Power Rangers

Go see it while disguised as an escapee from a mental institution. It beats solitary confinement.

Power RangersI can’t ask for forgiveness, because I clearly don’t deserve it. I have no reasonable excuse for going to see Power Rangers alone other than I wanted to feel like a teenager again. Unfortunately, I must admit that I noticed that I was suffering a sudden attack of acne as I left the theater. Not a pretty site on a 70-year-old man.

On the other hand, I now understand why it did so well at the box office on its opening weekend. In many ways, it is far better than any of the ridiculous Transformer films, and I found it admirable that Director Dean Israelite had the nerve to have totally unknown young actors play our Power Ranger heroes and heroines.

The plot won’t challenge many of you, as it focuses on two accidental discoveries at an excavation site. Five young people discover some small, glowing ancient stones while some fishermen bring to the surface from neighborhood ocean waters an old partially mummified corpse that has preserved a very nasty temper.

In the process, the five teenagers, played by Naomi Scott, R.J. Cyler, Dacery Montgomery, Ludi Lin and Becky G., fall under the guidance of Zordon (Bryan Cranston), an ancient warlord confined to a wall-like fabric in a deep, expansive cave. Our Fabulous Five soon learn that they must become Power Rangers and fight the above-referred to corpse, reinvigorated as the destructive Rita Repulsa. This is a she devil dedicated to finding a valuable buried artifact and destroying life on Earth.

Needless to say, various battles follow, including a climax that is really one of the weaker moments of the entire film. However, two things make this movie worth watching.

The first is the splendid, sarcastic relationship between our Power Rangers. None are popular students, and all have an edge that makes them view life as a waste of time and effort. There are some very funny moments in the process, and you develop a genuine affection for all five of them.

Equally important, this movie works because of the splendid performance of Elizabeth Banks as the absolutely repulsive Rita. Ms. Banks is sensational at every turn, and she does a splendid job playing a woman who is both hot and profoundly hateful.

In any event, this is one of those films that you are much better off taking a teenager with you. I can almost assure you that they will like this blasted thing, and you are likely to be a bit surprised.

The only thing I don’t understand is how they are proposing to make four sequels. Then again, Transformers has continued to make a bundle for Michael Bay despite plowing the same ground, so maybe Power Rangers intends on following that example.