Dean Israelite manned the camera for the reboot of the 1990’s children’s phenomenon Mighty Morphing Power Rangers. Mighty Morphing Power Rangers was an American television show that rocked the airwaves in the early 90’s and continues to draw the attention of kids today. Dubbed Power Rangers, the reboot follows five wayward teens as they uncover an alien technology, band together, and form the Power Rangers.
Dean Israelite, of Chronicle fame, directs this campy special effect extravaganza.
The film stars Bryan Cranston as the leader of the Power Rangers, Zordon and Elizabeth Banks as the sinister villain Rita Repulsa. Bill Hader also appears as the voice of the Rangers helpful robot Alpha 5. The Power Rangers themselves round out the cast and provide for the films diversity. Dacre Montgomery is the team’s leader Jason, the red ranger and is accompanied by Naomi Scott playing Kimberly, the pink ranger. The diversity begins to show itself in the casting of the black ranger Ludi Lin, a rising Asian films star. The film also features Becky G. as the Latina yellow ranger and RJ Cyler as the black blue ranger.
Power Rangers has always been a diverse property and has sported a multi-racial cast since its beginnings in America in 1993. RJ Cyler is the most diverse character in this new series and introduces a new dynamic to the show, autism. The character of Billy the blue ranger reveals himself as being “on the spectrum” and says his brain doesn’t; work the same as the other rangers. Becky G. provides more diversity as the Latina yellow ranger. As we learn more about the rangers and the issues they struggle with we learn that Trini, the hostile loner of the team, is hiding a secret. Around the campfire, Trini confesses that she is a lesbian and that her parents don’t support her or her lifestyle and leans on her fellow rangers for support.
Despite some small continuity issues and an over reliance on the tropes of John Hughes the film is well constructed. Elizabeth Banks performed fantastically as Rita Repulsa and played her with a beautiful campy splendor that sent my inner child crawling up a wall. The films biggest flaw is in its pacing. While individual action scenes are scattered throughout the film the rangers themselves do not really hit their stride until the final act of the film. The rangers take far too long achieve their power.
The training sequences that punctuated the early parts of the film became redundant and flat as the story progressed. Even the promise of what was to come, with the early unveiling of the Zords or the tease of the super suits, was not enough to stop the second act of this film from feeling overwhelmingly sluggish. The film even featured a few cameos of popular characters from the original series. Power Rangers opened with a $40 million weekend and is currently over 75 million domestically. “Power Rangers” is a decent origin story for what will be an exciting franchise for kids. “Go, Go, Power Rangers!”