I cannot believe I would ever admit it: I loved the new Power Rangers movie.
I remember being twelve years old, the age where kids are decidedly “too cool” for alot of things they liked one or two years earlier, and having to watch the three boys I babysat for watch Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers on Saturday mornings, complete with re-enactments of what they watched (how violent of them!). Not only that, I saw the original feature film with them (thankfully not in a movie theater), and also played the Super Nintendo game with them. I hated the colorful-suited Rangers, the hokey fight scenes (I always had the sneaking suspicion those scenes were not from that show!), and especially that damn theme song. OMG, that theme song. When I heard it at a dance recital in 1995, I was impressed by the acrobatic abilities of the younger girls dancing to it, but that theme song drove me nuts.
Years later, as an adult, I was watching the show Flashpoint and starting giggling when I saw that one the SRU team members was none other than Kimberly, aka “The Pink Ranger.”
Again, no lie.
In the ensuing twenty-one years after I declared my absolute not love for the television series, the behemoth of a franchise it spawned, and that stupid theme song…I saw the preview for the upcoming movie during the winter and realized I was going to have to suck it up and see it.
Trailers, as we all know, can be deceiving. They show us what is the best of the movie, only for the actual film to disappoint us immensely. It happens to the best of us – we go in with expectations higher than we should have, drop hard-earned money, and leave wondering where the last (insert number here) hours went. I’ve seen movies (thankfully, at home) where I’ve lost track of time. It is nothing new to me. I was skeptical over the trailer for this movie, figuring there was no way it was going to be any good. It’s the Power Rangers, I told myself. I hated that cheesy show. Why would I like a movie about a franchise I hated as a kid?
Expectations be damned. I loved this movie!
The story of five teenagers, all with different lives and stories, coming together to create a cohesive team whose newfound bond will be put to the test, turns out to be a story worth seeing. The earliest scenes remind me of a nostalgic favorite, The Breakfast Club, and it is ultimately where we meet three of our heroes – Jason, the star quarterback who is under house arrest after a school prank goes horribly wrong (also injuring him in the process), Kimberly, a once-popular girl who texted a photo of a friend to a guy and ruined her reputation, and Billy, whose lunchbox exploded in his locker. We also meet Zack Taylor, a teen who cares for his sick mom on his own, and Trini, a loner who doesn’t desire to conform, much to her parents’ (well, her mom’s) disappointment. Oh, and did I mention this movie has a hero on the autism spectrum (Billy) and that Trini is homosexual? I didn’t? No. Because labeling isn’t necessary, but it was mentioned, so I have to mention it.
After tripping Jason’s house arrest ankle monitor, Billy tells Jason that he is on the spectrum, which Jason doesn’t understand. And quite frankly, it doesn’t matter either. The movie proved that no matter what your ability, background, or your past, it can be overcome. Having seven years’ worth of experience seeing how intellectual disabilities are more than just labels, I loved that element of the film. I also love that five people with nothing in common and unlikely as anything to thrive as a team and succeed. The film is symbolic of life and life struggles (not the hashtag, but actual struggles).
This movie is not – I repeat, not- the TV shows that inspired it. Sure, it has its cheesy elements (Rita Repulsa, anyone? I remember abhoring that character’s voice when I used to forcibly watch this!), but the cheese is balanced by a plot that isn’t hard on the eyes and soul, the action is equally balanced with the non-action, and what we get is a well, I’ll admit, good movie.
I liked the trailer, but I reserved my expectations. I don’t like to get my hopes up with some movies for the fear of a let down, but this movie exceeded my expectations in the biggest way. It was a win, and that makes me so happy.
Oh, and Elizabeth Banks plays over-the-top perfectly, there are a few cameos, Bill Hader and Bryan Cranston are in this (win win!), and you’ll want to stick around for the credits.
Do me a favor if you are on the fence about seeing it, but like superhero-style movies. See it. Just do it. It is a little cheesy, but give it a chance. It will surprise you. It surprised me, which is not a first. Considering the last seven years (and especially the last two!) of my life have involved defying expectations and expanding my interests, my twelve-year-old self, way back in 1995, would never believe who this adult is.
I’d love to tell her she was a geek then too.
Go on, give in and see it. And then tell me how it surprised you too. 🙂