Power Rangers recharge for big screen de­but

Mars gets new Life

The Niagara Falls Review - - ENTERTAINMENT - CHRIS LACKNER

“You don’t need a weath­er­man to know which way the wind blows,” but these days, a guide through the seem­ingly end­less flurry of pop cul­ture of­fer­ings is just what we need. With that in mind, here is what’s on the radar screen in film for the com­ing week. Big Re­leases on March 24: Power Rangers; Life

Big Pic­ture: Three lines say it all. “None of us re­ally know each other. We’re all screw-ups. But some­how we were all in the same place at the same time.” Yup, Power Rangers is ba­si­cally

The Break­fast Club meets The Last Starfighter. Five “or­di­nary” slacker teens get handed a lot more than de­ten­tion. Af­ter dis­cov­er­ing strange alien coins, they in­herit the man­tle (and su­per pow­ers) of an an­cient or­der of in­ter­ga­lac­tic guardians with no idea how to colour co-or­di­nate.

Their new re­spon­si­bil­ity comes with a buried alien ship (kind of their own Fortress of Soli­tude); an oblig­a­tory cute ro­bot side­kick; and a body-less an­cient men­tor named Zor­don (who sounds like Kal-El’s sleepier, long-winded brother: the guy no one wanted to sit next to at Kryp­to­nian din­ner par­ties). Be­fore too long, “it’s mor­ph­ing time,” and the team is fight­ing what look like mon­ster re­jects from Kong: Skull Is­land.

Mean­while, Life should not be con­fused with the BBC na­ture doc­u­men­taries.

This space thriller launches with the crew of the In­ter­na­tional Space Sta­tion dis­cov­er­ing the first ev­i­dence of alien life on Mars — a sin­gle-cell or­gan­ism that starts to grow cute lit­tle mush­room-like ap­pendages (cue: Red Planet red alert!) in its test tube. It’s just like The Mar­tian only with a real Mar­tian in­stead of a one-man Matt Damon refugee cri­sis. Of course, Life’s E.T. quickly proves to be more in­tel­li­gent, and more deadly, than the astro­nauts bar­gained for. Fore­cast: Both films will plot a course to suc­cess; it’s a big week for ex­trater­res­tri­als. I can’t be the only one who would’ve liked to see a cross­over in which the test-tube alien grows into a mam­moth beastie, and de­scends to Earth on a mis­sion to wipe out the Power

Rangers, and all traces of their fran­chise. Honourable Men­tion: Chips. This buddy-cop ac­tion com­edy brings back the late ‘70s TV se­ries (be­cause, umm, Hol­ly­wood could sense how much you missed it?). Jon Baker (Dax Shep­ard) and Frank “Ponch” Poncherello (Michael Peña) join the Cal­i­for­nia High­way Pa­trol (CHP) — the for­mer is a one-time dare­devil pro mo­tor­cy­clist, and the lat­ter is un­der­cover FBI agent sniff­ing out dirty cops on the squad. It’s ba­si­cally Lethal Weapon on a high­way with less manic de­pres­sion, and kamikaze mis­sions — but way more ju­ve­nile jokes in­volv­ing male gen­i­talia.

SUP­PLIED PHOTO

Becky G., Dacre Mont­gomery, Naomi Scott, Ludi Lin and RJ Cyler in Power Rangers, hit­ting theatres Fri­day.

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