Photo courtesy of Kimberly French

Power Rangers 2017 – Can It Be Mighty?

Mighty Un-Morphed Powered Humans
Change Grade: Go Go!

In the trailer we see that gaining the power coins didn’t just give them the ability to morph and even up the score. In fact, this new team has a power and force that we’ve never seen before. Super strength, possible enhanced agility, speed, and maybe even accelerated healing are all part of their power set.

Photo courtesy of Kimberly French

Not that this is a bad thing, it’s not like a bulk of the Power Rangers didn’t have extra powers anyways, but it is a pity that the movie isn’t adhering to one of the things that now makes the original crew unique.

This is best expressed in the Operation Overdrive two-parter “Once A Ranger.” Uniting a team of five ex-Rangers when Team Overdrive loses connection to the Morphing Grid, it isn’t long before the audience are treated to a classic un-morphed combat between the replacements and the bad guys’ foot soldiers.

With the line-up consisting of Mystic Force’s Xander, SPD’s Bridge, Dino Thunder’s Kira, and Ninja Storm’s Tori, it was only veteran second Mighty Morphin’ Black Ranger Adam who possessed no powers out of costume. This allowed for an impressively choreographed Jackie Chan-esque sequence utilising the set and props to make for a better fight than any of the other Rangers’.

On a positive note, the powers granted to the Rangers in the movie looks to be more of physical enhancements than outright supernatural abilities, so maybe this may simply make for more interesting, and maybe more intense action. After all, unlike the original series, the Putty Patrollers in this version promise to be a greater threat. If the Rangers are to be able to believably take them on un-morphed, then this might be a required modification to the story.

Either way superpowers or not, no one can ever take them down. After all, the power lies on their side.

Change Grade: Go Go!

Photo courtesy of Kimberly French

While inevitable, I personally think that #NotMyPowerRangers is a pretty dumb statement. After all, unless you’ve been following all 24 years worth of seasons, it’s safe to say that #NotMyPowerRangers could well apply to easily half the series’ run (or more) for most people. Ironically, the same group of “most people” this movie is trying to pander to, is also the same group of people who are going to have the hardest time accepting the new cast as their childhood heroes.

The main problem here is that the Power Rangers are less James Bond and more Doctor Who. Unlike the Bond franchise, which was pretty much dismissive regarding continuity up till the point of Daniel Craig’s pecs, each generation of Power Rangers have pretty much become synonymous to their era of fans, bringing something new each time on a somewhat blank slate. I.e., The many Doctors of Doctor Who.

This isn’t the same as having a new actor under Batman’s cowl every decade, this is more like doing Friends: The Movie with a whole new cast, and calling it “The One Where They All Become Friends.”

Okay, so that’s a really bad title for a movie.

Basically, almost all my issues with the movie could have been resolved with just one creative decision: don’t remake the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.

No, I don’t mean don’t make the movie at all, I mean make it a different set of Power Rangers. In the last 24 years of the series, we have seen about 20 iterations of the Power Rangers—each a different cast from the last (mostly). Not only has this allowed the series a seeming immortality, but it has also been used to establish a pretty intricate, era-spanning, alternate timeline travelling continuity. Which, outside of 50 to 80 year old comics, is pretty damn remarkable. Especially since you don’t have to watch two decades’ worth of shows just to understand a single episode… once again, looking at you DC/Marvel.

I’m more than willing to see a new interpretation of the Power Ranger team (as long as it maintains its theme and ethics), but I’m definitely not as open to seeing a new Jason, Kimberly, Zack, Trini or Billy.

Final Verdict
Anticipation Grade: Morphinominal

Photo courtesy of Kimberly French

The tickets are booked, the Power Ranger t-shirt’s on, and I still can’t wait to see my second favourite superhero team on the big screen again!

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