Reviewed by: Samuel A. Torcasio
Why are kids and teens drawn to superhero characters, and how might that affect them in good or bad ways?
How to deal with bullies
Why do worldly people want to believe that doing awful things doesn’t make them an awful person? What don’t they fail to understand?
What does the Bible say about intelligent life on other planets? Answer
Are we alone in the universe? Answer
Does Scripture refer to life in space? Answer
questions and answers about the origin of life
|Featuring:|| Elizabeth Banks … Rita Repulsa, an alien invader, a 65-million-year-old former Green Ranger, who has gone rogue
Bryan Cranston … Zordon, mentor of the Power Rangers, and original ancient Red Ranger
Dacre Montgomery … Jason Lee Scott / The Red Ranger, leader of the Power Rangers
Becky G. … Trini / The Yellow Ranger
Naomi Scott … Kimberly Hart / The Pink Ranger
Ludi Lin … Zack Taylor / The Black Ranger
RJ Cyler … Billy Cranston / The Blue Ranger
Caroline Cave … Beverly Scott
Bill Hader … Alpha 5, robot assistant of Zordon (voice)
David Denman … Sam Scott, Jason’s father
Emily Maddison … Rebecca
Sarah Grey … Amanda
Fiona Vroom … Abigail
Patrick Sabongui … Mr. Kwan, Trini's father
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|Director:||Dean Israelite—“Project Almanac” (2015)|
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In its first few seasons “Power Rangers” was one of my favorite shows as a kid. I can remember watching it every day and then acting out the episodes with my siblings on the weekend. So, one reason, at least, for me seeing this new reboot was pure nostalgia.
The story flows pretty nicely. There are definitely some plot holes, but that’s somewhat expected from a movie based on a 1990’s teen superhero show. All of the actors had good performances. In the first half of the film, there is a fair amount of character development and impressive depth to the interaction between the five leads. I think the filmmakers did a fine job of getting the audience to care about the characters. The last 30 minutes or so of the film has a great deal of action and is pretty much an episode of “Power Rangers” updated, of course.
One thing I definitely want to commend the filmmakers on is making the plot simple. With who knows how many seasons of the TV series, they had a lot of potential elements to work with. The temptation to try and overload it with all sorts of characters and references here and there must have been hard to resist. This has been done in the past with superhero films, and it rarely turns out well (case in point: “Batman and Robin,” “Spiderman 3”).
They kept it simple, which allowed them to concentrate on their main characters, and to focus on the one major villain, Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks). The character of Rita, by the way, has been reimagined for this film with a new backstory and agenda. It was creatively done, I thought, and executed well by Elizabeth Banks. As a word of caution, please note that the new Rita is quite dark (much darker than the TV version) and may be disturbing for kids.
Though I am happy, overall, with the simple story, and its not being over jammed with too much, anyone who remembers Goldar from the TV show must be a bit disappointed. The new Goldar has zero personality. The old Goldar definitely had a personality, and was at times even a source of great comic relief. You have to see both takes to know the striking difference. Film writers, if you do a sequel, could you somehow bring back at least some of the old Goldar?
That said, though, the fight scene at the end between Goldar and the Rangers is a pretty good old-fashioned style Power Rangers battle. Nothing terribly fantastic, but true to form, action packed, and entertaining. What more can we expect?
A Darwinian Evolutionary model is clearly the construct in which this film is set. Of course, that’s sort of the default view of pretty much any secular movie, but, in this case, things such as the Earth being around for 65 million years are plainly stated. That said, there is not a whole lot of talk or promotion of that worldview. But, Bible-believing parents should know this, if they are going to let their children view this film, and they need to be ready to respond with the biblical perspective on Creation (though I don’t think that Christians should let their kids see this film, for other reasons that will become evident later in this review). Children may ask questions, especially because most are fascinated with dinosaurs (as I was!), and this movie has pretty cool dinosaur robots.
• DINOSAUR ORIGIN—Where did the dinosaurs come from? Answer • Are dinosaurs mentioned in the BIBLE? Answer • WHY did God create dinosaurs? Answer • LIVING WITH DINOSAURS—What would it have been like to live with dinosaurs? Answer
The film does promote some virtuous ideals in line with Scripture, such as not doing things for selfish personal gain, not starting and escalating fights, being unified, putting others above yourself and even being will to die for one another. These are indeed true and noble things. Such ideals may come in part from the influence of the Christian worldview on society, but I would say that, fundamentally, they come from the fact that God made man in His image (Gen 1:26-27; 9:6). Humans innately know what is good and right, because they have been created in the likeness of their Maker, God. We know that it is right for good to triumph over evil, and we hope for that to happen one day; as Christians, we have assurance from God’s Word that it will!.
However, this image has been distorted. We can see that both in life, and in the movies that reflect life. At one point in this film, a character confesses to another that she has done something that she regrets. The other character responds by saying that “doing an awful thing doesn’t make you an awful person.” This reflects how many people look at wrongdoing, that is sin. They see sins as just independent acts coming from people that are inherently good. But, the Scriptures teach that sinful acts are the outflow of a sinful heart (Matthew 15:19). Bad deeds come from a corrupt center. Human beings have been corrupted by sin. By the Great Flood judgment, people became absolutely corrupted to where they only did and thought evil. Earth is not that fully depraved yet, but the Holy Scriptures do teach that human beings are so pervasively corrupted by sin that everything they do is affected by it (Romans 3:9-20).
Even man’s best deeds have been tainted by sinful motives (Isaiah 64:6). The view that man is basically good, and only messes up from time to time, is promoted by the world—and is wrong and dangerous belief. It is dangerous because it causes man to place hope in himself for salvation. Some men and women may acknowledge they need some help from God or even Jesus, but if they are placing any hope or stock in themselves at all, they do not truly understand the seriousness of their plight. Man is NOT basically good—just needing Jesus to fill in the gap (the practical belief of many nominal christians). A person needs to understand that they are pervasively corrupt, if they are ever to fully acknowledge their sin, repent and place their hope in the only real and true solution. The Law of God helps man to see the depth of his depravity (Romans 7:7-13). A man or woman’s only hope is to put their full trust in the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, who died as a substitute for sinners, and who rose again to give them new life (John 14:6; Acts 13:38-39; Romans 5:6-11; 6:1-10; 7:24-25; 10:9-13).
Some may think that the “very offensive” rating is too strong for this film, but I think it is necessary due to the amount of sexual innuendo and inappropriate content present in the film (see below under objectionable content). Especially for a film that appeals to kids, I believe a strong warning needs to be sounded. Children are impressionable, and there are just too many red flags in this film. Even one instance of innuendo can stay in the mind for years. We must not underestimate its damaging effects. Such content is not only harmful but absolutely unnecessary.
Profanity and vulgarity includes: Oh my G*d (10), My G*d (1), G*d (1), h*ll (3), sh** (7) (one time preceded by bull, the other by holy), and as* (4). One of the characters yells mother f…, but stops himself before fully saying it.
Violence: There are disturbing death images in connection with Rita Repulsa, and there are scenes of bullying and much violence, earning its PG-13 rating.
Sexual content includes: • implication of masturbating a bull • girl strips down to her underwear • cleavage shown • The teens are asked if they’ve ever morphed before. Jokingly, Jack says yes, but only in the shower. • a deed mentioned earlier that one of the character regrets is a photo text, and while we don’t know what it was, it seems it was something sexual
LGBTQ activists know that lightly inserting their agenda content into enjoyable and disarming movies that YOUR TEENS will watch is MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE in achieving their goals than trying to get most non-LGBTQ parents to show their kids full-force LGBTQ propaganda and eroticism movies (although plenty of the later are produced). This same tactic is very effectively used by Liberals, lightly including the message that nudity, casual sexual activity among teens, fornication or/and adultery are “totally normal and acceptable,” not sins that are actually very dangerous and lead to broken lives and more evil.
There is a scene where it is heavily implied that one of the Rangers has embraced homosexuality. The media is highlighting this fact, calling her the first openly Gay superhero. The film doesn’t actually come right out and say that, but it is strongly implied, fully intentional, and the Director acknowledges that this. In a movie that appeals to kids, parents have to be ready with answers. Even if they don’t allow their kids to see the film, they will likely hear about this character at school or through the media.
There are biblical answers for this. Scripture is clear that homosexuality is a sin, but it is also equally clear that it is not a sin too strong for the Gospel (1 Cor 6:9-11). Jesus Christ came to save all sinners who will turn to Him. Christians need to be truthful about this matter, but also compassionate and loving to those who are struggling with this sin, or any other sin. We are to offer them hope in the Gospel. We must not believe Satan’s lie that the Gospel is not powerful enough to change a person struggling with this sin. The Gospel is God’s power to save anyone who believes and repents, and it has the power to break every kind of sin (Romans 1:16; 6:11-14).
One other thing to mention is a rather odd scene I’m not sure how to interpret. In the midst of the action, there is a group of nuns driving in a vehicle singing “Go Tell It on the Mountain.” Some may find this misplaced and offensive (as if it’s mocking christianity), so it’s worth mentioning.
The movie was somewhat enjoyable, and an interesting take on the Power Rangers that I could surely see developing into a saga of films. This, however, is not a must see, by any means. And due to the content mentioned above, let me state clearly that I do not think children and even teens should see this film. Further, there is nothing about the film’s message that is so thought-provoking or redeeming that it overrides the offensive content, even for an adult. Parents, if your kids do happen to see this film, be ready to go over the content discussed here with a loving and gentle heart and answers from the Word of God.
Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Moderate
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.