Power Rangers

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Power Rangers Movie Poster Image
Violent, more mature Rangers reboot is overly angst-filled.
  • PG-13
  • 2017
  • 124 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 32 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 37 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The Power Rangers have always been about teamwork. They might be misfit kids, but they must find their self-worth and trust one another to become the powerful warriors they're destined to become. The story is also about selflessness, courage, and sacrifice -- what you're willing to personally sacrifice in order to save. The movie also teaches kids not to let others make them feel unworthy and that failing/messing up is part of growing and learning. On the downside, violence is the main means of conflict resolution, and there are few consequences for iffy actions.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The Rangers must all overcome their personal flaws and insecurities to morph into Rangers and work as a team. They must believe in their mission, themselves, and one another. They're a diverse group.

Violence

Mass destruction, with a relatively high body count. In the prologue, Rita kills ancient Rangers and is herself nearly destroyed by a meteor. In the present, car accidents injure/nearly kill. The crystal coins miraculously heal what should have been fatal injuries. The soon-to-be-Rangers have to escape police pursuit. The Rangers spar during training, leaving them battered and bruised. Rita kills people for the gold in their teeth -- or just for fun. Rita and her minion nearly kill all of the Rangers. Rita and Goldar destroy the town of Angel Grove, wreaking havoc and presumably injuring and/or killing residents as they attempt to flee.

Sex

Flirting between two different sets of Rangers -- they fall on top of each other and embrace. Discussion of sexting and how a teen girl's inappropriate photo was shared. Pink Ranger is shown stripping down to her bra and panties to jump in a stream.

Language

Some uses of "s--t," "bulls--t," "ass," and "asses," plus a jokey use of Bruce Willis' famous "Yippee ki-yay, motherf" (but the line stops at the "f" sound, because the Ranger feels guilty about saying the rest of it). Also "what the hell," "douche bag," "freak," "loser," and other insults.

Consumerism

Gatorade, a couple of cars, close-ups of Dodge Dakota, Ford F-150, Chevy Camaro, etc. and a plot point that focuses on Krispy Kreme donuts. Off-screen, Saban's Power Rangers themselves are part of a multi-million-dollar merchandise machine.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The Rangers spend the night around a campfire together, and a few of them drink what looks like beer. References to Trini's apparent past use of drugs -- her mother demands she "pee in this cup."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Power Rangers is the big-screen reboot of the hugely popular '90s TV show about a team of teen superheroes who are imbued with powers from ancient crystal coins. Unlike earlier takes on the characters, this movie amps up the violence and features strong language and mature themes (teen substance use, juvenile detention, cyberbullying, questions about sexual identity, and more). So even though it might appeal to young elementary-aged kids, it's far better suited for middle-schoolers and up. There's mass destruction, with a relatively high body count, as well as injuries, crashes, fights, and more. On the language front, characters use words like "s--t" and "ass," as well as one "motherf" that's purposely cut short. Subtle hints at potential romance include longing looks and flirting, and there are references to how someone digitally shared a student's inappropriate photo. Positive messages mirror those of the original series: teamwork, courage, training, sacrifice, and trust.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Grandparent Written bySandy M. March 26, 2017

Too much adult content for children

I took my pre-teen grandson, thinking it must be ok since it is Power Rangers. It has always attracted children (the theater was full of young children). The... Continue reading
Parent of a 7 and 10 year old Written byhilldjames March 23, 2017

So maybe 15 and up! Guess it's the parents preference and what they allow

So maybe 15 and up but really what high school kids want to go watch power rangers. This should have been made for KIDS! So disappointed in how they are making... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byPaul Andrew March 25, 2017
Teen, 13 years old Written byJohnnyWhite March 26, 2017

Surpringsingly violent adaptation feels very long unless you really enjoy it

Education 0/5 - Not much education to learn from this. Violence 3/5 - Much more violence than the show. Giant robots destroy a town and there is alot of destruc... Continue reading

What's the story?

POWER RANGERS opens 65 million years ago, with Red Ranger Zordon (Bryan Cranston) sacrificing himself to ensure that villain Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks) can't take hold of Earth's Zeo Crystal. Zordon also releases the five Power Coins to find those "who are worthy" to be the next five Power Rangers crew. Fast forward to the present, when Angel Grove High's former golden-boy quarterback Jason Scott (Dacre Montgomery) has to go to Saturday detention for his entire senior year due to a team prank gone wrong. There, he meets tech-savvy Billy (RJ Cyler) and angry ex-cheerleader Kimberly (Naomi Scott). The trio ends up at a mine, where Billy uncovers brightly colored crystal coins. Two other teens -- Trini (Becky G.) and Zack (Ludi Lin) -- are also present for the discovery, and, as each kid takes one coin as their own, they team up and attempt to avoid police pursuit. The next morning, the team of misfit teens realizes that instead of dying in a car accident, they're alive and healed, with inexplicable super-strength. After returning to the site of their discovery, they find an underwater space ship where an android, Alpha 5 (voiced by Bill Hader), and the trapped spirit of Zordon explain that they must train to become the Power Rangers -- but first they must morph. If they can't morph, they won't be able to fight Rita, who's come back to life and plans to find the Zeo Crystal and destroy Earth in the process.

Is it any good?

Except for a couple of standout performances, this reboot takes itself too seriously and is too unevenly executed for a property that originally delighted in campy silliness. The goofy cornball antics that might have worked for a seemingly never-ending after-school show weren't going to cut it, but the story goes too far in the other direction, offering audiences four angst-filled, troubled teens and one sweet tech genius who happens to be on the autism spectrum. Kudos to the director for casting a diverse lot to play the Rangers (even Alpha 5 jokes: "different colors, different kids, different-colored kids" when they meet him for the first time). But unfortunately, it's a toss-up from scene to scene whether the acting and screenwriting will be heartfelt, decent, or downright cringe-worthy.

As Billy, the Blue Ranger, Cyler is the team's heart -- earnest, logical, and incapable of sarcasm or artifice. Looking like a cross between a young Zac Efron and Channing Tatum, Montgomery is a natural fit as the QB-turned team leader. The other three teens have less to do, with Trini's backstory being both confusing and insufficient (what teen isn't somewhat misunderstood by their parents?). At least Banks is hilariously campy as Rita (who could even take that name seriously?). The movie aims for a Breakfast Club-meets-superhero origin story, but in the end it might be too long and too much for even nostalgic fans.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violence in Power Rangers. Do you think it was necessary for the movie to be so violent/mature? How does that affect its appropriateness for the franchise's younger fans? How much scary stuff can young kids handle?

  • Which of the characters are role models, and why? How do the Rangers each grow and change throughout the story? How do they exhibit teamwork and courage? Why are those important character strengths?

  • What's the difference between fantasy violence and the consequences of violence in real life? How can people express anger in other ways?

  • How does this version compare to previous takes on the Power Rangers? What's changed? Do you like the updates? Why or why not?

  • Would you like the new Power Rangers franchise to continue? If so, what original villain(s) should they fight next?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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