Prove your humanity

With such a cult following of young and nostalgic viewers, the new Power Rangers film had big shoes to fill in the eyes of its audience. The long and the short of it: it met these high expectations and more. And in case you’re worried, this review is completely spoiler free.

As a reboot taking mostly from the source materials of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers—the 1993 TV series, and the 1995 film of the same name—the film had the task to set up an origin story for new viewers, which it did in the opening shots. Less than a minute into the movie, we are introduced to the idea of the lineage of Rangers, with the title being passed down from team to worthy team. We’re also introduced to a familiar antagonist of the franchise, Rita Repulsa—this time with a look updated from her original 20th century fantasy costume.

Then we begin to slowly meet this generation’s Rangers, taking a leaf from the DinoThunder series by bringing together teenagers of all different backgrounds, all outsiders in their own right, who are proven worthy of their new-found titles. The film develops every one of them three-dimensionally, taking care to not prioritise any over the others, which is especially refreshing with autistic and LGBT characters in the mix. Each Ranger goes through their struggles in their own time, and each has having strengths they can bring to the team.

Reboots, of course, should never leave behind fans of their source material, and Power Rangers does not disappoint in this regard. Old fans of the franchise will recognise references ranging from as blatant as a revamped theme song to costume choices referencing the actors from the 90s; even the déjà vu you feel when the Rangers fight a horde of enemies in a quarry shows just how invested the creators are in the franchise. Not only that, but the film recognises the era a lot of its fans grew up in, with obvious references to The Breakfast Club and the Transformers franchise –  I even found myself wondering if I was crazy to think that Rita’s costumes felt to be influenced by Xena: Warrior Princess.

Even the technical aspects of the film were practically flawless. The jukebox soundtrack that included a wide range of music from Kanye West to Destiny’s Child to a cover of a Johnny Cash song, all interspersed with orchestral mood music we’ve come to expect from blockbuster movies; plus a completely unexpected and awesome electronic riff as we see the morphed Rangers for the first time. I couldn’t fault the special effects if I tried, given the detail that went into the design of the Ranger suits, among other things – it’s almost impossible, even for the trained eye, to spot where the suit they put on actors ends and the CGI suit begins.

And I can’t finish this review without mentioning that, true to its origins, this film creates a believable reality and heightens it – not to the point of ridiculous that was common in the 90s, but it invites you to experience something fantastical with your whole self. With no less than four cars totalled in slow motion and countless small town restaurants trashed, the spectacle of this movie is amazing. Walking out of the cinema, I felt like I was part of something so much bigger than myself, and as cheesy as that sounds, this movie invites you to open yourself up and experience these struggles, no matter on what scale, right alongside the characters.

In short, I can’t fault this movie. It is excellent as a reboot of a classic series, bringing in new viewers while also giving old fans nostalgia in the familiarity of the film. The characters are a rounded and well-written diverse group of misfits; and the film is technically fantastic, a truly huge blockbuster film that doesn’t disappoint on any front.

Power Rangers is in cinemas now.