By: Megan Schmit
My friend convinced me to see the Power Rangers movie this weekend, despite the fact my knowledge of the franchise consisted of vague memories from age five. I was wary of the film and expecting it to be as hokey as the show from my childhood. In many ways, it was, but it also shocked audiences with some moments that explained why the rating had been pushed to PG-13.
Let’s begin with the darker moments, or at least darker ones compared to the showy violence I remember from the daytime program on TV. We had a lot more controversial character backgrounds – a young boy taking care of his sick, dying mother; an autistic genius who wanted to connect with his dead father; and a girl struggling with her sexuality in a conservative family.
Then, alongside darkness, there was some humor that jumped from appeals to kid viewers and attempts at placating adults. The life-source crystal being hidden in the Krispy Kreme, I’ll admit, made me laugh, but other randomly placed crude humor made me cringe. *Cough* Like the start of the film with the cow prank scene… I won’t go into detail, but let’s just say I saw the backlit image of a certain male bovine part I never wanted to see. To be honest, while the darker themes of the characters were refreshing and intriguing for an adult viewer, the misplaced humor was sorely distracting.
Now let’s talk about the hokey-ness, which defined the last third of the film. There’s the choreographed fight scene with rock monsters and the classic Power Rangers theme playing when they charge into battle to save the world and protect the crystal. It devolved back into the show of my childhood, in all its kitschy glory.
I know this review is all over the place, but in essence, that is how I felt Saban’s Power Rangers was. Was it a film for kids – a loving reboot? Or a film for adults, who wanted to see a grown up version of their childhood favorite? This critic agreed – the film lacked focus.