EVEN in their heyday, the Power Rangers were B-list superheroes.
More than two decades after the morphing teenage misfits made their movie debut, a plastic Lego action figure is capable of running rings around them.
Star Trek, Mad Max Fury Road, Kong: Skull Island … multiplex audiences are becoming increasingly accustomed to the idea that a reboot can match and sometimes even surpass the original product.
In this case, the bar was already pretty low. And still Power Rangers fails to clear it (to bastardise a line from The Lego Batman Movie, these guys wouldn't cut it at a cosplay convention).
The third film in the Power Rangers franchise has absolutely nothing to add to a genre in which Hollywood filmmakers continue to break new ground.
Not even Bryan Cranston, as the wise, all-knowing Zordon, or Elizabeth Banks's fabulously monikered villain Rita Repulsa can transcend the paucity of the material.
The morphing teenage misfits don't stand a chance against the cliche-ridden script and clunky direction.
The one area in which the remake can't be faulted is its diversity.
In this version, West Australian-born actor Dacre Montgomery plays Jason, a fallen jock and lead Red Ranger.
The Blue Power Ranger (Me, Earl and The Dying Girl's RJ Cyler) is a genius on the autism spectrum, and Mexican-American actress Becky G's Yellow Ranger is a lesbian.
Rounding out the team are British actress Naomi Scott and Chinese actor Ludi Lin.
Raw and convincingly rebellious, these adolescent thrillseekers - who stumble across the ancient, glowing medallions after an explosion in a mining site - struggle with the team work required to morph into their superhero alter-egos.
They succeed just in time to save the planet from Rita and her monstrous henchman, Goldar.
The movie, on the other hand, never stood a chance.
Watching the Power Rangers do battle with Rita's monolithic avenger in their Transformers-like combined Megazord assault machine, it's clear that in the new superhero universe, they are way out their league.
Stars: Elizabeth Banks, Bryan Cranston, Dacre Montgomery, RJ Cyler.
Director: Dean Israelite
Verdict: 1/5 stars
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