Genre: Sci-Fi Action
Running Time: 124 mins.
Premise: Five renegade, detention-bound teenagers discover magic stones that give them superpowers. Working together, they unlock their mighty morphin' skills to take on the evil Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks), who threatens to destroy the world.
Behind-the-Scenes: Saban's Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was all the craze in the early to mid-90s but flamed out after an ill-conceived film adaptation in 1995. Director Joseph Kahn brought the Rangers back from obscurity with his R-rated short film a few years ago, which Saban hit with a cease and desist order. Then, Saban, sensing money to be made, greenlit this film.
The Good: Director Dean Israelite nails the right tone for this gritty reboot of the Power Rangers. It's dark and more angsty, but still kid-friendly. The movie clearly owes a lot of debt to 2012's Chronicle. There is an awesome car crash that begins the movie - where, prior to the crash, the camera does a full 360 inside a moving car that is being chased. That sequence is almost too good for what follows. The cast of new Rangers are all appealing, even if their characters are thinly drawn. Banks chews the scenery, and Bryan Cranston lends a nice bit of gravitas as talking-head, Zordon.
The Bad: At over 2 hours, the movie is punishingly long and takes itself way too seriously at times. It treats this material with utmost respect, but maybe it didn't need THAT much respect. When the action finally comes in the last 20 minutes, it's a relief, but mostly just comes across as cheesy and obligatory, with very little in the way of inventiveness. Nostalgia only carries a film so far, and even less when you're not even nostalgic in the first place.
Should You See It?: No. Will try the patience of both younger kids and their parents. May pass muster with the teenage crowd though.
Star Rating: **1/2 out of 5 stars.
Better Than: Fantastic Four (2015), Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995)
Worse Than: Chronicle
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