Connect with us

Movie News

Movie Review: ‘Power Rangers’ Mighty Morphs into a Clunky Blockbuster

Published

on

Power Rangers 2017 Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

Power Rangers is heavy on the nostalgia, but does it do the old show justice? Read our movie review to find out!

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t’s the strangest feeling to view something you grew up watching after school on television replicated on the big screen for a new generation. I recall being so into the Power Rangers that did battle with monsters that I’d draw pictures of the golden-winged ape Goldar clashing swords with the heroic Megazord robot. I thought to myself while watching the new Goldar and new Megazord battle on screen if today’s kids would be able to draw these figures. Even at the age of nine, I could easily draw the simple shapes and colors of the monsters and robots, but I think it’d be a lot tougher when the Megazord appears as a mess of metal and Goldar looks like a glob of living mustard. Why must we shirk iconic designs for cluttered and complicated splattering of computer graphics?

Power Rangers 2017 Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

The new ranger lineup.

These odd redesigns all come with the package of trying to turn Power Rangers into a more serious young adult hero picture. Or at least as serious as it can be for a picture that seems to have taken a big cue from the Michael Bay school of toy franchise filmmaking. The opening scene of the previous heroes being grittily killed in combat is quickly followed up with a scene where a student has accidentally masturbated a bull. When I saw this scene, I strapped in and set my expectations low. Thankfully, this bull joke does not come full-circle and the most disgusting gag that follows is one of the teens referring to the act of Morphing as something you do in the shower.

If we must live in a world where a Power Rangers movie is to be given a serious treatment, director David Israelite does make a decent call of trying to focus more on the dynamic between the five teens chosen to defend Earth. We get to know most of these characters as the outsiders of high school, the majority of them introduced in a detention scene straight out of The Breakfast Club. Jason (Dacre Montgomery) is the jock that went one prank too far that resulted in him being kicked off the football team. He soon befriends the autistic nerd Billy (RJ Cyler) and begins to fall for the popular-turned-outcast Kimberly (Naomi Scott).

Power Rangers 2017 Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

Just a regular group of teens.

The remaining characters of the bad-boy Zack (Ludi Lin) and anti-social Trini (Becky G) are given rather abrupt introductions, as they don’t show up until the other three venture to the town’s local mines. What’re they doing at the mines? Advancing the plot so they can get to the Power Rangers action. The five of them proceed quickly through most of the exposition in the most cliché and clunky of writing and editing. But considering how much of a long and daunting road they have to travel before we actually get to the star attraction, the audience must accept that the five of them are casual enough to proceed with the extraordinary superhero plot.

The story is nothing new or unexpected for a superhero origins tale. The evil Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks) has awakened from her slumber and seeks to destroy Earth. After seemingly millions of years being stuck underwater, she looks very much like a modern movie witch. Her plan is to find a McGuffin crystal that can destroy the planet and needs her giant golden monster Goldar to retrieve it. One would need an awful lot of gold to assemble such a creature, but Rita seems to find just enough from tooth fillings and jewelry stores. I feel more robbed than the jewelry store that there wasn’t a more impressive scene where she storms Fort Knox.

Related: Movie Review: ‘The Boss Baby’ is a Mess in Need of Changing

The all-powerful crystal McGuffin happens to be located inside a Krispy Kreme. Of course, the characters will clearly say Krispy Kreme whenever they refer to the crystal located inside a Krispy Kreme. The action-packed climax must temporarily cease so that Rita can enter a Krispy Kreme and eat a Krispy Kreme donut. I thought this was supposed to be a feature-length toy commercial, not a donut commercial.

Power Rangers 2017 Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa.

While I’d like to praise the film for spending the majority of its time with the Power Rangers out of their suits and bonding together, it’s handled rather poorly with an onslaught of lame humor and inconsistent valleys in their relationships. Throughout the picture is a constant repetition of basic team origin morals; they need to work together, they need to open up, they need to be honest, etc. True, the movie does adhere closely to this formula from the TV show, but it just goes to show how inconsistent this picture truly is with its tone. For every moment when a character makes a somber confession of their frustrating times at school and at home, there’s another where they stammer for a funny line, desperate to insert comedy into nearly every scene. I don’t know, I somehow thought there should be more knowing humor for a picture with a villain called Rita Repulsa.

Read more for the rest of the Power Rangers movie review:

PreviousNext
View Next


Box Office

“Ralph” Reigns Again on Slow Box Office Weekend

Published

on

We’re currently in the eye of the fall movie storm. All is fairly quiet this weekend. The only new release was that of a small horror film, The Possession of Hannah Grace. So small, in fact, that it only came in at #7 for the weekend with a gross of $6.5 million. As such, few films moved very far from their spots. Last weekend’s winner, the animated adventure Ralph Breaks The Internet, was once again on top, even though it wasn’t a very strong second weekend of $25 million, a 54% drop. Still, the film has made $119 million so far and is well on its way to covering its $175 million budget.

Surprisingly jumping up a spot is Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch, the latest animated film Illumination Studios based on the classic Christmas book. The film jumped up from #3 to #2, making $17 million with the domestic gross now up to $203 million. Creed II, the sequel to the Rocky spinoff, took a step down for its second weekend, grossing $16 million with a domestic total of $81 million. It’s no surprise that the biggest drop of the weekend was Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the sequel to the Harry Potter spinoff. Due to low critic ratings and poor fan reactions, the film tumbled 61% with its domestic gross sitting at $134 million.

Ivo Nandi stars as Moscow Referee and Florian Munteanu as Viktor Drago in CREED II,
a Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures film.
Credit: Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures / Warner Bros. Pictures
© 2018 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
All Rights Reserved.

View the full top 10 box office winner for the weekend below.

Ralph Breaks The Internet ($25,756,000)
Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch ($17,730,000)
Creed II ($16,832,863)
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald ($11,200,000)
Bohemian Rhapsody ($8,100,000)
Instant Family ($7,150,000)
The Possession of Hannah Grace ($6,500,000)
Robin Hood ($4,700,000)
Widows ($4,400,000)
Green Book ($3,900,000)

Next weekend is so sparse with new content that the biggest release is going to be an anniversary screening of Schindler’s List, hitting 1,000 screens. It’s a good time to take in some smaller releases as Mary Queen of Scots, Ben is Back, and Vox Lux will be having limited releases. So it’s safe to expect a repeat of this weekend’s trends in the box office.


Continue Reading

Box Office

“Ralph” Breaks The Box Office, “Creed” Close Behind

Published

on

Thanksgiving week is a time for family and there were plenty out to the theater last week for an animated family picture. Ralph Breaks The Internet, the Disney-animated sequel to 2012’s video game adventure comedy Wreck-It Ralph, came in at #1 for the weekend with $55 million and $84 million since its debut on Wednesday. This puts it above the Disney studio’s previous Thanksgiving hit Moana, which had a 5-day total of $82 million.

Not too far behind is Creed II, the sequel to the Rocky spin-off starring Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone. The boxing sequel took in $35 million for the weekend and $55 million since Wednesday. This is a stronger opening than the first film which came in at $29 million for the weekend.

And it was slim leftovers for the two other debuts. Robin Hood, the latest action remake of the classic tale, came in at #7 with only $9 million for the weekend, $14 million since Wednesday. Green Book, a drama about a black singer in the racist south of America, came in at #9 for its expanded week to make $5 million for the weekend and $7 million for its domestic total.

The Crimes of Grindelwald is not fairing to well for its second weekend. The Harry Potter spin-off has dropped to #4 with a domestic weekend gross of $30 million, a 52% drop. The film still hasn’t cleared its $200 million budget with a domestic gross of $117 million and it looks like it may never cross that mark as we head into December with more genre titles. Beating it out for #3 is Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch, the theatrically animated adaptation by Illumination, that is proving to have great legs coming into the holiday season. Worth noting at #10 is A Star Is Born, its domestic total now having crossed $191 million to make it one of the most profitable films of the year.

View the full top 10 box office results for the weekend below:

Ralph Breaks The Internet ($55,672,000)
Creed II ($35,293,000)
Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch ($30,210,000)
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald ($29,650,000)
Bohemian Rhapsody ($13,855,000)
Instant Family ($12,500,000)
Robin Hood ($9,125,000)
Widows ($7,955,000)
Green Book ($5,443,000)
A Star is Born ($3,005,000)

Next weekend is, well, it’s pretty dead. So dead that a ghost movie is occupying the rather blank spot. Possession of Hannah Grace, a modest horror production, will be arriving in under 2,000 theaters. So it’s fair to say you can expect Ralph to breakthrough for another weekend of success.


Continue Reading

Movie News

“Creed II” Gets Raw and Rickety with Rocky-isms

Published

on

Creed II, despite showing no shortage of boxing enthusiasm, falls prey to all the predictable theatrics and pitfalls of a sports sequel. It takes the character of Adonis Creed and prepares him to weather familiar territory in the Rocky franchise, pumping him up for the long haul of taking on new challenges. It’s very much a “more” sequel; more intensity in the fights, more drama stirred up outside the ring, and more theatrical music to turn the one-on-one boxing matches into towering and thunderous battles of gods. And while Creed certainly still has some of that charm in its eyes and adrenaline in its veins, there’s an unfortunate feeling one can’t shake that there’s not a lot of new tricks for this spin-off franchise.

Michael B. Jordan still has the right stuff as Adonis Creed. He’s a fierce competitor when he slips on the gloves and a fearful mess when it comes to taking the next step in his relationship with his best girl Bianca (Tessa Thompson). His mentor Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) is still in his corner to coach his many matches but there’s one fight he won’t be there for. Remember Ivan Drago from Rocky IV? He’s back, reprised by Dolph Lundgren, and has a new young Russian contender, his son Viktor (Florian Munteanu), ready to defeat Rocky’s boxing apprentice. You may recall that Drago was the one who killed Creed’s father, Apollo. Time for a revenge fight!

Michael B. Jordan stars as Adonis Creed and Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa in
CREED II, a Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures film.
Credit: Barry Wetcher / Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures / Warner Bros. Pictures
© 2018 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
All Rights Reserved.

The story makes its intentions clear from the first scene where Creed repeats the inspiring mantra of only fighting for himself and proving nothing to nobody else. Indeed, Jordan remains the centerpiece so prominently he pushes aside all other characters and arcs. Consider how Ivan has a lot riding on this fight, not only to seek revenge but also to gain the favor of his country and his ex-wife, who apparently left him for being a loser. It sounds a little too cartoonish of a villain plot and the film almost out of mercy never draws too much attention to this plight. Also absent from the second half is Buddy Marcelle (Russell Hornsby), another villain trying to push the boxing narrative of Creed vs. Drago and keep that match on the schedule. There’s a lingering theme amid these characters about when the fight isn’t worth it, yet all that questioning evaporates when the film quickly settles into being the guaranteed crowd pleaser of Adonis winning the fight.

Purely on the aspect of boxing, the film is neat to watch. It plays up the theatrics of the matches with an epic score and gets up close and personal with the punches. You feel every blow as the soundtrack boasts the brutal slugs to the face and ribs, almost as loud and grand as the epic music trying to drive the excitement up further. And while it is thrilling to get engaged in the main events of the picture, there’s that lesser drama that hinders a bigger film. Consider how Drago’s son seems defeated before the final blow is struck, more emotionally than physically. The triumphant punch across the face with a rousing reprisal of that old Rocky theme is all but assured at that point.

Florian Munteanu stars as Viktor Drago and Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Creed in CREED II,
a Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures film.
Credit: Barry Wetcher / Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures / Warner Bros. Pictures
© 2018 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
All Rights Reserved.

Where the film kept winning me back wasn’t so much in the fights but in the quieter drama. There’s an ease to scenes where Rocky and Creed are merely talking about family and what’s most important in life. The two of them ooze with warmth where I found myself particularly charmed at a simple departure of Creed asking if Rocky is good and he gives a relaxed assurance before strolling off to let Adonis purpose to Bianca. And while the scenes between Jordan and Thompson are rather sweet, there’s no stopping the power of Phylicia Rashad as Creed’s mother, dominating scenes where she playfully asks about kids and powerfully puts the boy in his place when it comes to choosing his battles.

While I enjoyed Creed II and have no doubt that it’ll inspire cheers in the theater, I couldn’t help but notice all the tired tropes being unearthed, properly dusted off as they may be. There’s a training montage, a fall from grace, and plenty of televised boxing decadence. The first Creed film was exciting and inspiring because it felt new and refreshing. Creed II, however, gets too comfortable with that old Rocky formula, where the film becomes more centered on the match than the character. We certainly get a rousing fight but little more than that as Creed II comes up abundant on muscle and lower on the relatable human aspects. Here’s hoping Creed III won’t feature him fighting Mr. T’s protege.


Continue Reading

Find Us On Facebook

More

Box Office1 week ago

“Ralph” Reigns Again on Slow Box Office Weekend

We’re currently in the eye of the fall movie storm. All is fairly quiet this weekend. The only new release...

Box Office1 week ago

“Ralph” Breaks The Box Office, “Creed” Close Behind

Thanksgiving week is a time for family and there were plenty out to the theater last week for an animated...

Movie News1 week ago

“Creed II” Gets Raw and Rickety with Rocky-isms

Creed II, despite showing no shortage of boxing enthusiasm, falls prey to all the predictable theatrics and pitfalls of a...

Box Office1 week ago

“Fantastic Beasts” Feasts on Box Office, “Widows” Wilts

The weekend belonged to wizards as The Crimes of Grindelwald, the second film in the Harry Potter spin-off prequel saga...

Movie News3 weeks ago

“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” Conjures Magical Monotony

I had written that with the first Fantastic Beasts film I hoped I wouldn’t need giggle juice to be entertained...

Box Office4 weeks ago

“The Grinch” Steals Box Office, “Overlord” and “Spider” Left With Scraps

The holiday Christmas movie season starts early as it usually does in November. Just one week after The Nutcracker and...

Movie News1 month ago

Review: “Overlord” is a Gritty, Gory Genre Mash

Overlord is one of those delicious genre blenders that delivers World War II action and viciously gruesome body horror into...

Box Office1 month ago

Big “Bohemian Rhapsody” Opening While “Nutcracker” Trails

In weekend box office battle, it’s Queen who is king. Bohemian Rhapsody, the Freddy Mercury and Queen biopic, came in...

Movie News1 month ago

Review: “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” is Bitterly Bland With Beauty

Disney is in a very unique position as a dominant studio to experiment with more inspiring films for more diverse...

Box Office1 month ago

“Halloween” Tops Last Weekend of October, “Hunter Killer” Sinks

It’s not exactly a huge surprise that a film called Halloween would be the top earner on the last weekend...

Trending