ByFranco Gucci, writer at
I'm an avid movie fan whose favorite movie ever is Back to the Future. I'm the type of person that if I like a TV show, I'll binge watch it
Franco Gucci

After a nail-biting waiting period for the movie to arrive, it's finally here. Given the signature cheesiness of the source material, thousands of fans wondered if the Ranger's big-budget adaptation would manage to surpass expectations and become a franchise that could be accepted by people of all ages.

Well, the reviews are finally in. And while it's best for you to form your own opinion, we can't deny they're the best way to give us an idea of a film's strengths and weaknesses before we go into the theater. So how did Power Rangers fare in its first reviews? It's reviewin' time!

The Good

[Credit: Lionsgate]
[Credit: Lionsgate]

First, let's get into the positive:

"For longtime fans, the newest installment preserves some of the most beloved characteristics of the original franchise [...] Screenwriter John Gatins succeeds in effectively distilling the Power Rangers' sprawling mythology into a manageable scope [...]

These teens are more three-dimensional than their Ranger predecessors, but eventually this repetitive effort to emphasize their relatability becomes so heavy-handed as to appear transparently manipulative [...] Israelite [...] orchestrates a vastly more complex array of characters, action set pieces and technical resources for a combined effect that maintains dramatic tension even while teetering on the brink of excess."

"'Power Rangers' does make some of the mistakes found in less successful origin story reboots, mainly in spending too much time getting to what audiences came to see. But it does work as an engaging teen coming-of-age drama [...]Maybe the movie shouldn’t work, but it more or less does.

"This is an interesting attempt to craft a grounded and character-driven adaptation, one that successfully blends genre with larger-than-life superhero spectacle. [...] At its best, 'Power Rangers' is a throwback to the likes of 'Masters of the Universe' and the first 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' movie. It’s from a time when getting a darker, more serious big-budget feature based on your favorite kid-friendly property, one that felt like a real film, was a rare and splendid thing."

"The best thing that can be said about 2017’s 'Power Rangers' [...] is that it doesn’t ever feel like it betrays the core values of the Power Rangers franchise [...]

[Credit: Saban]
[Credit: Saban]

Make no mistake, this 'Power Rangers' is still just as campy and cheesy as the original 'Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers', but it just looks much better than that early ’90s version could ever be.

[The film] likely won’t do much for those who never liked the property in the first place. But for those who grew up with it [...] it provides the kind of passionate, loving reboot that we very rarely see from the studio system nowadays - one that goes deeper into its mythology without ever losing the camp element that made it so much fun in the first place."

"Equal parts John Hughes and 'Justice League', 'Power Rangers' is a campy yet enjoyable romp that honors its roots while carving out a place for this charismatic new generation of heroes that should make longtime fans and newcomers proud [...]

One of the most surprising aspects of this film [...] is how well it's put together. 'Power Rangers' doesn't break any new ground with its three-act structure, but Israelite regularly employs some genuinely impressive camerawork, and there are several sequences in the film that stand out for their inventiveness. 'Power Rangers' [is] a good origin story that sets up a potentially even better franchise."

"'Power Rangers' is baloney through and through, but as baloney goes, it’s better than you might expect. It packs enough zing to make you forgive the origin-story clichés [...] It’s a testament to these five actors and their collective charisma that they not only breathe real life into underwritten, cookie-cutter characters but also wind up being more interesting as regular teens then they are as color-coded superheroes. [...]

The Rangers discovering their powers [Credit: Lionsgate]
The Rangers discovering their powers [Credit: Lionsgate]

There’s plenty about 'Power Rangers' that could have been improved, from the selection of the film’s least interesting (yet whitest) character as team leader to the clunky world-building that happens in any movie that’s thirsty for sequels. But the film has plenty of interesting little touches [...]

"If 'Power Rangers' took a few more risks or elaborated on some of the mythology it hints at, it might be a more satisfying movie with wider appeal. But at the very least, younger audiences looking for a baggage-free superhero franichse to call their own or those just looking for a big helping of nostalgia with their popcorn could do a lot worse. This probably isn't the movie that "legitimizes" Power Rangers among people who feel they need validation from critics. But longtime Power Rangers fans will genuinely love this movie, which never resorts to self-mockery and (villain problems aside) doesn't talk down to its audience."

While these aren't declaring Power Rangers as a modern classic, it definitely gives it pointers. So if you enjoyed that, strap in to your Zords, because it's time to move on.

The Not-So-Great

[Credit: Lionsgate]
[Credit: Lionsgate]

Now, we need to enter an area we rarely wish to step into when delving into the critiques of a movie we are particularly looking forward to...

"Power Rangers isn’t a bad movie, but it is confused. It finds its strength in the main cast, but Israelite doesn’t know what kind of movie he wants to make. [The movie] doesn’t feel confident enough to rest on its own merits, instead choosing to drop random references to the series. It feels out of place, and like most of the movie, hopeful that something will stick [...]

'Power Rangers' is a series of bad decisions broken up with decent moments of adorable interactions between the Rangers and Banks’ Repulsa, but those moments are few and far in-between."

"The minds behind Power Rangers were clearly influenced by every other successful reboot in the last 10 years, especially 'Star Trek', and that film’s ability to add gravitas and hipness to a franchise general audience equated with low production values and hammy acting [...] What else would you do with a 20-year-old TV series that didn’t have much of anything to say besides 'go to school and be loyal to your friends' but cram as many stylistic references to successful films as possible?

If fealty to the source is enough for you, you’ll find 'Power Rangers' to be a satisfying film [...] For the rest of us, [the movie] offers a tedious origin story that wipes out the unintentional comedy and cheap thrills that made the series so popular two decades ago."

"'Power Rangers' only somewhat lives up to its nostalgia trip. It takes about 90 minutes of angsty teen-superhero origin story before it figures out that, hey, it’s a Power Rangers movie and therefore requires the most ridiculous action-movie climax in recent memory [...] There’s an admirable commitment to absurdity, yet it belies the thoughtful coming-of-age journey for the five teens up until they hit 'morphin time.' [...]

Anybody who screamed 'Go, go, Power Rangers!' as a kid will find all their favorite things still here, and the movie is a serviceable introduction to a new generation who want to check out cinematic superheroes without 'Marvel' in the credits. For everyone else? Hope you take your Zords with a large helping of cheese."

"After 90 minutes of hip and hollow teen banter, woefully generic origin story, and molehill-posing-as-mountain-size triumph [...] 'Power Rangers' finally uncorks one of those high-flying digital-blitzkrieg action finales that was mocked in 'Birdman' as the essence of blockbuster decadence. It is indeed, but to put it in movie-junk-food terms: Just because you know a sequence like this one is bad for you doesn’t mean that it’s not fun to watch.

What it can’t cover up is that the characters in 'Power Rangers' have all the depth and idiosyncrasy of walking talking robo-teen action figures. [...] The irony is that 25 years ago, 'MMPR' was launched as superhero fodder for kids, and there was indeed a place for it, but we’re now so awash in superhero culture that kids no longer need the safe, lame, pandering junior-league version of it."

So, now that you've looked at the reviews, you might be wondering...

Is 'Power Rangers' The Reinvigoration Of The Franchise Lionsgate Was Hoping For?

[Credit: Lionsgate]
[Credit: Lionsgate]

Short answer: Yes. From the look of things, Power Rangers will most likely not go down as one of the most memorable modern superhero films out there, but that's not to say it will not reenergize the already popular franchise.

So far, reviews are nowhere near as bad as doubters of the property expected. The overall consensus seems to be that the movie delivers on its promise of being a fun adventure that, while cheesy at times, perfectly captures the tone that made Power Rangers so distinctive.

See Also:

While good reception is no indication of a sequel, a relatively positive critical response can significantly influence a film's box office earnings (you know, unless you are Transformers). That's great news for Saban and Lionsgate, who, after trying to craft their own successful superhero franchise, seem to have achieved it.

[Credit: Lionsgate]
[Credit: Lionsgate]

What did you think of the Power Rangers reviews? Will you be watching the film opening day? Let me know in the comments!


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