The cinema version of Power Rangers 2017 is no doubt to be a bad movie: flat dialogue, shaky effect and random plot. The movie brings a feeling of it being a combination between a corporate-sponsored ad and music videos that won’t stop intercutting between a couple’s sensuous tickle-fight.
The script is written as if you already know the Power Rangers team’s story. It sprints straight through the basic narrative of five teenagers chosen defend the Zeo Crystal from getting into the hands of space witch Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks). Moreover, we don’t have much a chance to see the iconic suit of the Power Rangers movie. They only get to wear their iconic suits for about 15 minutes. More into that, whoever mixing music for the movie seems to have bills to pay and zero left to give.
In the other hands, none of that may matters since this is a movie about teenagers. One thing that makes Power Rangers surprisingly loveable is that the movie might actually get what teenagers are about. It’s successful in portraying the generation that has seen it all, received nothing but disdain, yet always finds a way to get their kicks. This is a movie that’s dripping with that same mix of world-weary irony and bare emotion that’s come to characterize the modern adolescent experience.
The dialogue may be basic, but the half-smirk it’s delivered with makes you unsure who exactly in the cast is or isn’t messing with you. Their first reaction to entering a giant spaceship in which Zordon comes as a giant head leering out of the walls is to comment “Is this a joke?” since in in 2017, you can never sure whether what you’re experiencing is real or just some kind of elaborate YouTube prank.
Power Rangers 2017’s savior is its own knowingness, its own touch of self-reflective cynicism. The makings of cult adoration lie in that little touch of sincerity. In fact, the movie’s use of said have perfectly exemplifies that it is both the most blatant and also strangely effective product placement Hollywood has ever seen in a fairly long time. All happens because it commits to the practice with the kind of side eye to its own shamelessness that sees Banks plainly call the establishment “the source of life”. And, thus, a meme was born.
A lot of the pre-release press for the film has focused on the diversity of the team in terms of race, sexuality, and in representing those on the autism spectrum. There are plenty of discussions to be hand on how effective each of these representations plays out. The new kind of millennial are the most desired of traits, where the team finds itself led by a, for lack of a better word, ‘woke jock’ who stands up for his classmates and tries to initiate campfire sharing lessons.
Finally, as cheesy or patronizing as that may inevitably come off to some, there’s also something wonderful about it. In an era where people do nothing but denigrate teenagers as the death of all goodness or selfie-loving snowflake, it’s nice to see a mainstream Power Rangers 2017 movie actually believe in the capabilities of its intended audience.