Studio: Lionsgate (2 hr. 4 min)
Plot: Five teenagers become the ultimate superhero team to stop a powerful foe.
Cast: Dacre Montgomery, RJ Cyler, Naomi Scott, Ludi Lin, Becky G., Elizabeth Banks, Bill Hader, Bryan Cranston
Bottom Line: ****
By Khaleel Herbert
“Power Rangers” is an epic ride that brings Haim Saban and Shuki Levy’s classic franchise back to the silver screen.
In the city of Angel Grove, California, Jason (Darce Montgomery), the prior football MVP, heads to detention while under house arrest for stealing another school’s mascot. He saves Billy (RJ Cyler), the nerdy kid, from a bully and they get close after Billy reprograms Jason’s house-arrest bracelet.
Jason drives Billy to a mountain, where Billy does some mining for artifacts (his dad was a coalminer). Jason sees Kimberly (Naomi Scott) bathing in a river and they make small talk.
Billy detonates part of the mountain. Jason and Kimberly run to see what happened. Two other teenagers (Ludi Lin, Becky G.) that happened to be in the area, check out the damage. When everyone arrives, they see five crystal stones stuck in the mountain. Each stone is a different color: red, black, blue, yellow and pink.
With security sirens ringing, each teen grabs a stone and they depart together in a van. The next day, they all wake up in their own houses with extraordinary changes that didn’t come from puberty. They have superhuman strength and agility. They decide to return to the mountain, where they fall in a river and set foot on an underground fortress.
Zordon (voice of Bryan Cranston) and Alpha 5 (voice of Bill Hader) welcome the teens, announcing that they are the new Power Rangers, a team of warriors that defend the universe. They learn that they must stop Rita (Elizabeth Banks) before she gets her power-crystal and destroys Angel Grove.
This film adds more depth to the Power Rangers than the previous television shows or movies. These teenagers have their own personalities and struggles that they face every day. Kimberly is a mean girl that struggles to be good. Trini (Becky G.) is the new kid on the block that switched schools every year and has a hard time living to her “normal” families expectations. Zack (Ludi Lin) has to constantly take care of his ailing mother who could die tomorrow. These are real problems that real teenagers face and when these teens train together to become Power Rangers, they learn more about each other and form a tight bond.
The visual effects and action scenes are impressive. The fight scenes between the Power Rangers and Rita’s rock monsters are more convincing than the television shows that showed sparks and steam each time the villain was hit by a Ranger. The Megazord is also impressive in action.
This “Power Rangers” film gives the franchise justice and makes the old television shows and movies look like “Sesame Street.” The action is fresher, the chemistry between the team is authentic and each Ranger is relatable. I look forward to future “Power Ranger” films from Director Dean Israelite.
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Printed in the April 30, 2017 - May 13, 2017 edition