Power Rangers // American Film Review

Welcome to Queer Fudanshi. Let’s Talk! In this post we’re going to talk about Power Rangers the movie (2017).

The new Power Rangers movie is a film based off of the children’s show of the same name that started in the ’90s.

This new film follows the lives of five troubled teenagers. The story starts with Jason, the star football player in the town of Angel Grove. Jason gets himself in trouble with the law and is sent to permanent Saturday detention as part of his punishment. There he meets Billy who takes him on an adventure. The two are then joined by Kimberly, Trini, and Zack and through a fateful discovery they are tasked with becoming the new power rangers.

Some Thoughts Before The Review:

In this past Weekly Update I talked briefly about the news of Trini being an LGBTQ character. I looked up reviews about the topic from people who’s seen the movie. Either people didn’t talk about Trini’s storyline, talked about it in one sentence, or said that her being gay was completely not important (or even classifying as queer bait). I then reported as such.

That said, I have just come back from the movie and I have some words to say on that matter. (Of course, I’ll talk about the rest of the movie too).

(Also, for those waiting on the Part Time the Series and My Bromance the Series posts, they’ll be up Tuesday and Wednesday).

This is Power Rangers.

Where to Watch:

The film is currently playing in theaters. See if it’s playing in a theater near you.

The Talk (Spoilers Ahead):

In addition to mixed reviews concerning Trini, the film has a lot of mixed reviews in general. Some say that it’s corny, some say that it’s good (but a little corny), some love it. I’m in the middle.

Keep in mind though that I do have a little bias. I loved Power Rangers as a kid. I watched it until I was a little too old to be watching it. Also, my favorite season was In Space, and Andros was my favorite ranger. I didn’t realize until later why that was. (Boy was cute!)

But anyway, let’s talk about the movie.

Adult(ish) Tone

First, I loved that the film has a bit of a darker and edgier tone to it. Basically the set up is the Breakfast Club, but with edgier teens with superpowers. Jason= the athlete, Kimberly= the princess, Billy= the nerd, Zack= the criminal, Trini= the basket case. Though, Zack and Trini don’t fit those personas so well.

Generally, this film felt like a mature, all ages film. The film catered to adults with a serious look at teenage life and at the same time it was approachable to younger viewers. (In fact, my theater was filled with families who took their young kids).

That said, the appeal to younger viewers also made way for a few corny scenes such as an unfortunate hip dance at the end of the zord fight. That said, those moments were far and between for me and only slightly blemished the film.

Adding to that, the film was very action packed and good in that area. From the car chase at the beginning, to the training sequence, to the cake fight (my favorite one), and the fight in the suits. All of it was good.

Characters

As for the characters, my list of favorites go Zack, Billy, Trini, Jason, and Kimberly (with Rita, Zordon, and Alpha being good but not favorites).

Ludi Lin as Zack was great. He was humorous and zanny. Billy was both a great representation for Autistic people and hilarious. He got the most air time (and jokes), so it was hard not to like him. Trini was cool and calm, which made her not much of a noteworthy personality. That said, her LGBT factor and her slight edginess made her more likable than Jason and Kimberely. Jason was pretty bland, but was made to be the hero and thus hard to hate. Then, Kimberely had the least impression on me. I neither hated nor loved her. She was just another part of the group.

In addition, Zordon was very emotional and complicated. That added something very fresh and new to me who’s so used to seeing the godlike, father figure with no fault. Also, Alpha was funny, but was just a little sidekick to the story. Lasly, Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa was pretty spot on. Her act at times may have been a little over-the-top, but I always believed her as the character and as a danger to the rangers.

Trini

Specifically about Trini, in the latest Weekly Update I said that the announcement of her being gay was pretty inconsequential because it wasn’t focused on in the movie.

That said, after seeing the movie I take that back. Yes, her being gay isn’t focused on in the film, but it still is an important part of her.

The scene in which she talks about her sexuality was well written and Becky G, who plays the character, handled it well. It honestly came off as powerful and sincere. She explained that she didn’t get along with her family, mentioned she didn’t want to talk to her family about her relationships, Zack went “boyfriend problems,” she went “yeah, boyfriend problems.” Then there was a pause before Zack went, “Girlfriend problems?”

Again, it was powerful and raw and it really felt significant to the scene and the character. Plus, the fact that they handled this is a family film with several kids in a way that was approachable and not too offensive to those who’d rather not see it… that’s pretty great.

So no, her being gay is not inconsequential and is significant to her story even if it’s not the focus of the film in itself. Not every story with a gay character has to focus on his or her gay life. This works too.

In Conclusion

I enjoyed Power Rangers. It was serious, a little corny, and a lot of fun. I fell in love with Zack, loved to laugh with Billy, respected Jason, and felt a little with Trini. (Oh, and I got along with Kimberley).

I honestly would watch this film again (even if to see more than just Zack, Jason’s shirtless scene, and Trini’s campfire scene). If you like superhero films, teen flicks, or have kids/know kids who’d like this film. Go see it. It’s worth the ticket/buy.

My rating for Power Rangers the movie (2017) is 4 stars out of 5. What’s Yours?

Extra Thoughts

  • No really. I love Zack and Ludi Lin. Give me one (of either… or both).
  • I love that they added little lines from the tv series like, “Ay ay ay,” and “Let my monster grow!”
  • Apparently this is the start of a six movie series (money willing). Would you guys be willing to see all of that?
  • I hope that in future films in this series that Zack and Trini bond as friends and he becomes a sort of support for her. He flirted with her before he knew her story, and I would love for him to be invested in her even if it’s not in a romantic way.