‘Saban’s Power Rangers’ fun despite tone shifts

Ben Bruflat, Contributing Writer

When five teenagers discover an ancient power deep within a mine, they are tasked with using their newfound abilities to defend the Earth from a resurrected evil in “Saban’s Power Rangers.”

“Saban’s Power Rangers” was directed by Dean Isrealite (Project Almanac).

I was not the biggest Power Rangers junkie growing up, but I did watch some of the old shows. I also played with my blue and green rangers, so I know a little about Saban’s lore. The concept of the Power Rangers is simple: join forces and defeat evil monsters.

When the movie reached its third act, that is exactly what it had in store. However, it was the two acts before the action that had me the most invested.

Each of the five rangers had a unique personality and gained depth as the movie progressed.

The standout performer was the blue ranger, played by R.J. Cyler. It may not have been easy portraying a man with autism, but Cyler pulled it off in a tasteful fashion.

The interactions and relationships between these strangers-turned-partners went through the expected twists and turns, and their on-screen chemistry really worked.

Bryan Cranston’s portrayal of Zordon, an ancient being embedded in a ship who acts as the rangers’ mentor, was surprisingly good, especially as he was playing a face in a wall.

While the majority of this movie was trying to be grounded and somewhat gritty, Elizabeth Banks’ role as the evil Rita Repulsa was straight out of the ‘90s show.

I typically enjoy Banks’ acting, but she really delivered the cheese this time around. This was symbolic of the main issue with the movie: tone shifts.

Scenes jumped from sci-fi to action to drama too often, which was incredibly jarring to watch.

I liked most of the scenes by themselves, but they did not mix well together, reducing the overall effect of the movie.

In the end, “Saban’s Power Rangers” was everything I was hoping it would be – fun.

The script is not perfect, the run time is a little long and the tone – especially from Banks – was not always fitting. However, this served as a great guilty pleasure. If you like the Power Rangers franchise, “go, go” to a theater and enjoy.