on the autism spectrum is the likeable guy who manages to figure everything out and through luck and just enough skill tugs the rest of the would be Rangers along to become the people they need to be to earn their right as Rangers. I apperciate the attempt to make the characters somewhat misfit kids who are also redeemable. It wasn't super well fleshed out but you could see the start of all the kids relationships to their parents and how becoming a Ranger gave them bigger responsibilities and allowed them to grow as people even if it was in the form of taking down an evil lady named Rita Repulsa and a giant gold monster.
The performances were by and large quite good. Bryan Cranston as Zordon was better than I expected. He brings a gravity to the role of a floating talking head that you wouldn't get from many actors. Alpha 5 played by Bill Hader on the other hand was just annoying and added nothing to the film. The main cast were all pretty solid choices and lightyears ahead of the talent that has been associated with the Power Rangers in the past. Elizabeth Banks and Rita was the most scene chewing of all of them. She really played up the crazy evil villain aspect of the character. I didn't mind it as it was what I was expecting to happen at some point in the film. She just goes around being crazy and it's a fun time.
One aspect I wasn't big on was the overly dark and shaky cinematography. It felt a bit too Zach Snyder for my taste in a normally brighter series. The music was fine and fit within the film and there is a moment where the main theme plays and it really comes out of left field and didn't mesh at all. There was one point when they join to make the Megazord that it would have been perfect so it's not that it couldn't work it just didn't where they put it. The effects were pretty good and again much like the acting way better than anything we have gotten before from the Power Ranger series. The action was decent if not the most exciting blockbuster have to offer.
I went in expecting a pretty terrible movie and was left surprised in the amount of effort that went into creating this team and their journey to becoming better humans and as a result better rangers. It is a pretty solid set up to a film and one that champions working together and helping each other. There was some swearing and stupid jokes involving a bull that were not really in line with the rest of the film. Overall it was a fun time and tried to put in some characters to actually care about and want to see them suceed. It didn't quite grab me by the end but it was a decent set up to a franchise that will apparently span six films. Here's hoping they build on the characters more and we see something special out of it.