Power Rangers, released in the United Kingdom on the 24th of March 2017 will go down in history. Not for box office reasons or Oscars or Razzies won, but because Power Rangers of all things, not Marvel, not DC, became the first super-hero film in history to feature not just an autistic superhero in R.J. Cyler’s Blue Ranger Billy but also to feature an openly and explicitly gay character in Becky G’s. Yellow Ranger Trini. Sadly, these milestones seem to have gone completely unnoticed in the inexplicable feeding frenzy over the character of LeFou in Beauty and the Beast.
And to be honest, that was pretty much the only positive thing that I expected to say about this film. Despite being a massive Power Rangers fan in my youth, not only does the show seems to have aged about as well as the mullet, the song Simon Cowell released in 1994 made it only to number 3 in the UK charts and both previous films have spent significant amounts of time in IMDB’s bottom one hundred.
And then you get to this film, which had all the signs of being this years Fan4stic. A dark and gritty reboot of something previously bright and colorful. No real names other than Bryan Cranston who’s basically playing a cameo as a face in a wall, a budget that ballooned from a cheek punt of 35 million dollars to over 100 million , as well as being origionally scheduled for release on July 22, 2016, Lionsgate delayed the release to January 2017 to allow the film “room to grow.” The date was pushed again to March 24, 2017.
So, in I went with a heavy heart to watch a film that I was certain would be a unwatchable, bloated mess.
And I have never been so happy to be proven wrong.
Watching the zords charge across the screen to the soundtrack screaming GO GO POWER RANGERS! Before a battle with Goldar that almost but not quite lives up to Pacific Rim is everything my inner ten year old wanted. It truly did feel like an episode of Mighty Morphing Power Rangers.
In that it was twenty five minutes long.
Because to get to that scene you have to slog through an hour and a half of an unholy blending of Green Lantern and The Breakfast Club. With far too much of one and not enough of the other.
Yeah, a film that should be a short and punchy ninety minutes is instead a bloated two hours for no real reason that I could see. And it’s also a 12a in the same way that The Dark Knight was a 12a with some scenes far too scary for the young people seated directly behind me. With some removed by very unimpressed looking parents.
But get through the sludge and you do get the Power Rangers fight you always wanted. Fortunately though, the originally limited budget seems to have meant that there was no money to hire a lighting guy so about half the scenes are pretty much pitch dark and for the half that aren’t the camera guy seems obsessed with spinning the camera around like he’s on a roundabout.
And it’s nice when films open with jokes about bestiality. Makes the dad’s feel they made the right choice over Beauty and the Beast.
Get through the first ninety minutes and you’ll get the power rangers film you always wanted. The cast have good chemistry and are more developed than the rangers of my youth but trimming 30 minutes wouldn’t have hurt. Bear in mind that the film is 12a for a reason and you’ll have a good time.
My Score- SEE It