Warning: Light spoilers if you didn’t see Saban’s Power Rangers
March was the beginning of the year’s Superhero takeover. After Logan it was natural for another hero movie to hit the silver screen. It came in the form of Saban’s Power Rangers.
“Saban’s Power Rangers was a warm delight—a clean mix of nostalgia and originality.”
Although there was a hint of “awkward” here and there, this edition of Power Rangers is one of the best so far.
Saban’s Power Rangers follows a rebooted tale of five troubled teenagers and their journey to find themselves. Jason Scott (Dacre Montgomery), Angel Grove High quarterback, ends up in Saturday school after stealing a mascot and wrecking a car. There, he meets Billy Cranston (RJ Cylar), an autistic genius, and Kimberly Hart (Naomi Scott), a former cheerleader. They quickly develop an acquaintance as Billy deactivates Jason’s house arrest bracelet.
Zack and Trini are Angel Grove High students hanging out in the woods. Along with Jason, Billy, and Kimberly, they discover the Power Coins, Alpha 5, and Zordon. Zordon shows them the terrifying Rita Repulsa and her plan to use Goldar, a giant monster, to destroy Angel Grove.
Jason becomes the Red Ranger and, as a result, leader of the team. The teens have 11 days to morph into their armor and stop Repulsa.
What’s Different about ‘Saban’s Power Rangers?’
One of my favorite qualities of the film is the diversity. Power Rangers always had a somewhat diverse cast, but never an autistic or lesbian character. This new Rangers reboots the universe well; although the characters have the same names, they’re different in qualities.
RJ Cylar’s Billy Cranston is humorous. This Billy is black, adding a little spunk and character to him. It also removes the “black ranger is black” awkward quality.
Saban’s Power Rangers emphasizes friendship on another level. The “troublemaker” editions of the original characters characterize their bond a lot better. It allows them to cross paths in a way that makes sense, but it also displays a struggle. Their armor won’t surround them unless they trust each other and bond.
Zordon and Repulsa both got great revamps. Instead of simply being a mentor figure, Zordon is the first Red Ranger. Meanwhile, Rita Repulsa is the first Green Ranger and betrayed her former team, causing Zordon to seek help. Their roles as former Rangers adds a degree of relatability for the new team.
Alpha 5 was… Alpha. Not quite as goofy as I remember, but he was funny enough to fill the role.
At times it was hard for me to grasp Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks). BGR‘s Kevin Oliver hit the nail on the head when he referred to Rita feels “completely out of left field.” While Repulsa is a great character nonetheless, it feels like she doesn’t belong.
The main characters are humorous teenagers, and Rita just seems over-the-top. In comparison to her 90’s counterpart, I wouldn’t have minded a more goofy Repulsa. However, Banks portrayal of a super villain was fantastic, and for most of the movie, I love Repulsa’s character.
References to ‘Might Morphin Power Rangers’
Jason David Frank and Amy Jo Johnson, the White and Pink Rangers, make an appearance in the film. It was a nice homage to the originals. The theme, Go-Go Power Rangers, also plays during a scene, ramping up the excitement for the film. And Jason says what we all wanted him to say…
“It’s Morphin Time.”
Watch the Rangers take on Rita Repulsa in theaters now.