Top 5: Saban's Power Rangers
Go, Go, Power Rangers!
Saban's Power Rangers (2017) is an American superhero film and a reboot of the classic Power Rangers movie franchise. It was directed by Dean Israelite and written by John Gatins. The film stars up-and-coming actors and actresses as the Power Rangers cast: Dacre Montgomery (Red Ranger), Naomi Scott (Pink Ranger), RJ Cyler (Blue Ranger), Becky G (Yellow Ranger) and Ludi Lin (Black Ranger). As for iconic figures, Bill Hader is the voice of Alpha 5 and Bryan Cranston, Zordon. And of course, the evil witch Rita Repulsa makes an appearance and is played by Elizabeth Banks. The plot follows a group of teenagers who are chosen to become Earth's greatest defenders. As I said before, the top 5 will focus on the movie's best qualities so there will be spoilers, enjoy.
5. The Rangers
Through the narrative, we get to see how unique the rangers are. With Jason and Kimberly, it is through their narrative of redemption. Jason Scott (Dacre Montgomery), once a football quarterback, made a foolish choice which put a stop his future football career. However, he stands up to bullies, protects the weak, and takes command in his group of Ranger friends.Therefore, his true characteristics as a leader shines bright.
Oddly similar to Jason's situation is Kimberly Hart's (Naomi Scott). Her problem with a former friend pushes her to send a naked picture of a girl to the person's she interested in. Unwillingly, she becomes a cyberbully. But, her tough demeanor is a front for the vulnerable and soft side of her character. Her greatest strength lies in her humble attitude and fiery determination.
The rest of the Rangers (Trini Kwan, Billy Cranston, and Zack Taylor) not only have special personalities but their character stand in place for "something more." Billy Cranston (RJ Cyler) is nerdy and hilarious. His ability to be a superhero lies within his heart and caring for others. His autism makes him have these quirky and weird moments, but he is the glue that holds the Rangers together. Trini Kwan (Becky G) who's character is LGBTQ, home troubles is a result of figuring out who she wants to be. She keeps to herself at first, but to watch Trini's walls come down as she trusts the other Rangers, is a pleasure to see. Last but not least, Zack Taylor (Ludi Lin) is charismatic, cool, and funny. But, his situation with caring for his ill mother is less than ideal. As a result of his situation, it is no surprise as to his care for strangers.
4.CGI & Special Effects
From Zordon's mesh-like, matrix aesthetic to the scenes of incredible feats, the computer generated imagery and special effects help create really extraordinary moments. To start, Zordon matrix-like swimming pool is very interesting to watch. When he turns or moves to approach a ranger it is as if he's swimming. Unlike the Power Rangers of the old, he does not appear as a ghost. Instead he is very much real and alive. Also, the super powers that Rangers gain from the Power Coins themselves are fantastically shown. From death defying jumps, to mountain climbing, they are all shown in a hokey, but impressive fashion. Also, the transformations eloquently appear and fit around the body of the Rangers. And Goldar and Rita's putties are recreated in spectacular fashion with the CGI capturing the elements and materials used, realistically.
The cinematic nature of the scenes in the film add to the superhero aesthetic along with its use of innovative camera techniques. In the abandoned mine scene and the confrontation between Rita and Trini, the camera does this thing where it switches axis's (as if it's hanging upside down). Surprisingly, these moments are not disorienting and actually really cool. The cinematic camera angles constantly remind everyone of the spectacle taking place on screen. In addition, the clean and colorful look of the Zords and their battle scenes in the latter part of the movie is amazing. Oh, and that one head-butt Billy gives the bully which shakes the hell out of the screen is awesome.
2. The Power Rangers
The transitioning from teenagers into actual Power Rangers was one of my favorite parts of the movie. I enjoyed the grueling training scenes that the Rangers had to participate in. From fighting hologram putties, to taking the Zords out on a joyride, the journey to becoming a Power Ranger is a long one. But, through out the trials and tribulations they not only get stronger. And the bonds they form when they get to know each other are incredible. When they finally do transform and connect to the Morphing Grid, it is all the more satisfying.
1. The Nostlagia
Without a doubt, the best part about this film are the scenes where it pays respect to the Original Power Rangers. Whether it be characters, colors, or action sequences there are numerous elements from the original television series embedded into this film. Here's a quick list:
- The characters wear their corresponding ranger colors.
- The character names are the same from the original.
- The armor has a lot of the same characteristics as the original.
- The "Go, Go Power Rangers" theme song plays during the rollout of the Zords.
- Classic villain Rita and allies Alpha 5, and Zordon are reimagined but still sticks to the roots.
- Fight scenes have the Rangers perform with iconic move sets and camera angles that the original Power Ranger series is known for.
- The thunder symbol drawn and shown near the end.
- The mention of Tommy and his green jacket during the mid-scene credits.
At first, I was hesitant on watching Saban's Power Rangers. I didn't like the armor and thought the superhuman Ranger aspect to be absurd. But, after watching the film and understanding the context behind the scenes shown, I can say with confidence that I do not regret it. Yes, there's some cheesy and eye-rolling moments. And a lot of the movie will require a huge amount of suspension of disbelief. However, with all the things considered (from my top 5), the movie captures the feeling behind the Power Rangers TV show. And that's all that matters.