Okay, let’s be clear, this isn’t a movie for adults. It is fun, entertaining, and adults won’t be bored, but it is aimed squarely at the tween and teen set. Oddly, many parents brought very young kids to my showing, but none of them freaked out. However, I bet there were some interesting questions and conversations afterwards as well. Definitely a PG-13 kind of movie.
As an origin film, it is really well thought through, taking its time to build the characters and, generally, the relationships. There is nothing overly complex about any of the characters or their worlds, though much is suggested. But, like the magic/tech that drives the Rangers, there are a lot of leaps in logic and action without a heck of a lot of explanation or groundwork. Frankly, that’s alright in this case. Power Rangers knows what it is and revels in it. We know what it is and accept it. I will say that there is a lot more character and emotion in the movie than there ever was in the show.
One of the real wins they had with this flick was the cast. The actors are young, and a mix of experience, but they gave it everything they had. Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott (Terra Nova), RJ Cyler (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl), Ludi Linn, and Becky G. work well together and do manage to build a team over the course of the movie.
Elizabeth Banks (Pitch Perfect 2) is suitably absurd as their nemesis, or perhaps a bit too much so. And, as their support and guides, Bryan Cranston (Kung Fu Panda 3) and Bill Hader (Inside Out) are just paternalistic and silly enough to make it work.
Director Dean Israelite (Project Almanac) definitely found the balance he needed for his audience. And writer Gatins (Flight) respected his characters as having brains rather than just trying to move along the action or hit the Ranger moments that most of the audience was anticipating.
I have no idea how they go forward with this story in an interesting way. As a one-shot, I was satisfied, due to the amount of time devoted to story over action. However, given its success, there will be others and with the ground work done it is likely to focus on the action going forward. Can’t say that would be a big draw for me. However, this first one out, if you have any memory of the show, is worth seeing it big screen.