I’ve broken my rule again.
It’s not the first time, but it is happening more frequently and it will continue to happen, especially next February.
I’ve gone and seen a movie opening weekend. And in this particular instance, not just opening weekend, but on it’s first full day of being in theaters.
But I had a duty. I am not afforded the luxury of claiming to be an old school Power Rangers aficionado and not seeing the first Power Rangers movie in 20 years, and a rebooted effort of the original record breaking series. I had to be there to see this in a crowded theater filled with Crenshaw’s finest throwing racial slurs around over assigned seats.
I was not disappointed. I didn’t really go into this film with many expectations. I reserved much of my judgment as details came out, not really feeling one way or another. Each piece of footage that emerged looked promising, but it all needed to be seen in the overall context of the film and I am satisfied with the result. My relatively spoiler free thoughts:
- I enjoyed the more serious tone of this film: I’ve been hearing that quite a healthy amount of people were disappointed that the movie wasn’t as campy as the original series and that it took itself too seriously. I’m thankful it wasn’t. As much as a fan I am of the show, I do realize that the goofiness is off-putting enough to make rewatches of the show a bit tough , and I’m mad goofy. This could be due to something else though.
- The character development was phenomenal: Back in 1993, when the original MMPR premiered, Zordon, who also got way more backstory in three minutes than he did in the entire first season, just asked for five teenagers with attitude, and he pulled the original five from out of the Youth Center and into the Command Center. We saw the jock, the cool Black guy, the nerd, the gymnast and the nice one become Rangers with little knowledge about what really made them tick, or why their attitudes made them suitable to be Rangers. This film devotes a good amount of time to establishing who these characters are and what makes them tick. We also get quite a few characteristics that, while mentioned, do not take up a bulk of the conversation. The entire cast did an excellent job with what they had and the chemistry was solid. With that being said…
- BILLY!!!!!: 2017 Billy was way more likable than 1993 Billy. Nobody wanted to be 1993 Billy back when we were kids. 1993 Billy, while an essential member of the team due to his tech savvy mind (and trust me, half of the Power Rangers’ equipment wouldn’t have worked without Billy’s know how), the fact is that Billy was the nerd and we weren’t kind to nerds in 1993. Didn’t help that the actor playing Billy looked like he was too old to be in high school also. But I’m not here to dump all over 1993 Billy, I’m here to praise 2017 Billy. They managed to make him look competent in other areas outside of intelligence. He held held his own, and he was at the forefront of much of the plot of the film. His condition wasn’t a hindrance at all. I want to adopt RJ Cyler as my little brother, how do we make that happen?
- Sequels: Let’s not act like they don’t have sequels on their mind, soon as the reboot was announced you already knew they had plans to extended this into a franchise. The ending leaves the avenues open. I’m glad that they didn’t Marvel Rita Repulsa (who also had a hell of a performance). A mid credits scene gave us a sign of things to come. Considering the trajectory the original series went, the thought of Lord Zedd, the Alien Rangers and the Machine Empire (if they decide to upgrade the powers to the Zeo Rangers) making an appearance in future installments is enough to make my heart palpitate.
- The nostalgia: If I were still an everyday drinker I would’ve smuggled a flask into the film and took a shot every single time they referenced the original series in some way. There are enough references that would’ve given me a nice buzz and satisfied long time fans, although there were some references that I wish they would’ve included, but maybe in due time.
Overall, I would give this film 3 1/2 out of 5 Putties.
Have you seen the film? Drop your thoughts in the comments below. Haven’t seen it yet? Then get thee to a theater post haste. Power Rangers is in theaters now.