We have talked on many occasions about the perks to being a critic and having press credentials like getting to see big-time event films before release, working red carpets, and making some great friends in the press corps. In some cases, we get to see films or productions that we may or may not have done otherwise for various reasons. In this case, I submit “Power Rangers”.
Directed by Dean Israelite (Acholiland, Project Almanac), this version of the ultra-popular franchise stars Dacre Montgomery (A few Less Men, Safe Neighborhood), Naomi Scott (The 33, By Any Means), R.J. Cyler (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, War Machine), Ludi Lin (Monster Hunt, Marco Polo), Becky G (The Smurfs 2, House of Sin), and Elizabeth Banks (The Lego Movie, The 40-Year-Old Virgin) as well as the voice talents of Bill Hader (Superbad, Inside Out), and Bryan Cranston (Argo, Drive). The story starts off 65 million years ago, where Zordon (Cranston) dies hiding the five power stones from the evil Rita Repulsa (Banks) on Earth while putting her in a coma state in the bottom of the ocean. Fast forward to today where five misfit teens named Jason (Montgomery), Kimberly (Scott), Billy (Cyler), Zack (Lin), and Trini (Becky G.) end up finding the stones. They meet Zordon, along with Alpha 5 (Hader), who try to train them to morph into Power Rangers, but their training time is limited, as Rita has awakened to finish her quest to find a hidden gem that she can use to destroy our planet.
There is quite a bit of CGI in this film, which is good for a larger budgeted production and blends well with the practical effects. The cast also does a very good job here, with Montgomery truly leading the way and Banks is great as the villain, even though I didn’t even recognize her until much later.
I had the bar set low for this film, since I never have really cared for the Power Rangers. That being said, I did like the first two-thirds of this film, with a good build-up. However, the cheesy big battle scene at the end of the film fell short for me. Overall, I would say I liked the film, but ended a little short. If you are a Power Rangers fan, this is a must see, but for the non-Greek cred guy like myself, I recommend it as Saturday matinee showing.