Power Rangers

Power Rangers is nothing but a silly attempt at grabbing a slice of the market share in superhero films.

You know Hollywood is running out of ideas when a hallmark TV series is made into a big screen production, and then recycled and redecorated with a bigger budget for a new generation. That’s perfectly acceptable with franchises like the Jurassic Park films, where sequels are released every decade or so and aimed at a specific cluster of the audience. Power Rangers, on the other hand, has no idea who its target audience is and here’s probably why: a suit from Lionsgate (yes, Lionsgate) green-lit the reboot even as the TV series is still being aired, hired screenwriters who wrote superhero films like X-Men: First Class and producers from the Transformers franchise, then hired unknown actors and a newbie director before ending up with a PG-13 fiasco that’s neither here nor there.

At just over 120 minutes, it’s highly unlikely this film will grab and hold the attention of children, whereas anyone over 40 expecting a glorious heist or scandalous bachelor party is in for the wrong film. This leaves us with older teens widely known as the YA crowd (young adults).  Now here’s the caveat: Back in the early ‘90s, superheroes films were limited to one-off appearances a year. 25 years later and there are no less than five superhero films a year (this year we have six including one animation) from stalwart studios with an ever increasing budget and fan base.  Yet as a superhero origins film, the new Power Rangers film simply doesn’t stack up to the expectations of the general audience, let alone teenagers who expect nothing but cutting edge effects in a mega bucks franchise.

So while lacking a target audience, the bigger question is why a reboot after more than 20 years? Cashing in on the current superhero culture seems like an obvious motive, but the disparity in production quality is even more obvious from the opening scene right through to the end. Except for some campy moments from Elizabeth Banks as a gold digging alien witch (How’s Rita Repulsa for camp?) there is no other character worth caring about, not even the titular high school misfits who discover extraordinary abilities but are too dumb to figure out their purpose as a team of intergalactic warriors. Sadly, Power Rangers turns out to be a cinematic misfire that should have gone straight to TV. But even then, titles from Netflix and Amazon Studios far outweigh this debacle whose only purpose appears to be a disappearing act in your wallet.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

About Lloyd Bayer

Besides his passion for travelling, photography and scuba diving, Lloyd is a prolific film critic having contributed hundreds of film reviews to web and print journals, including IMDb and local daily Khaleej Times.