Movie Night with Lauren: Power Rangers (2017)

Go go Power Rangers? More like, I wish they were Power Strangers to me. Go go far away from me. …This intro is about as good as the movie.

Basic Synopsis: Five high schoolers find colorful stones that lead them to become the Power Rangers, the protectors of a Krispy Kreme. That joke will make more sense to you once you watch the movie, if you go against my advice and do that.

Brief Thoughts: Oh man. I was not expecting much going into this movie, and even then it somehow managed to underperform. But what can you expect from a movie that starts out with a joke about “milking” a bull? Aka a character mistakenly gave a bull and handy. How stupid do you have to be…

Luckily that kid isn’t one of the five high schoolers to become the Power Rangers. Well, to EVENTUALLY become the Power Rangers. I actually enjoyed a lot of the training montages and moments of the characters getting to know each other because the roles were all cast well, but let’s face it, I was ready to shout “it’s morphin’ time!” from minute one. I definitely wasn’t expecting to wait 1.5 hours (or 3/4ths of the movie) before this moment finally happens and brings on the real action.

Very Important Question: Are the innie belly buttons of the Power Ranger suits better or worse than the Batman nipples?

Let’s Talk About That Agent Coulson Moment (Spoilers): When Loki kills Agent Coulson in The Avengers, I was pretty ticked. As were all the superheroes who had spent the majority of the movie batting heads instead of becoming a cohesive entity capable of taking on anything that came their way. His death was the rallying cry that formed the Avengers.

Power Rangers tries to do this by having Rita Repulsa kill Billy, the most sympathetic Ranger of the bunch. Yet as much as I liked Billy and was bummed to see him go, this just didn’t quite play like Coulson’s death. Let’s just say it’s hard for me to believe Jason’s “this is on me, I’m sorry Billy. Let’s do this for him” leadership moment when NO ONE EVEN ATTEMPTED CPR. Billy was in the water for maybe 30 seconds tops, and no one thinks to try and save him? Some kind of heroes!

And let’s face it, they might have avoided showing Billy in the trailer during the final showdown footage, but there’s no way they are going to kill one of the Rangers like that. Not when we have a Megazord to form! So next time go with the cliched storytelling of having Billy sent to the hospital by Rita earlier in the movie, have Jason blame himself for leading him into an ill-advised confrontation, eventually overcome this confidence drop by the time Billy returns to take down Rita and save the day.

Randomly Awesome Quote: “Sorry Bumblebee!”

I know it’s just shameless cross-promotion, but I couldn’t help but smile at this moment as the Red Ranger swatted a Camaro away during the final showdown.

Biggest of the Big Complaints: One of the most exciting things about the Power Rangers are their zords, or their giant prehistoric creature inspired robots that they ride around in. Oh, and even better, the can come together to form Megazord. Unfortunately the movie must have been running low on funds at this point because instead of seeing these robots transform into something even greater, this epic sequence is hidden by a pit of lava and smoke. That’s right, we don’t get to see it. Not even a little bit.

A Second Opinion: Ben reviewed the film back in March, see his thoughts here.

Double Feature: I chose to pair Power Rangers with The Lego Batman Movie because all three things were strong presences in my childhood. Lego Batman wasn’t great, but at least it was better than this. See my thoughts on Lego Batman here.

Final Thoughts: it’s been a long long time since I’ve watched Mighty Morphin Power Rangers because what little I’ve seen about it looks like revisiting it would do nothing but ruin my memories of it. I should’ve included this remake as a part of that avoidance decision.

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