Wednesday, May 7, 2014
The Power Rangers Are Returning to the Big Screen!
You ever have a moment where you see something and think that someone stole your idea? That's how I felt when I found out that Lionsgate and Saban Brands are teaming up to create a new film franchise, rebooting the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Of course, I'm joking, however I have thought a few times over the past five years or so that they should reboot the original Power Rangers on the bigscreen, similar to a Spider-Man movie or something. While there is nothing that says that this is the direction the studio is going with -- with no director, writer, or cast announced yet, there is really no way to tell what type of tone they're going for -- I do think that given Lionsgate's track record with stuff like Twilight and The Hunger Games, this film wont just be targeted solely at kids.
I think that this film has the greatest chance at success by actually trying to play off of nostalgia, and get the young adults who watched this show when it first aired, invested in this movie the same way that they are via stuff like The Avengers. That's a tall order for a franchise that has always played purely for kids to fulfill, but it's one that I think is entirely possible. I mean, I am by no means saying that they need to go dark and gritty, but I think that removing a lot of the cheesy one-liners pandering to kids, and making the characters a little more layered and relatable, will perhaps entice older viewers to not only see this film, but enjoy it as well. Plus, by keeping the film fun and somewhat light, it will still work at getting kids invested, similar to the way both kids and their parents love stuff like The Avengers. But let me clarify, I am not wanting them to change the core of what has always made the Power Rangers the show it still is to this day.
At the end of the day, this is still gonna be a Power Rangers movie, and so no matter how much more seriously you try to take it, you will have to embrace a certain element of out there silliness. After all, the original show was pieced together from a bunch of different Japanese TV shows from the Eighties, intercut with new footage and voice-overs from the American actors to make it look like it's all featuring the same people. Personally, I think they can kind of have fun with this. Now, I don't think parody is the right way to go, but I do think it would be fun for the team to ponder why the Pink Ranger has a skirt, and the Yellow Ranger doesn't (hint, in the original Japanese show, the Yellow Ranger was a boy, not a girl), or even make a joke about why the only black guy has to be the Black Ranger. Plus, the original show always had comedy mixed in with the melodrama, which is why I think the Spider-Man approach is the best.
I think if this new film can find the right balance between comedy and melodrama, without traipsing into parody or pandering to the kids in the audience with cheap gags and bathroom humor, these could actually be fun movies with a wide range of appeal. We'll see what happens. Currently, there isn't even a rumored release date, so this could be five years off, or it could be coming out next year. We don't know, so all we can honestly do is speculate. So given that's all that we can do, what do I think the story for this first film should be?
I think just a clean reboot will work the best. Just retell the origin of the original five Power Rangers in this first one, saving the saga of the Green Ranger for a second film or something. The reason for this is because there will need to be so much time devoted to simply setting up the five original Rangers, as well as their villain, Rita Repulsa, their mentor, Zordon, and his helper, Alpha 5, that attempting to squeeze in the Green Ranger would be too much. Let's just have the Rangers get their powers, learn how to work as a team, and then have to take down Rita at the end, perhaps featuring a knock down drag out fight between a giant Goldar and the Megazord. Bottom line, keep this first one simple, make it fun, action packed, and give it some heart, and I think people will be pleasantly surprised.
I'll say more later whenever we actually know more about it, my only one real request is they use the original theme song as the theme for these new movies (posted below).