Critics Consensus

Power Rangers Splits Critics and Life Is Fine

Plus, CHIPS is stale and Prevenge is Certified Fresh.

by | March 23, 2017 | Comments

This week at the movies, we have beautiful people making a huge mistake in space (Life, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Rebecca Ferguson) and a pair of TV series from yesteryear making the leap to the silver screen (Saban’s Power Rangers, with Elizabeth Banks and Bryan Cranston; and CHiPs, starring Dax Shepard and Michael Peña). What are the critics saying?

Saban's Power Rangers (2017) 49%

The TV series that started it all is frequently derided as low-budget cheese, but there’s no denying the Power Rangers franchise’s enduring — and lucrative — appeal. That continued viability brings our go-go multicolored heroes back to theaters this weekend for the reboot treatment, uniting a whole new cast around the ongoing struggle between the disembodied wizard Zordon (Bryan Cranston) and his witchy nemesis Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks). The results, perhaps unsurprisingly, strike most critics as entertaining enough, yet deeply inessential; caught between embracing its campy roots or giving the material an action-thriller overhaul, the new-look Saban’s Power Rangers never quite manages to justify its existence. If you’re a fan, you’ll probably still want to buy a ticket, and a sequel might be more or less inevitable, but those in search of a truly satisfying nostalgia rush are advised to look elsewhere.

Life (2017) 67%

It isn’t Life‘s fault that Alien will forever stand as the definitive claustrophobic space thriller — and if director Daniel Espinosa had gotten his hands on this script (written by Deadpool vets Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese) during that franchise’s long lull, there’s a chance the story might have seemed a bit more original. But with Alien: Covenant right around the corner, this sleek sci-fi adventure about an extraterrestrial organism discovered in space by a crew of ISS astronauts (including Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds) strikes a fair number of critics as uncomfortably familiar. Still, most scribes suggest that as long as you’re just out for a little B-movie fun this weekend, you should have a reasonably good time with Life — even if you’ll likely have forgotten most of it by the time that next Alien installment arrives in May.

CHIPS (2017) 17%

Saban’s Power Rangers isn’t the only successful TV series getting a big-screen facelift this weekend: also roaring into your local cineplex is CHIPS, writer-director-star Dax Shepard’s 21st-century adaptation of the hit buddy-cop action-drama that made stars out of Erik Estrada and Larry Wilcox during its 1977-’83 run. As we’ve seen repeatedly over the years, turning a television show into a movie can be harder than it looks; for every Brady Bunch Movie, there’s a Car 54, Where Are You? — and sadly, critics say this CHIPS lands decidedly on the latter end of the spectrum. While the original wasn’t anyone’s idea of a classic, the movie (which pairs Shepard with Michael Peña as mismatched patrolmen Jon Baker and Frank “Ponch” Poncherello) swaps out its enduringly cheesy charms for lowbrow humor that provokes fewer laughs than embarrassed sighs. For the price of a night out at the movies, you could pick up the complete series on DVD — and if you’re really in the mood to see a pair of California Highway Patrolmen in action, it sounds like that’s your best bet.

What’s New on TV

Shots Fired: Season 1 (2017) 84%

Shots Fired tackles tough topics commendably — and remains consistently compelling despite an occasionally meandering plot.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Prevenge (2017) , about a pregnant woman driven into a killing spree by her unborn child, is at 95 percent.
  • I Called Him Morgan (2017) , a documentary look at the life and murder of jazz musician Lee Morgan, is at 95 percent.
  • Dig Two Graves (2017) , about a girl grappling with the tempting — and costly — opportunity to bring her brother back from the dead, is at 89 percent.
  • A Woman, A Part (2017) , about the personal and professional travails of an actress at a crossroads, is at 88 percent.
  • I, Olga Hepnarová (Já, Olga Hepnarová) (2017) , a fact-based drama about a young outcast who violently retaliates against society, is at 79 percent.
  • Wilson (2017) , starring Woody Harrelson as a middle-aged misanthrope, is at 44 percent.
  • Bokeh (2017) , a drama offering a look at the post-apocalypse through the eyes of a couple vacationing in Iceland, is at 44 percent.
  • The Most Hated Woman In America (2017) , starring Melissa Leo as real-life atheist activist Madalyn Murray O’Hair, is at 43 percent.

Tag Cloud

DC Universe APB Trophy Talk WGN talk show theme song Teen Emmys Food Network ESPN Spectrum Originals crossover Spring TV binge Mudbound sitcom Shondaland Lionsgate Western crime thriller docudrama SDCC what to watch X-Men Polls and Games unscripted 45 transformers Grammys sports Rocky Best and Worst Oscars Marvel Winter TV TBS boxoffice BBC ITV Drama Quiz richard e. Grant 2017 Amazon Prime zero dark thirty travel Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt AMC television zombie Interview CNN Calendar El Rey Adult Swim Premiere Dates festivals Mary Poppins Returns Columbia Pictures Vudu Ellie Kemper biography ABC GIFs TCA 2017 Syfy Marathons Elton John Fox News Winners Tomatazos 007 A&E E3 Paramount Schedule Toys green book Star Trek Bravo Women's History Month MSNBC Epix discovery psycho Reality Competition National Geographic blaxploitation cooking TruTV Thanksgiving Opinion New York Comic Con finale President Martial Arts Disney TV TCA RT21 nature Sony Pictures Amazon YA Anna Paquin strong female leads police drama Sci-Fi technology SXSW DirecTV Red Carpet PaleyFest Freeform crime Cartoon Network Cosplay doctor who Walt Disney Pictures See It Skip It Acorn TV Stephen King Netflix ABC Family Trailer Dark Horse Comics Awards Pet Sematary Warner Bros. Video Games comic Esquire historical drama thriller politics adaptation Captain marvel sequel GLAAD spider-man Sundance Crackle crime drama dc FXX anthology NBC Pop Nominations FOX E! period drama Box Office Summer Watching Series Trivia Nickelodeon serial killer witnail Lifetime Extras Sneak Peek GoT Infographic Mary Tyler Moore CBS All Access First Look Sundance Now The Witch dceu aliens Year in Review Fall TV Disney Channel hist TIFF Superheroe Horror FX natural history 2018 RT History war Election Pirates Christmas supernatural Countdown Black Mirror San Diego Comic-Con Rocketman dragons Action cops space VH1 vampires BBC America Rom-Com Writers Guild of America psychological thriller Music Masterpiece streaming science fiction mutant singing competition Brie Larson Hulu Showtime Valentine's Day 2019 The Arrangement disaster Cannes USA VICE American Society of Cinematographers spy thriller TCM Logo MCU CMT Lucasfilm Biopics award winner Shudder casting romance TNT Tarantino political drama Comics on TV facebook 20th Century Fox History Musical Pixar USA Network PBS Britbox Comedy 21st Century Fox Superheroes IFC Spike Heroines 24 frames Kids & Family zombies Star Wars anime OWN Song of Ice and Fire Certified Fresh mockumentary Fantasy Mystery Ghostbusters social media ratings elevated horror Musicals Comic Book Rock Animation Universal Podcast BET golden globes Paramount Network Country CW Seed composers harry potter Starz CBS DGA DC Comics TLC IFC Films 2016 true crime adventure justice league robots YouTube Premium based on movie LGBTQ Ovation teaser miniseries diversity Creative Arts Emmys SundanceTV comiccon YouTube Red Holidays Mindy Kaling Super Bowl TV Land medical drama Tumblr Photos jamie lee curtis cults The CW MTV Comedy Central dramedy cats 2015 Reality Nat Geo Film Festival Character Guide Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Set visit HBO NYCC Awards Tour cinemax Apple DC streaming service Mary poppins