Power Rangers: A nostalgic film without the original’s charm

The first Power Rangers film in 20 years takes itself too seriously

Over the past few years, nostalgia has taken over the film industry. The TV shows and movies millennials grew up with in the 90s and late 80s have been adapted and revamped for a new generation of moviegoers, as well as the original fans who never sold their VHS cassettes.

This new trend in cinema has led to inconsistent results, from hits such as the much-loved live-action adaptation of The Jungle Book, to misses such as the hardly watchable Jem and the Holograms, both released last year.

This wave of adaptations and reboots shows no signs of stopping, as Beauty and the Beast had great box-office results during its release last week. This film was quickly followed by Power Rangers, another film riding the wave of 90s nostalgia.

The last Power Rangers movie dates back 20 years, and therefore, this latest installment devotes its first half to explaining the origin story of the main characters to benefit the general public who is not familiar with the storyline. The Power Rangers are a group of rowdy teenagers who come together to form an unlikely team. They have to learn to work together and embrace their differences to fight a supernatural villain. During their quest to become great fighters, they learn to overcome the obstacles they face in their lives. The characters have a good sense of humour, and the actors have great chemistry as a unit.  Moreover, Elizabeth Banks’ performance as Rita Repulsa is extremely enjoyable as she completely loses herself in the character to become a campy supervillain.

The set of teenage characters resembles The Breakfast Club formula of having a character who encompasses a different stereotype. There is a cheerleader, a football star and even the “new girl.” This dates the film terribly, as screenwriters have not used this writing trope seriously in a while. What is surprising about this movie is the lack of action scenes, as the first two thirds are character-driven. The main issue with the lack of action sequences is that a Power Rangers movie shouldn’t take itself seriously.

The directors missed an opportunity by not embracing how ridiculous the original TV series was. By taking itself too seriously, the film loses its flavour. Even if there are a few fight scenes, they are poorly executed and the visuals are not aesthetically pleasing. There is a problem with the film’s tone, as its serious approach does not mesh with its cartoon-inspired fight scenes.

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