Power Rangers recharge for big screen debut
Mars gets new Life
“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.
Becky G., Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, Ludi Lin and RJ Cyler in Power Rangers, hitting theatres Friday.