Monday, April 3, 2017

Saban's Power Rangers fans relive the cheesy glory days

Movie Title:  Saban's Power Rangers

Grade:  C+

Rating:  PG-13, 124 minutes

In a Nutshell:  Does anyone actually care about the Power Rangers anymore?  My 4 sons absolutely loved it…back in the day, but I didn’t think it was even relevant to kids anymore.  

Seems like just a morphin cash grab to me in more ways than one.

Uplifting theme: 
  • Friendship, loyalty, teamwork, sacrifice 

Things I liked:
  • Fans of the Power Rangers will probably enjoy it just for old time’s sake.
  • The characters are pretty well fleshed out with back stories, which pleasantly surprised me.
  • The training sequences were pretty fun.
  • Bryan Cranston is awesome in everything.  Did you know he actually voiced some of the characters in the original 1990’s TV show?  Cool.  Billy Cranston’s character in the movie was actually named after Bryan Cranston.  Even cooler.
  • Their outfits have definitely gotten an upgrade.
  • There is plenty of trivia for fans to sink their teeth into as the movie does a pretty good job paying homage to the source material.

Things I didn’t like:
  • Krispy Kreme gets HUGE product placement.  Kind of weird, right?  Product placement always kind of annoys me, because it's so manipulative and an obvious cash grab. In this case, it’s a BIG part of the story line. Did you hear that Krispy Kreme is actually changing the name of the company in England, because customers there can’t figure out how to pronounce it correctly?  True story.
  • Most of the lead teenagers are super annoying delinquents who are rude, self-absorbed, and whiny. They almost try to out-do each other to see which one of them is least understood and outcast. Even before the five teenagers get their special powers, they’re involved in very dangerous activities.  These kids are not great role models.  Of course, they finally figure out how to work as a team and sacrifice for each other (not a big spoiler alert), but I didn’t like most of them.  On top of that, they all buy into killing Rita within minutes.  I did, however, think R.J. Cyler (Blue Ranger) was the most compelling Ranger and did a great job.
  • Rita Repulsa.  What a name. Ha ha.  Instead of declaring her intentions to conquer the world or the universe, she pretty much just trashes a little town.  Ha ha  Elizabeth Banks’ accent seemed off, but I appreciate that she was trying to go over-the-top campy like the original TV character did.
  • Some bad editing moments.
  • The original 90’s TV show was super cheesy and knew it.  That’s what made it really fun.  This movie mixes up the cheese with serious drama, so it often feels disjointed in tone.
  • For an origin story, it’s fairly cliché.
  • There are some really inappropriate jokes.
  • It’s kind of like the directors picked out what special effects they wanted to use and then built a story around it.

Funny lines:
  • “Yippee Kayay, Mother Fu….Mother.  Mother’s good.” – Blue Ranger (R.J.Cyler)
  • “You five are the Power Rangers!” – Alpha 5 (Bill Hader)
“Are we like Iron Man or Spiderman?” – Blue Ranger
  • “My guess is we have 11 years.  No, days.  Eleven days.” – Alpha 5
  • “I’m pretty sure I’m a super hero.” – Pink Ranger (Naomi Scott)
“Pee in that cup!” – Kimberly Hart’s mom
  • “Jason, did you just slap her?” – Blue Ranger
“I did.  Weird, right?” – Jason Lee Scott/Red Ranger (Dacre Montgomery)
  • “Sorry, Bumblebee!” – Blue Ranger (Transformers reference)

Dumb lines:
  • “Take that!” – Pink Ranger
  • “Bring it on!” – Pink Ranger
  • “We got this!” – Pink Ranger
  • “My family is so normal.  Too normal.” – Yellow Ranger (Becky G)

Tips for parents: 
  • Lots of fighting and destruction.
  • A surprising amount of profanity.
  • There are some subtitles you’ll have to read for little ones.
  • There are several inappropriate jokes that will, hopefully, go over the heads of most kids.

If you love the Power Rangers and can't get enough, check out Saban's Mighty Morphin Power Rangers - The Complete First Season on 6 Dvds - 60 Episodes Uncut

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