Long ago, in the Cenozoic era, an epic battle was waged for all life on Earth. A group of warriors called the Power Rangers have been betrayed by one of their own – Rita Repulsa – and must stop her from stealing the Zeo Crystal they’ve been tasked with protecting. Zordon – the Red Ranger and the leader – managed to subdue her, but at the cost of his own life. He died burying the coins that are the source of the Rangers’ power, and whispers to them, “Find someone worthy.”

Fast forward to modern-day Angel Grove. Three high school students who normally wouldn’t be in detention find themselves there. Jason Scott pulled a prank that got him caught by the police, and as a consequence, he got kicked off the football team and has been placed under house arrest. Seriously! He has to wear an ankle monitor and everything. Billy Cranston, the school’s biggest nerd, offers to disable the ankle monitor in exchange for a lift to the abandoned mine nearby and some excavation help. They also notice Kimberly Hart, a cheerleader, in detention as well, but she won’t talk about what she did. That night, Jason and Billy run into Kimberly and two other kids, Zack and Trini, and what they discover is about to change their world. Power coins, a spaceship, a man named Zordon talking to them through the walls of said spaceship, even a talking robot, all pointing them to one destiny: they are the new Power Rangers, and they have to defeat the risen Rita Repulsa. Can these five kids – who know nothing about each other, who aren’t even friends – learn to work together to save their town, and the world?

I was a huge fan of the TV show when I was a kid. The Power Rangers were so cool! I haven’t watched the show in a long time, but I remember the campy action, cheesy dialogue, and overall ’90s Saturday morning goodness fondly. The movie did not disappoint in any fashion. Too many superhero movies today try to be dark and gritty, but not Power Rangers. There are serious moments, but overall the tone is light due to the funny dialogue and lovable, relatable characters. The kids are as diverse here as they were in the show (though some of their colors got switched – there’s a joke about that!), and we also see for the first time on screen an autistic and a queer superhero. Though Jason and Kim are star quarterback and cheerleader, respectively, we also see them screw up and try to fix their mistakes. Teens will see themselves in each of these characters. There’s also action aplenty, both of the human and Zord variety, including a bit where they use the original theme song during a fight sequence. I really regret not seeing this movie in theaters for that part alone! Overall, Power Rangers is a fun retake on the original series, with plenty of humor and action.

– Kathleen

Isrealite, Dean. Power Rangers. 2017.