Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Power Rangers 2017

I will start this review with a confession. I might have partaken in some of the Old Toby before I turned on my screener of this film. How does Calvin get screeners? I will tell the story I am allowed to have. It COULD be because I have a Tovarich in Russia who enjoys the Cave of Cool and could possibly, maybe have access to people who are in the business of achieving top quality movies for the computer that fell off a truck somewhere between Minx and Odessa. That's all I know. So I am giving this movie a TON of slack.

When I was a teacher there was a three year period on the late 90s when I had to STUDY to become an expert in three subjects. One was Pokémon, One was Dragon Ball Z and the final and most important were the POWER RANGERS. I loved me the Power Rangers. They never changed from one episode to the next. But they had Amy-Jo Johnson (The First Best And ONLY Pink Ranger) and big robots and dumb monster and it was a nice way to cleanse the mind after a long day.


I wonder how someone who was even more immersed in this world for longer than I would have reacted to this movie. I just hoped they would hit the high points that could be found in every 90s introduction to the show and for the most part they did that. I just wanted it to take longer to get into their multicolored suits.

Two car accidents. Do we really need TWO car accidents in one film. Someone is showing off.

As for the characters? I get it. One boy is a rebel and so is one of the girls but all are detention room regulars. One is smart but 'on the spectrum', one is smart, Asian and knows Kung Fu. Then their is another kid. Of course they have parents who don't understand them and of course they all find a way to just happen to be hanging out together when they find a spaceship in and underground cavern. Totally contrived in a nostalgic kind of way. Brian Cranston must have been doing a favor for his children by taking the role of Zordon. It fun to watch him say the lines with his tongue clearly planted in his cheek. He knows it's a goof but he's totally game for it.

After they get some lessons from Zordon in how to fight and 'morph' from then on it's POWER RANGERS TIME! Power grow and it's time to turn that collective rage at the world into superpowers that are the only thing that can save the world from a couple of bad guys who aren't really all that bad or competent. The bad guys don't kill anyone but they do wreck a lot of stuff. You have seen it all before but this time the training sequences are kinda fun. But all this is exactly what the old show was like. There is a spirit here that just takes the bits of the old and energizes them for a new generation. In that way it's both fresh and harmless. I would like to see a You Tube video that shows kids watching the old Power Rangers after seeing this film.

The young cast of unknowns are certainly game but they can only do so much outside of the special effects which here are minimal. I wish the ending battle was a little bit longer as well.

The story is pretty standard and could have been only written by committee because you can see every single plot point coming from around the corner. But I can forgive that because they are building a fan base here and if they have to dumb things down to do that it's okay with me. The original could be understood by even the dumbest kid in class.

The movie also makes a point of not containing a single swear word in situations where teens would usually be as foul mouthed as sailors, especially the girls.

Zords are pretty cool and its fun to see them in action as well. They can both take and do a lot of damage. Unfortunately they are filmed like Transformers with quick cuts that take the viewer totally out of the action for the most part though the final Megazord battle was well done.

The fact that Rita build a creature to fight for her out of GOLD makes little sense but then it not supposed too. She also eats gold and collects it to make her big GOLD monster. Why gold? Only the softest metal around. I know it's suppose to be GOLDAR but this new GOLDAR is lame and a wasted opportunity. He's just a giant monster to add to the damage to the town which of course can be repaired when the dead gold monster is melted down. Now I get it.

I actually enjoyed this one. Is it goofy? Yes? Will your roll your eyes? Yes? Will you enjoy the process? Yes, indeed  you will. The life lessons were hammered over your head but the values of trust and friendship can never be passed to the children enough. And this one is best seen with a child or several of them on a Saturday afternoon. The filmmakers understood what they were making and gave both old and new fans something to share with each other. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Some cool cameos were a nice touch too.


Fiendenstein said...

Pretty much what I hoped to expect, I will give this a watch. Cheers m'man

Erik Johnson Illustrator said...

Everything is on the bubble of being "okay". While I would have like something big over the top and colorful, this is surprisingly serviceable for a B-budget movie released in March.

All the teen actors came here to work and the director seemed invested in telling a troubled youth story. The rather bland script and the superhero elements but held on with post it note glue is likely what most people will complain about.

I'm glad that it wasn't a train wreck which is more than I was expecting but I doubt that we'll see a sequel any time soon.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

It was better than expected even though it was totally by the numbers. No tired cliché was missed. Someone read their Joseph Campbell.