It’s funny how nostalgia works. The films, comic books, and television shows we consume in our youth age like fine wine in our minds long after we’ve left them behind for other, older, more substantial forms of popular culture. More often than not however, when we revisit these shows from our youth, it transpires they haven’t so much aged – more like… decomposed. The nostalgia is ruined, and we realise our childhood shows aren’t as perfect as we once thought them to be.
Such is my relationship with Power Rangers. Or, to be more specific, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. You see dear reader, I’m not one of those journalists who classifies all nineteen different series of Power Rangers as the same show. I know the difference between Power Rangers Dino Thunder and Power Rangers Dino Charge. I know Power Rangers Time Force was the best thing since sliced bread, and I know that the less said about Power Rangers Megaforce the better. I even know a little about Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger, but maybe that’s for another article.
I also know that I’m really quite excited for 2017’s Power Rangers, the cinematic reboot of the original series. The original series is quite a cheesy affair, a lot of crash-bang-ka-blam via spandex-clad teenagers and unconvincing Godzilla v Transformers-esque battles. Now that we have this cinematic reboot on the way, the whole thing may well be born out of Lionsgate desperately piecing together their own Marvel Cinematic Universe, but after seeing the recently released trailer, I’m more excited for it than I ever have been. To me, this looks like a film that will treat the Rangers like characters, and not simply action figures that need to be shifted off the shop shelves.
Let’s examine that trailer a little closer then, and countdown six of its best moments.
6. Rita v Trini
Perhaps the most jarring of updates we’ve seen so far from Power Rangers is Elizabeth Banks‘ Rita Repulsa, the mortal enemy of the Power Rangers. In the original series, she had a cartoon-ish camp about her, much like the series in general. She was often hampered in her plans for galactic domination by her bumbling underlings and constant stream of monsters-of-the-week, who routinely failed in destroying the Rangers.
Here however, in the brief moment where she appears to invade the Yellow Ranger’s room, she presents herself as a truly malicious, sadistic enemy. No longer are Power Ranger fights confined to conveniently evacuated streets or abandoned warehouses. This fleeting scene shows a very personal fight in what might be a very personal film.
If that wasn’t enough, her snake-like torments of “I’ve killed Rangers before” has already sent the fandom into utter meltdown!
5. Jason Confronts Billy’s Bully
Regarding this possibly being a very personal film, there’s very little in the way of recognisable Power Rangers action. Zordon and Alpha aren’t in this trailer, neither are any Zords, and we only see a tease of a Ranger suit. In the recently released character descriptions, these Rangers are portrayed as social outcasts from society, with the daily pressures of high school dominating their lives.
In this scene, we get an unspoken sense of the bond the Rangers are already sharing in their troubled lives. We can assume this particular moment takes place before the Rangers become Rangers themselves, or even before they’re fully acquainted with each other. Either way, it’s a handsome touch.
4. Kimberely Cuts Her Hair
Sounds rather odd doesn’t it? Why should this seemingly inconsequential scene be on this list? Well to most, it may well seem inconsequential, but in my popular culture journalist’s brain, which picks, ravels and generally over-analysis such scenes waaay too much, it’s another oddly refreshing touch to this movie.
This scene is another hint at the character-driven narrative of this movie, something that would be a welcome change of pace to the aforementioned methods of how Power Rangers was dictated in its delivery. In comparison to the source material as well, its intriguing to see queen bee Kimberely cast out from such social cliques.
3. Power Coins
If memory serves right, the cosmic, celestial entity Zordon randomly chose the five Angel Grove teens to become Power Rangers within five minutes of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers‘ first episode. Here however, how the Rangers exactly become Rangers seems to be the polar opposite.
The Rangers seem to discover the Power Coins, embedded in some kind of monolith, quite by accident, and develop super human powers, all before they’ve had a chance to say “It’s morphin’ time!”. That whole sequence of the Rangers discovering the Coins, gaining their powers, and discovering the underwater cavern, which is presumably the new Command Centre, feel like both a literal and mental journey of discovery.
This scene seems to trigger the Ranger’s path to becoming the Rangers themselves, but could it also be a symbolic journey of a teenager’s path to finding some form pf peace in their troubled lives.
Just what the hell is this movie going to be like? An intimate study of teenage angst thinly veiled against a backdrop of alien monsters, colour-coded superheroes and giant robot fights? BRING IT!!
2. No Zordon?
One of the trailer’s most intriguing aspects is the lack of the Power Rangers’ omnipotent mentor, portrayed by Bryan Cranston. This trailer does exactly what it should do – tease you for what’s coming. We’ll surely see Zordon, Alpha 5, and the Zords pop up in future trailers, but from day one, it’s nice to see that the emphasis is on the main characters of this film.
1. “It’s happening!”
If you didn’t feel a burst of excitement run through you as Jason’s Ranger suit crawls over him, a rich, full-bodied red on clear display, before cutting suddenly to a subtle, synth-driven instrumental version of the Power Rangers chorus, you’re probably not as keen on Power Rangers as others.
But surely, with such a decidedly different tone to its TV incarnation, this film is designed to appeal to a different type of audience than is Power Rangers‘ usual mission to entertain. Could this film gain new fans who really aren’t as keen on the original as others?
Cranston said in an interview a while back that how this Power Rangers is unrecognizable compared to the original. Fasten your seat-belts nostalgia lovers, because its happening. Power Rangers is set to discard the cheesy-as-hell nature of the original series and show the world how grown up a film about rainbow-coloured super-teens can be.
We’ve almost half a year to wait until Power Rangers hits our screens, but its shaping up to be a morphenominal experience.
Did we miss out any other great moments from the trailer? Let us know in the comments section below or send us a Tweet!