OK guys, it’s true confession time, here goes, I never tuned into Power Rangers. I know it’s shocking to hear, but I didn’t identify with it. Maybe my preteen pallet was too refined for the questionable voice dubbing and goofy villains? Maybe I felt like the show was for athletic kids who took karate or gymnastics? Maybe the bright coloured spandex stirred unwanted emotions in me so I avoided it like the plague? Whatever the reason, I wasn’t a fan… until now.
Saban’s Power Rangers franchise has had dozens of theatrical incarnations since the 90’s; feature films, television series’, cartoons, video games, however on March 24th the franchise truly found it’s place in superhero history and I’m not just speaking of the highly buzzed about LGBTQ Ranger. Power Rangers is for everyone, especially the outsiders. Power Rangers only exist if they co-exist and it’s that what being human is all about? If we don’t morph together then we will never become the Mega Zord and stop Goldar from destroying the planet. Huh? Sorry, let me bring you up to mega speed and explain the Power Ranger origin story.
In the small town of Angel Grove, the fate of five ordinary teenagers is changed forever when they stumble upon a space ship buried in the mountains. Inside the ship lives Zordon (Bryan Cranston), a previous Ranger who’s left his body and is now trapped in the ships main frame computer. With the help of his android side kick, Alpha 5 (voiced by Bill Harder), Zordon enlists the five teens as the new Power Rangers to stop intergalactic sorceress, Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks), an ex-ranger gone bad. Rita’s got a mean ass grudge from the past and is about to destroy the earth with her mega monster, Goldar. You still with me? The only hope the world has of defeating the powerful evil is if the Power Rangers over come their real-life issues and band together to become the Megazord, a giant battling robot (think Godzilla but with more metal). It’s really quite simple.
Old fans won’t be disappointed with director Dean Israelite’s update; there are tones of easter eggs, homages to original, previous cast cameos and yes, the theme song stays in-tacked: Go! Go! Power Rangers! New fans will find a Ranger to relate to and appreciate the simple universal storyline.
The five teen heroes are bought to life with breakout performances by Dacre Montgomery as Jason (Red Ranger), Naomi Scott as Kimberly (Pink Ranger), RJ Cyler as Billy (Blue Ranger), Ludi Lin as Zack (Black Ranger) and Becky G as Trini (Yellow Ranger). All five young leads do a kick ass job of the heavy lifting, it’s not an easy task saving the world in this epic David and Goliath story. RJ Cyler deserves a special mention for tackling the challenge of the first Ranger on the Autistic spectrum, approaching the character with big heart, he snags many of the laughs. A big shout out the supporting cast of Canadians. Yup! Power Rangers was shot on location in beautiful British Columbia and highlights a handful of local Vancouver talents. Go! Go! Hollywood North!
In theatre’s now, the Power Rangers reboot is most definitely a must-see on the big screen with it’s kick ass battle sequences and breathtaking beautiful underwater shots, the CGI is flawless. It’s also doesn’t take it’s self too seriously with loads of laughs and a very boldly unapologetic product placement for Krispy Kreme. Power Rangers will leave you feeling invigorated about humanity and craving warm sweet deep fried dough… what morphin could you ask for!
By Dave Robert