Out Now On-Demand
Together we are more.
The director of Project Almanac takes on a modern version of the '90s action series about a group of teens who find a mysterious source of power. Co-stars Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games) as Rita Repulsa, Bill Hader (Trainwreck) as Alpha 5, and Bryan Cranston (Trumbo) as Zordon.
- Dean Israelite('Project Almanac')
Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Rating: M Violence
A modern Power Rangers movie? I think I heard more rolling eyes than pumping fists when that was first announced. However, unlike most of the reboots that have recently flooded cinemas, the Mighty Morphin teenagers have never taken a break since the ‘90s, staying relevant on TV in Wild Force, DinoThunder, and Ninja Steel. (Don’t worry, I have never heard of those things either.) So a big blockbuster film is more justified than other remade properties. Director Dean Israelite, who almost made a good movie out of Project Almanac, almost makes a good movie out of this feature. He and his team get about 50% there, which might be good enough for some. But one person’s “glass half full” is another person’s “fully half assed.”
In a bold move, the film dedicates most of its two-hour running time developing its characters. They each have their own secrets and troubles that make them more than just ‘the jock’ or ‘comic relief’. One is caring after a dying relative. Another isn’t accepted for their sexuality. It’s a good start, but the film doesn’t capitalise on these setups, rendering these complex issues into mere bumper stickers. At least the cast is culturally diverse, though their leader is still the white guy (looking and acting like the beta test version of Chris Pine).
Unlike, say, Guardians of the Galaxy, Power Rangers can’t fit five origin stories into one. With a decent punch-up writer, the script could have relieved the stark seriousness of the story in order to make it work with the silliness of seeing superheroes in brightly coloured onesies karate chopping through rock aliens and an evil Elizabeth Banks in a feral Ferngully cosplay. Unfortunately, it doesn’t, and the mix feels as awkward as hearing the original Power Rangers theme followed immediately by Kanye West. (Yes, this actually happens.)
The Guardian (UK)
Little White Lies
Stuff.co.nz (James Croot)