Released on the 24th of March, the Power Rangers movie was oddly serious in its cinematic portrayal of the long running TV series. With Dacre Montgomery starring as former football player, and leader of the Rangers, Jason Scott, the story revolves around a group of ragtag teenagers that, brought together due to bad circumstance, have to figure themselves and each other out in order to become a team capable of saving their small fishing town from the brink of destruction. Despite some of the mixed reviews it received, the movie deserves a solid 3.5/5.
Although the TV series it was based off has a much more lighthearted and childish nature, the movie takes a much more serious edge, which honestly makes it much more enjoyable to a wider range of viewers. With it’s cool costumes and dino fighting bots, the movie retains enough elements to keep the interest of children while it’s characterization and humor can also draw in a much older demographic. The writing is clever and, while many of the more mature jokes may fly over some kids’ heads, it doesn’t have to dip into dirty humor in order to do it. The serious elements are also seen in the characterization, which is both mature in the way it does it, but also enjoyable for anyone to watch. From the get go, with both humor and the way their written, the audience is made to care about what happens to these kids. Each one of them has dealt with their own struggles, both in school and in their personal lives, and it shows an honest look into how, despite each of them having to find themselves once again, they find their belonging in one another. Throughout the story it is clear these once drawn off kids are beginning to trust and care about each other when, if not brought together by being rangers, may have never been given a chance to know each other. When one of the members of their gang of misfits is hurt, the ripple effect that it has on each of them is clear and the audience can’t help but sympathize.
Another rather unexpected element of the story was the amount of diversity seen. Not only was their a good balance of representation in casting – with the majority of the leading characters being people of color – but race isn’t the only representation offered. The blue Ranger, a black boy named Billy, stated from the very beginning that he was on the autism spectrum, but not once is it played off as a joke and it came as a shock to see an honest portrayal of how someone with autism acts throughout the movie. It wasn’t just a throw away characteristic seen in only one or two scenes, nor did it dip into the stereotype of ‘childish white boy really into trains.’ While Billy does things differently from the rest of his peers and it shows, it never once takes away from his contribution to his team nor does his team accept him any less. Billy is clearly and equal to all the others, allowed to babble and stim like someone with autism would honestly do, and it’s so important for any teen or child affected with autism to have such a good example of how someone affected by it can be a superheros too. But this isn’t the only amount of reputation given. Trini, the yellow ranger, is a young gay girl coming to terms with herself and the fact that it is in a movie angled for children makes it all the more surprising. Not only is it great to see more queer representation, but is also helps show that some girls want to have girlfriends and that’s totally okay.
Despite stemming from a children’s show, the Power Rangers movies is one that can be enjoyed by all ages because of its witty writing and great cast of characters. Although it is leaving theaters soon, it’s definitely a movie worth renting and enjoying with friends and family.