All icing, no cake: Power Rangers should morph into a better movie

Although a rendition of Power Rangers seemed appealing, the result was mediocre.

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Although a rendition of Power Rangers seemed appealing, the result was mediocre.

Grant Wetmore, Opinion Editor

The “Power Rangers” is certainly flashy. You know what else is flashy? A golden pile of shit. If the Power Rangers hold a special place in your heart, then you might want to take a chance and see this movie. If you are looking for a good film playing now in wide release, “Power Rangers” has its moments. If you came for the action, prepare to wait awhile.

“Power Rangers” is a C-rate franchise reboot. It starts out in an uncannily similar way to “The Breakfast Club.” Three outcasts meet in detention. One is a football star who fell from grace. One is a former cheerleader, now the victim of the mean girls. And the third is autistic and constantly bullied. The three wind up in a mine outside their small town of Angel Grove. There they meet a loner who plays by his own rules and a quirky young woman the others call “Crazy Girl.” They find five coins that change them into superheroes overnight. With their new powers, they find a buried spaceship with a robot and a talking wall who reveal to them they are now Power Rangers. The five teenagers must now train together in order to stop Rita, a painfully clichéd villain who plans to steal a life crystal or something.

First, let’s start with what the movie did right. The camerawork was surprisingly expressive for a superhero movie. In the beginning, there is a scene where Jason, the Red Ranger, is running away from the cops in a mascot prank gone horribly wrong. What transpires is a car chase not ordinary car chase. We see it not from outside, but from the backseat of Jason’s truck. As if someone was holding a camera in the back and moving it the way a person would move their head to see what was going on. Unfortunately, this is the only sequence that stood out in a good way. The sad truth is sometimes the camerawork had more action than the fighting itself.

Scenes transition suddenly and without warning. One instance of this jarring switch-up comes after the Power Rangers finish a disappointing day of training. Zack, the Black Ranger, suggests they should have a campout on the mountain. Just as the group is about to set up a cozy campfire, the scene changes to Jason back inside the ship. It’s almost like a crucial segment explaining the change in scenery was lost.

Now, let’s get down to action. If you came to the movie expecting it to be action-packed, you are going to be greatly disappointed. The first quarter of this two hour long movie is exposition. The middle half showed the group in training so they could bond and morph into their iconic armor. It is only in the last quarter of the film they are able to morph and get into some real fighting. Maybe all the real action takes place so late in the game because the studio wanted to save money on special effects. The fighting itself is shallow and without substance. Sure, it’s a step up from a bunch of guys doing flips and tricks in an open field. But at least that was real. The action in “Power Rangers” seems manufactured, almost fake. Zack illustrates this perfectly—every time he lets out a battle cry, it’s the most unconvincing yell ever uttered. It’s as if they ran out of time and went with the best thing they had.

What this movie lacks is zeal. Somewhere along the line, the moviemakers traded that special oomph that made the Power Rangers the Power Rangers. What they got in return was CGI Rangers and dino-robots just through the motions.