Power Rangers

The long-running Japanese franchise Power Rangers is rebooted in this 2017 film from director Dean Israelite and writer John Gatins. The somewhat camp story follows a group of teen misfits who uncover a collection of ancient artifacts and a buried alien ship; endowed with superpowers, the teens must muster their new powers and learn to work together to save the world. Power Rangers is hardly high art, and it never has been. The American version of the series was culled from stock Japanese footage edited together with new English-speaking scenes.

It’s silly, but it does have at its core the idea of teamwork. This reboot is a mishmash of Godzilla, Transformers, and a little of The Breakfast Club thrown in. It’s popcorn fun with amazing visual effects—no need to think too hard about it.

917rangers.box.jpgPower Rangers was shot on the Red Epic Dragon at 6K, 5K, and 4K resolutions, and a 4K DI was utilized in post-production. The film was also done in the Dolby Vision high dynamic range format, so what we get in this Ultra HD release mastered in 2160p “4K” HEVC with Dolby Vision is about as pure as it gets. This is a fantastic-looking presentation that—while I would hardly call it natural given the heavy color coding and shadowing—really pops. This disc makes a case not only for Dolby Vision (and HDR), but wide color gamut. The presentation sparkles, showing the primary colors of the Rangers’ costumes, which don’t look quite as vivid on the Blu-ray. Highlights really stand out against the deep shadows thanks to the wider contrast. The Dolby Vision presentation gives this film a more balanced presentation than what is often the more gimmicky, albeit still stunning, look of HDR10.

The Dolby Atmos soundtrack is instantly a reference track from the opening flashback sequence. It continues on with various sound effects placed around the room and overhead as well as contemporary rock tracks that spread through the soundfield. The climax comes during the film’s Transformers-esque battle sequence where everything comes at you. The low end is staggering. Dialogue remains clear and concise throughout.

Lionsgate offers a small yet strong selection of extras, including the nine-part documentary “The Power of the Present” (HD, 140 mins.) that charts the evolution of the Power Rangers from the original series to the present film, an audio commentary with the writer and director, and 18 deleted scenes (HD). Digital HD UltraViolet and iTunes Digital HD copies plus a Blu-ray are included.

Studio: Lionsgate, 2017
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio Format: Dolby Atmos
Length: 134 mins.
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Dean Israelite
Starring: Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler