Last weekend I finally saw the Power Rangers remake, and boy, did it exceed my expectations.
But first, a story…
I remember play fighting with my younger brother (we were around 6 and 7 years old) at a local high school where my older brother attended. We were under the care of his teenage friend and pretending we were the Power Rangers. I was always the Blue Ranger because blue is my favorite color. Anyway, I playfully threw my little brother head-first into a table. It was made of wood, but the corner of it had been broken leaving behind a jagged spike that pointed sideways. He wasn’t seriously injured, but the middle of his forehead did meet the spike right above his brow. It left behind a small scar that’s visible to this day. than a small scar. We slowed down our play fighting for a while, but with each episode of our favorite show that passed, we got right back into the swing of things.
If you’re a millennial in your late 20 / early 30s, it’s likely that you know all about how karate was one of our daily obsessions. How couldn’t it be with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Karate Kid, and more? The Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers just took it to a whole new level. It was great because it was diverse, had great bad guys, and a story that kept our young minds engaged. However, it wasn’t without its problems.
The Glaring Problems of Old
To its credit, this series was always very diverse. However, the problem laid in its placement of certain diverse characters. The first season featured a black ranger who was Black, and a yellow ranger who was Asian. Even at my young age, I could see the issue there. Yet, it was something nobody talked about because they enjoyed the show so much. Nor did we have Twitter, where I’m pretty sure it would have been blasted.
Aside from that was the very weak story. Keep in mind that I loved this show as a kid, and I had no expectations of Emmy-worthy material, but a look on the wiki page shows just how juvenile and simple the original story was.
Lastly, the characters weren’t entirely deep to begin with. Once the popularity of the show grew, there were some deeper storylines, but nothing like what I saw with the latest movie.
Power Rangers Takes A Turn for the Better
In nearly all aspects, 2017’s Power Rangers takes it up a few notches. There was a shuffling of characters that got rid of the whole racial / color thing, but there was even more. We got a Black, highly intelligent kid on the Autism spectrum (a rarity), an Asian ranger with a big personality, and a LGBT / Latina ranger. Two thumbs up on the inclusion front! A new crop of kids are watching this and any who identify with these characters will get the message that they matter.
I also enjoyed the twists in the story from the original. Zordon and Rita Repulsa fighting on Earth millions of years ago, the reason for the form of the Zords, Rita being the original Green Ranger, and her whole revamped mission added some cohesiveness that was missing in the past. She used to want to conquer Earth, but in this movie, she goes after a crystal (one of many that are found on all planets) that will help her take control of the universe. It’s a grander scheme and it works.
The characters’ stories were deepened from the get-go this time around. Jason and Kimberly’s stories were done the best, I believe. However, no one in the cast felt left behind. I imagine this is a hard thing to accomplish for an ensemble within a two-hour space, but everything was explained just enough to feel for the characters.
Make no mistake. This is still not an award contender, but all of this combined with the feeling of nostalgia made this one of the more enjoyable watches of the spring. I highly recommend you take a step into your past and witness the future of a beloved franchise.