Like many if not all blockbusters over the last couple of years that have served as big-screen adaptations, reboots, re-imaginings, sequels or prequels, the new Power rangers movie has also been the target of hatred, scepticism and resentment. And without jumping on the anti-fanboy bandwagon, as a fan of the franchise myself, I’ll be the first to admit that, whilst excited for the most part, some of the more recent concept images – mainly those of toys with almost zeo – sorry, zero marketing of the film itself, for reasons unknown – have been downright shocking. Alpha 5 (the ranger’s trusted robot assistant, voiced by Bill Hader in the new movie) might almost be a mirror image of the original bar his frog-like figure but he boasts some odd-looking headlamps, and perhaps the most controversial revelations have been the zords (to non-power rangers fans, they’re the big robots the rangers command when battling giant monsters) and their arch nemesis’ henchman, “Goldar,” with his makeover resembling a monster literally covered in dripping gold, hardly the armoured, wolf-like menace we all know and came to love in the original 90s series.
As for the rangers themselves (Naomi Scott, Dacre Montgomery, Ludi Lin, Becky G and RJ Cyler), their famous foe Rita Repusla (played by Elizabeth Banks), and their master Zordon (none other than Bryan Cranston’s infamous bald head) there have been very few complaints – which can only be a good thing. But while some reboots and sequels and all the rest of them quite often deserve the scrutiny even before – and sometimes after – they’ve hit the silver screen (hello, Ghostbusters and Independence Day: Resurgence), the likes of Power Rangers must be taken with a pinch of salt. After all, the original 90s TV show (now still running in an ever-changing – or ever-morphing – form into its 23rd year) was based on Japanese show Super Sentai, having also borrowed a great deal of its footage for years. Not only that, but Power Rangers was pure cheese with sprinkled cheese on top: Irritatingly-positive teenagers dressed in biker helmets and spandex battling an evil witch who lived on the moon whose spear wielded the power to create giant monsters, which the rangers battled using robot dinosaurs. As undeniably nostalgic as it all is, come on.
And now, from director Dean Israelite (man at the helm of 2015’s somewhat wishy-washy Project Almanac) a darker imagining of everyone’s favourite colour-coded characters (no, not the Turtles or the Teletubbies) – the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Israelite’s version follows the original concept of five teenagers with attitude chosen by disembodied alien Zordon to defend the planet against a powerful witch using war machines known as “Dinozords”, with the film overlooking anything that’s been since (although we can undoubtedly except several nods, winks, easter eggs and possibly even cameos to the entire franchise).
It’s fair to say that if anything was screaming for a reboot, it was Power Rangers. That said, the original 1995 movie still holds pretty strong – if you’re a fan, of course. And as cheesy as it might be in its own right, it was a masterful effort in comparison to its terrestrial counterpart and gave fans a flavour of what the Power Rangers universe looked like with a bit of budget. Now, check out the morphonominal trailer for the new movie below:
So there you have it. There’s no argument that the film looks fresh, fun, hip and action-packed. We’ve been waiting in limbo since the original teaser launched back in October, but now our senses have been satisfied with big-budget zords, classical villains, and everything we loved about the original – even if some of it has been reinterpreted to fit today’s audiences. But whether the film is good or bad, there’s really only one way to find out – go go watch it cinemas when it crash-lands on March 24th this year. Until then, may the power protect you…