I am not the biggest Power Rangers fan in the world. I secretly enjoyed watching the original series when I was in junior high, but quickly bowed out some time after the Green Ranger showed up. Since the original series there have been countless iterations and so many different Zords. I have no desire to watch any Power Rangers television shows, but I have been on board with the Power Rangers movie since the beginning.
I was very entertained by Power Rangers. The story was serviceable, the characters had decent chemistry and the final battle was a lot of fun. The movie did a good job developing the characters of Jason, Billy and Kimberly at the expense of Zack and Trini. I actually cared about the Red, Blue and Pink Rangers, but the Black and Yellow Rangers seemed like bad after-school special caricatures. The bond all the Rangers formed, though, was believable and made it all the more satisfying when they finally became an actual team.
My interest in Power Rangers was initially piqued when Elizabeth Banks got cast as Rita Repulsa. Banks’ performance absolutely did not disappoint. She threw herself into the role of the Power Rangers’ main villain and completely crushed it. Banks looked like she was having a blast, playing a crazy murderer who wanted nothing more than to destroy our heroes’ home town.
Here are some other thoughts I had while watching Power Rangers.
In order to morph the Rangers need to truly be a team. Whether intentionally or due to budget constraints, this means that we spend more time with the teens out of their armor than in it. Zordon tells the Rangers that they need to take off their masks so that they can put their masks on. Basically, the Rangers needed to be open and honest with each other so that they could truly be a team. We don’t like taking off our masks; masks keep us from being vulnerable, which in turn keeps us from getting hurt. Wearing masks may keep us from getting hurt, but it also keeps us from experiencing the depth of connection for which we were created. I’ve wrestled with being vulnerable and I’m still not the best at it. But I wouldn’t trade the experience of being authentic with my closest friends and family for anything, even a Zord.
No one likes a bully, which is why we immediately like Jason. In detention Jason sticks up for Billy when Billy is getting picked on. Billy was my favorite Ranger. In the movie Billy identified himself as someone “on the spectrum.” It was great to see an autistic character who wasn’t some sort of pariah or an outcast, just a kid living his life. Billy was the heart of the movie and I was more than happy to see Jason stick up for him. Little moments of justice like that make our hearts soar because we know we’re seeing some small wrong made right. In a broken world full of injustice and bullies, we should long for the day when Jesus will come to make it all right. Like Jason sticking up for Billy, Jesus is going to stick up for everything good and right and make it all awesome.
Any movie about a team of individuals coming together is going to be about friendship. Friendship, community and connection are common themes in movies because they are at the core who we are as human beings. And those themes are at the core of who we are as humans because their an integral part of the Godhead. The Father. Son and Holy Spirit are in perfect relationship and community with each other and we are made in God’s image. We were created for relationship and community, which is why we seek out friendships and why we always see individuals coming together in movies. And thankfully I had at least one friend who wasn’t too embarrassed to see the movie with me.
Power Rangers wasn’t a great movie but it was absolutely entertaining enough. Unless you’re a really big Power Rangers fan, I can’t suggest that you go see it in the theater. However, if you’re looking for a good time and some fighting robots then you could do a lot worse. Lionsgate and Saban say that they have a six-movie arc planned; if they do hopefully we’ll get a lot more Power Rangers and a lot fewer training montages.
What did you think of Power Rangers?