Power Rangers revitalizes childhood nostalgia


Image courtesy of powerrangers.movie

Joanna Yu

Many have taken the memorable formula of Power Rangers to heart: an evil villain sends a unique but strange lackey to wreak havoc upon an unfortunate city, invigorating a team of teenage heroes to suit up, fight the menace and race back to their suburban lives all within a twenty-minute episode length. While the newly released feature film may not follow this formula exactly, I am glad to see the franchise incorporating a more realistic take on its classic design while maintaining the attributes that made the original series memorable.
Power Rangers follows a cast of ordinary high schoolers who go about their everyday lives in the small ficitional town of Angel Grove. All are dubbed as social outcasts, each carrying their own burdens and secrets during their first interactions with each other, but they eventually open up to form a solidified group of heroes. Character development of the main five is limited, with a finite amount background information given to each member. Nonetheless, this exposition is sufficient enough to learn the vital elements of the five and distinguish their personalities without dragging the movie’s already slow first half down too much.
While the main cast of heroes first greet each other in awkward and jagged conversation, they grow to bounce off of each other well — delivering the occasional cheesy line that reminisces the script of the original series. Casting of the five was exceptionally well done, highlighting a diverse team as well as featuring the first autistic and LGBTQ superheroes in a blockbuster film. In addition, Elizabeth Banks’ intense portrayal of villainess Rita Repulsa is striking and memorable in her tonality and actions, nailing the character’s extreme willingness to reach her ultimate goal of world devastation. This intensity is present in every scene she is a part of, posing a flattering contrast to the lionhearted rangers she fights against.
After its borderline snail-paced introduction, Power Rangers invigorates the viewer with a non-stop stream of action that lasts until its somewhat anticlimactic ending. Featuring beautiful and slick redesigns of the Ranger suits and Zords, the training and build up of the plot explodes into combat sequences that sing revelries of the original series. The outrageous strength, perfect formations and iconic slow-motion shots of the Rangers are ever present and paired with the film’s fitting score of rap, hip-hop and dubstep create sequences that are blood-rushing and enjoyable.
Seeing the new Rangers escape a fountain of explosions in their Zords with the original show’s unforgettable opening theme song accompanying them has never made me feel more like the seven-year-old that spent hours watching this iconic series. While the newly released film adaptation is not the perfect action packed 124 minutes I originally envisioned it to be, it was a heartwarming and rewarding coming-of-age story I’ll definitely be seeing again and again.