‘Power Rangers’ Reboot Has Critics Mixed, But Its Performances Pop

“An interesting attempt to craft a grounded and character-driven adaptation”

If you’ve been doubtful over the new “Power Rangers” theatrical reboot, take heart — reviews indicate the film has, at least, some charm.

Critics are generally mixed on the new action fantasy movie — with opinions ranging from better-than-expected to downright horrible — but many are saying the performances are worth watching. TheWrap critic Alonso Duralde gives props to the five leads, who are “empathetic and engaging.” Elizabeth Banks also gets a shout out as the villain Rita Repulsa, and turns in a creepy, appropriately over-the-top performance.

However — as seemed evident from the trailers — the darker, grimmer take on the low-budget outing doesn’t always work, some critics saying the film seems embarrassed by its source material. Reviwers also knocked off points for predictability, comparing it to other superhero blockbusters.

The Rotten Tomatoes score is currently split down the middle at 50 percent, but that could soon change as more reviews stream in.

“Saban’s Power Rangers” hits theaters on March 24.

Here are six review excerpts that should give you an idea about how the new flick has critics split.

Alonso Duralde, TheWrap:

“‘Power Rangers’ is baloney through and through, but as baloney goes, it’s better than you might expect. It packs enough zing to make you forgive the origin-story clichés. And the predictable save-the-world stuff. And the insanely ubiquitous product placement. (Seriously, whatever Krispy Kreme paid to be an actual plot point in this movie, they got their money’s worth.)”

Tim Grierson, ScreenDaily:

“A teen group therapy session disguised as a superhero movie, ‘Power Rangers’ is numbingly predictable and cynically made, recycling myriad blockbuster tropes but draining their adolescent pleasures in the process. Based on the loony Japanese series, which morphed into an equally goofy American TV show, this more sincere big-screen version wants to honour its characters’ high-school angst while maintaining the property’s campy spirit. However, neither tone works.”

David Ehrlich, IndieWire:

“The film is a blast during the few brief moments when it embraces the cartoon craziness that’s made the television show into such a cultural fixture, but it sheepishly backs away from every one of these giddy indulgences as if it’s afraid of getting caught with a hand in the cookie jar; why play the series’ unforgettable theme song (‘Go Go, Power Rangers!’) if you’re going to cut it off after just a few bars? If only ‘Power Rangers’ had the courage to put down its mask and work with its audience. It may not be possible to cram a ton of crayons in a butt, but that doesn’t mean we should settle for anonymous photocopies, instead.”

Scott Mendelson, Forbes:

“As someone with no strong feelings for the ‘Power Rangers’ franchise (I hated it as a kid and came to appreciate its charms as a parent), this is an interesting attempt to craft a grounded and character-driven adaptation, one that successfully blends genre with larger-than-life superhero spectacle. And if you might find it absurd to have a somber and violent ‘Power Rangers’ movie, then we should note that it can co-exist with the 800+ episodes of the more kid-friendly televised variation.”