The Power Rangers are back, and they are pretty badass, even if they have to work a little too hard to prove it. Five teenage outcasts—former football star Jason Scott (Dacre Montgomery, who looks disturbingly like Zac Efron), former cheerleader Kimberly Hart (Naomi Scott), autistic genius Billy Cranston (RJ Cyler) and the more extreme Zack (Ludi Lin) and Trini (Becky G)—meet cute at a typical teen hangout: the local gold mine. The quintet finds some multi-colored coins that lead them to a robot, Alpha 5 (v. Bill Hader), and a floating head named Zordon (Bryan Cranston) that tasks them with defeating the evil Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks).
This Breakfast Club of armor-clad superheroes sells its new product rather effectively to teenage audiences who will not be buying any of the accompanying merchandise; the opening bull-milking gag and the (rather tame) shot of Kimberly swimming in her undies may cut into the toy-buying sub-12 demo.
The script relies too heavily on motivational-poster dialogue (“Be the person you want to be”). Nevertheless, the movie gets high marks for its rather progressive introduction of not only an autistic Ranger but a queer one as well. The FX are not bad either; they are a marked improvement upon previous incarnations of the franchise. Go go see Power Rangers if you want. You certainly could do worse.
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