“Saban’s Power Rangers” (Lionsgate)
By Catholic News Service
A popular Saturday morning children’s show of the 1990s makes its third appearance on the big screen. But this latest adaptation, by director Dean Israelite and no fewer than five screenwriters, replaces a relatively benign concept with an ill-mannered teen drama, replete with vulgarity and inappropriate sexual talk.
Five ordinary high school students (Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Ludi Lin, Becky G) discover ancient artifacts that bestow extraordinary powers, transforming them into the eponymous superheroes. They are trained by an ancient deity (voice of Bryan Cranston) to lead the fight of good over evil, and vanquish a resurrected queen (Elizabeth Banks) hell-bent on world domination. Had the film taken a more wholesome tack it would have been mindless, escapist fun for all ages. Instead, an excess of bad taste prevails.
Much crude humor, rough language, sexual innuendo, references to homosexuality and masturbation. The Catholic News Service classification is L — limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.