“Power Rangers (2017)” spoiler free review

It wasn’t Morphonominal

It is a very rare occurrence to leave the theater wondering who exactly a movie was made for; however, that is what I left Lionsgate’s “Power Rangers” pondering. The tone is incredibly dour and joyless; the soundtrack is a mixed bag of Kanye West and Indie – Pop, goofy looking villains and heroes, and the humor is uncomfortably vulgar at times. Is this for kids? For adults? For teens? “Power Rangers” seems to want to cater to every crowd’s appetite yet ends up presenting a strange gashapon of popular culture, with incredibly underdeveloped characters.

The main characters of the film are Jason (the Red Ranger), Kimberly (the Pink Ranger), and the Billy (the Blue Ranger). There are two other rangers (Zack and Trini), but they are so scantly talked about and shown that they may as well be extras. In fact, the most character development Zack gets is that he says, “I’m crazy!” and then people know he’s crazy. Anyway, Kimberly, Jason, and Billy are all given adequate time to interact and bond with each other, but it never feels genuine. Billy is played to be Autistic, which is performed surprisingly well by RJ Cyler, but all the characters treat him like garbage (at one point Jason tries to leave him at a rock quarry, alone).

The cast of “Power Rangers” at a recent press event.

As I mentioned before, the tone is incredibly morose for a movie based on a children’s television program about neon clad superheroes fighting giant mascots. Every room the character’s enter is dark and poorly lit, every conversation manages to lead back to some sort of anguish one of the characters has suffered; at times even interrupting a more relaxed scene just to have one of the rangers bring up a terminally ill family member. At the beginning of the movie, the odd onslaught of sorrow coming from the main characters seemed like it was just setting up some character archs and whatnot, but after an hour and a half of people crying about their problems it started getting a little outrageous. It seemed like each character was competing to win the title of  “Most Sympathetic” or something. In addition to the overly dramatic heroes, the villain is also a shade darker than one would expect. Rita Repulsa, the movie’s main antagonist, balances trying donuts at the Krispy Kreme with graphically tearing peoples teeth out; she’s not very kid-friendly.

“Power Rangers” also seemed to draw all its licensed music, of which there is a lot of, from the director’s iPod. None of the music ever fit the scene it was put in, and almost all of it was from artists that were incredibly obscure or absolutely not kid-friendly. Not to mention that many of the more emotional moments of the film are ruined when really high tempo club music is being blasted over it. However, Brian Tyler’s scantly used orchestral score for this movie was fine; however, it never stood out as particularly iconic in any way. Also, there is a part in this movie where a cover of the song “Stand By Me” plays and it is the equivalent of just writing on the screen, “THIS IS SAD. PLEASE CRY HERE.”

There are quite a few product placements Krispy Kreme throughout the film.

Now, what I have been waiting for the most, the humor. “Power Rangers” is not a comedy; as I mentioned before, “Power Rangers” really just plays off the doom and gloom of its characters for the most part. However, there are a few choice moments in the movie where comedy is uncomfortably thrown in, and it’s not even good comedy. Just to give you an idea of how awful and inappropriate the humor of this movie is, one of the comedic scenes in “Power Rangers” features a close up shot of animal genitalia; just what parents want to bring their children to.

Oh, I almost forgot to talk about the fight scenes in this movie, and that is most likely due to “Power Rangers” forgetting to include any.

After finishing this review I think I determined the audience of people who “Power Rangers” was made for: nostalgia hounds. If you are a twenty-something year old who caught an episode or two of the show back in the 90s, then go see this movie. If you fall into any other demographic than the one just described, save your money for a movie with more action and less animal genitalia.

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