My Thoughts On The Power Rangers 2017 Movie (WARNING – SPOILERS)
Well, I WAS going to do a vlog about the movie. Unfortunately, there are new tenants upstairs from where I live with little kids who like to run around a lot, so I opted to write about it instead. lol So, here they are, my written thoughts on the new Power Rangers movie, having just gotten home from seeing it with N. Harmonik.
Okay, I know that we live in the age where saying this sounds like an insult, but I thought the movie was GOOD. It’s not great, but it’s good and it’s fun to sit back and enjoy. And, believe it or not, THAT’S OKAY. I’m sick of people who take someone saying that something is good but not great as an insult. But yes, this movie is good. The best way to describe it is being dumb yet fun and ultimately harmless. And I will admit to being worried about it, particularly after finding out that Billy would be autistic and Trini would be gay. Why would that bother me? Because, if you’ll lean in real close so I can share a little secret with you: I’M ON BOTH THOSE SPECTRUMS…I know, I just revealed the best kept secret in the flipping world. I’ll give you all a moment to recover mentally. lol But anyway, my point is, with how very Bay-esque this movie was coming off in the trailers, I was worried the decision to make them autistic and LGBTQ would be simply to play up the stereotypes of both and have those BE their character traits. Thankfully, though, I think we may have dodged the bullet on that one. In fact, if I may be so bold, the reason I think this movie is actually better than both the Transformers and TMNT movies going on right now has a lot to do with the characters and our ability to actually LIKE them. And, that being the case, let’s go over each one, shall we?
The first thing you gotta know about the characters is that, while they’re people we can relate to and get on board with, they’re also very much delinquents. Jason, for example, finds himself in trouble after a prank gone wrong, to the point where he’s under house arrest. However, he’s still a good person, as shown when he stands up to a bully to protect Billy. He’s also the one who decides to go with being a Power Ranger first, much like his TV counterpart. I should also note that he’s not a martial artist, but rather a football player. In fact, none of the team go in being at all experienced in martial arts, and have to be trained by Alpha 5 (who is thankfully more adept than the TV version, or that would’ve ended horribly). However, he nonetheless comes off as the physically strongest (even after they get their powers) and seems to take on a leadership role rather easily. I did love how he at one point says they should stop pretending to be superheroes and then IMMEDIATELY goes into a superhero team leader speech. 😛
Zack is…the crazy one. No, seriously, that’s pretty much his character. He’s the more reckless of the team, opting to try and pilot his Zord before being able to morph, is all too willing to try and test the limits of his enhanced strength and leaping ability, and even gets into a fight with Jason at one point. However, he’s also the one to come up with the idea of sharing secrets around a fire as a means to help them get closer. And it turns out he might have a reason for his recklessness: His mother is dying, and he doesn’t know what to do with himself and his life when she goes. But, by the end, he finds he does have something more to live for: His friends. He also feels a connection to Trini, doing all he can to keep her with the group and helping her open up about herself. I’m not sure if that’s because he’s crushing on her hard or what, but the point stands that he gets her to be herself with the team.
Billy was honestly the one I was most concerned about since pretty much the first trailer. Of everyone presented, you could instantly tell through him that these were NOT going to be the same characters as we’ve known since 1993. And yes, that’s absolutely true, these are NOT your 90s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. However, here’s the thing you need to remember: That doesn’t automatically make these characters BAD. In fact, if I can be thoroughly honest, these characters are 100x more developed and interesting than the originals were in the beginning. They developed into much more well-rounded characters over time, but in the beginning? Not so much. And no, Billy’s character is not that he’s autistic. It’s a part of who he is, but it’s not his character, and as someone with Asperger’s Syndrome and having worked with people all up and down the autism spectrum, I was not offended at all by his character. Right from the beginning, he’s the one who values his new friendships the most, and because of that, he’s the first one to morph, albeit briefly. He also has a MAJOR moment late in the movie that…well, let’s just say I did NOT see it coming, but I honestly thought worked perfectly. Also, if you’re wondering, he’s in detention for blowing up his lunch box. Seriously. XD
Ahh, Trini, my first love. Which is why learning she’s LGBTQ in this movie is hilarious to me personally. lol And, much like Billy, her being gay is not her character. And while I was worried they might’ve only done that just so that they could have Rita go succubus mode on her, really, there’s only one line in particular that seems to have that kind of subtext to it. No, if I had to sum up her character, it’s best displayed in her sarcasm and her difficulty gelling into a group. In fact, her more sarcastic nature could even be seen as a defense mechanism/smokescreen. She quite literally has to be forcibly pulled into the group. But, once there, she realizes she likes being part of a group of friends that care for her and will watch her back, and is able to open up to them about her issues at home with her family who just want her to be “normal”. Granted, I still can’t say that I care for this character the same way I did Trini, but that’s my natural bias, and I did not have any kind of issues with this version. That said, what IS her last name now, since it’s obviously not Kwan? o.O
Kimberly is a bit of an odd nut to crack at first, but then the reveal is made why she is the way she is: She once leaked a photo of a friend of hers with some guy to her boyfriend. Looking on her actions in hindsight, it’s easy to see that she’s carrying the guilt of what she did the entire time, and when she considers that it may be her keeping this to herself that’s keeping them from morphing, she tells Jason, who tells her to carry that with her, and to be the person she wants to be. And yeah, they hint several times at the two having feelings for each other, though the kiss from the trailer has been removed. And all the better, I say. If they DO decide that’s the direction they wanna go as opposed to her with Tommy, better to have it develop slowly over a gradual amount of time.
Beyond the team, there are several other things that got revised for this movie. For example, Zordon is now the original Red Ranger, and rather than being trapped in a time-warp that he speaks through via a tube, he’s actually dead and had his consciousness transferred into his ship (the movie’s version of the Command Center) and speaks through a wall that reforms itself to be shaped like his head. Rita Repulsa is likewise the original Green Ranger, but betrayed and killed the team. And, if I can be honest…I really love that change. Honestly, it just fits, and even could’ve worked in the original version of the story without changing much. Hell, I don’t even think it was ever revealed exactly how she got her hands on the Green Power Coin originally in the show. Zordon being the Red Ranger is admittedly a little trickier to work in, but it could be done.
Now, about the Zords… … …Eh. Look, they aren’t bad designs, especially in their separated forms. Really, the only thing that bugs me is the multiple legs on the Mastodon Zord to make it “more alien”. Otherwise, they’re fine, and I actually appreciate the Pterodactyl Zord being the most useful of the group since…well, this is kind of a no-brainer, but because it can freaking fly. But then they combine, and…look, I get what they were going for, and it works for the most part, but it just does not hold a candle to the original design. And admittedly, that could totally be a me issue. What’s funny is, it was actually when I noticed something familiar about the Zords’ individual designs that something hit me about this movie. Specifically, I started to realize that there was one other PR story that this seemed to resemble a fair bit more than MMPR…
Think about it: The teens aren’t friends in the beginning and instead meet by chance that leads them to becoming Rangers after freeing the source of their powers from stone. Their mentor is a former Ranger. They actually have a tie to the time of the dinosaurs beyond the Zords simply being modeled after them, which, as I noted, actually look less like the original Dino Zords and more like the ones from Dino Thunder. Hell, even certain characteristics of the team can be seen as similar to the Dino Thunder team, like Jason being a sports jock. And I’m not even saying any of this as a negative thing. Honestly, if you’re going to use any season as a model of how to update the teenagers with attitude gimmick, Dino Thunder is the one to go with.
As for stuff I didn’t like…well, for starters, I was not a fan of some of the moments that seemed to be trying too hard to appeal to a more adult fanbase. For example, I did NOT need the thing with the cow’s penis, and frankly, I found that joke to be done better in City Slickers 2. I also did NOT need to hear Billy have to stop himself from saying motherfucker. That was going a bit too far with the gag of him having to stop himself and others from swearing. And while I agree that it’s probably for the best that Bulk and Skull are not in this movie, as they wouldn’t have fit the tone, the new bully is just the stereotypical bland bully that only exists to have his comeuppance and doesn’t really have a character. And then there’s Alpha, and while I appreciate him being more active and understand the reason for the new voice, the voice seems like a very random choice, and he doesn’t have much of a character at all, though putting developing that on the back burner for the first movie is understandable. Plus, while I understand where they were going with the new design…the eyes are weird. I’m sorry. lol
Now, all of that said, I have to be blunt about something: If you’re coming to this movie expecting to see a perfect adaptation of the original MMPR to the big screen, you will not get what you want. I’m sorry, but that’s just how it is. This is not the 90s MMPR. However, that does not make this a bad movie, and while there are things about it that are inferior to the original, there are also things about it that are better. Will it be beloved to me in the same way that the original was? Of course not. But it’s something that I enjoyed watching, and wouldn’t mind seeing a sequel to, especially since it’s been all but written in the sky that the next movie will be Green With Evil. And speaking of, I am totally in favour of the idea of making Tommy a girl, just so long as she remains the badass martial artist. That part of Tommy has to remain the same, no matter what else they change about him/her/it/they/whatever. Also, I would just like to point out that Jason David Frank and Amy Jo Johnson are in this movie… … …That is all. XD
Anyway, I think that best describes my own personal thoughts on the movie. So, if anyone else was on the fence about seeing it, I hope I’ve helped you come to your own conclusions. Ja né, and may the power protect you always!
…Oh, and lastly, N. Harmonik and I marked out like mad when Go Go Power Rangers played. XD
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #0 Preview
Haven’t decided if I’m picking this up or not, but being a huge PR fanboy, I thought I’d go ahead and share the preview for BOOM! Studios’ Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #0.
- What’s to Love: The Power Rangers franchise is a true multi-generational, worldwide franchises. With its flashy costumes, mecha Zords, and-at its core-a story of superpowered teens who fight against evil alien forces, the Power Rangers are a pop-culture phenomenon that has continued to resonate with fans for over 20 years. As a new film gets ready for release in 2017, we, as huge Power Rangers fans ourselves, are excited to produce a modern Power Rangers comic featuring the characters of the original Mighty Morphin series.
- What It Is: It’s Morphin Time! The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers make their BOOM! Studios comic debut in this kick-off #0 issue that sets the stage for the rest of the series. After escaping Rita Repulsa’s mind control, Tommy Oliver, the Green Ranger, joins up with the rest of the Power Rangers to combat her never-ending evil plans. Any semblance of a normal life is gone for Tommy now, but with his newfound family there lies hope for a brighter path. Includes the short story from the San Diego Comic-Con exclusive Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comics!
My 10 Personal Favourite Power Rangers
This may surprise no one, but I am a complete and utter geek/dork. And as with most geeks/dorks/etc that grew up in my generation, I am a huge Power Rangers fan. Now I’m not quite as ranty or analytical about the series or about the production of it as others, but seeing as how this IS Jyger’s Rant, I’ll most likely be getting to that in the near future. For now, I thought I’d put my nostalgia glasses on and look at 10 of my favourite Power Rangers from the entire series (in no particular order). Now of course, this is entirely opinion based, so don’t freak out if you disagree with me anywhere. Also, I’m gonna try to avoid referencing each Ranger’s Sentai counterpart, hard as it may be for me as I’m actually a fan of both Power Rangers AND Super Sentai, and before you ask, no, on a whole I do NOT have a preference. So with that said, let’s start off with…
Trini Kwan, the Yellow Mighty Morphin’ Ranger
Ah Trini, my one true love…Err, that is until I met my girlfriend…Okay, so I had a HUGE fanboy crush on this girl as a kid, but can you honestly blame me? She was beautiful, she knew kung fu, and she had a passion to protect the environment. She often-times was seen assisting Billy with his devices and would also provide English-to-Technobabble translations between himself and the rest of the team. Oh, and apparently her favourite superhero was Wonder Woman. How awesome is that? Sadly, her time on the show only lasted a little over a year. Even sadder, Thuy Trang, the woman who played Trini on the show, tragically passed away in a car accident 10 years ago. She remains dearly missed.
Carter Grayson, the Red Lightspeed Rescue Ranger
For some reason, a few fans tend to think of Carter as being kinda bland and uninteresting. And to quote Lewis Black, “I wonder where exactly one can find a drug that would make one so delusional.” Carter was frigging bad-ass! First episode, there was a monster attack, and he tried to run it down with a humvee. When the Zords were brought down by monsters, he just charged them with hand blasters. When a monster cloned itself and was attacking one of Carter’s friends and fellow Rangers, he got out a couple of oversized blasters and held the monster at point-blank range, threatening to blow him away if he didn’t call off the clone. You mess with Carter Grayson, and you’ll either live to regret it, or you won’t live through it at all.
Dillon, the Black RPM Ranger
A lot of Power Rangers seasons fall into a pattern where the Red Ranger hogged most of the spotlight. RPM was NOT one of those seasons, wherein all 7 members of the team were very well-developed characters that shared the spotlight…though if any one member got more than the others, that would’ve been Dillon. Much like Carter, this guy is a bad-ass. A lot of times he prefers to work alone, often fighting enemies on his own away from the others when fights broke out. Also, as someone whose past was taken away from him and made part cybernetic by the main villain, he had the biggest score to settle, making his story a very personal one, made even more-so by the discovery that he had a sister that was missing somewhere in the world. Ultimately, he does embrace the team as his friends, but he still prefers to do things his way and is always bad-ass while doing so.
Tommy Oliver, the Green Mighty Morphin’ Ranger, White Mighty Morphin’ Ranger, Red Zeo Ranger, Red Turbo Ranger, and Black Dino Thunder Ranger
C’mon, are you really shocked this guy’s on my list? Tommy DEFINES what it means to be a Power Ranger. He’s strong of mind, body, and spirit. He is willing to put his life on the line if necessary to protect the world from some of the worst villains known in PR continuity. He’s had to live through the trauma of being placed under a spell that made him possibly the biggest threat to the Power Rangers in their early days, and after being freed from it had to make it through a long process of trying to hold onto his powers as the forces of evil tried everything to take them away or exhaust them to depletion. But even in losing them, he kept up the fight, earning new powers and the role of leader of the team. As the longest serving Ranger in Power Rangers history, he’s led multiple teams, and served as the mentor to a newer team of Rangers while in his adulthood, eventually joining the team himself as their Black Ranger. A running joke among many is that he won’t be satisfied until he’s worn every colour known to man as a Power Ranger. But let’s be honest, at the end of the day, Tommy is no laughing matter.
Jen Scotts, the Pink Time Force Ranger
The first and only Pink Ranger to lead a team, Jen is the leader of the Time Force Rangers. Smart, driven, athletic, passionate, and let’s face it, beautiful. I think she actually tops Kimberly as the best Pink Ranger of all time. For a while, she seemed like a woman possessed in her goal of capturing Ransik and bringing him back to the future, but when he genuinely felt repentant for his crimes, she forgave him. She had something of a love triangle with Wes and Alex, but ultimately concluded that she loved Wes, even though they could never be together due to coming from different time periods. Oh, and when she came back for Reinforcements From The Future, she came decked out in leather and heavy artillery. Now THAT is the sign of an awesome Ranger.
Cole Eva-…Wait, that’s not right…
Cole Evans, the Red Wild Force Ranger
Okay, I know I’m gonna get some tilted heads for this pick, but I like this guy. The Blazing Lion, Cole was chosen by the Lion Zord to be the leader of the Wild Force. Yeah, his actor could ham it up really bad in scenes, but he was also involved in some really brutal fight scenes, my favourite being his one-on-one battle with Master Org. He could speak to animals because he could connect to the heart of other living creatures, thus being able to understand the Wild Zords as well. His most notable accomplishments include helping to save the world from the Org threat and also destroying Serpentera…though the means by which he did so still piss me off, but I can’t really fault the character for that.
Adam Park, the Black Mighty Morphin’ Ranger, Green Zeo Ranger,
and Green Turbo Ranger
Before you call favouritism towards MMPR, I would just like to note that two of them that I picked were on multiple teams. With that said, Adam started out kinda bland and generic. There wasn’t anything wrong with him, he just didn’t do much to stand out at all. I think it wasn’t until Zeo that he started to stand out, but at that point, his character grew far more. He became Tommy’s main sparring partner, as well as his second-in-command. He became more proactive too, as seen in an incident where Tommy couldn’t pilot the Red Battlezord, a Zord that utilizes a psychic link with the pilot, and asked to have it reconfigured so he could pilot it instead. He would leave the show halfway through Turbo, but managed to return twice in Power Rangers In Space and Power Ranger Operation Overdrive, both times using his original powers passed down to him by Zack, the original Black Ranger. Asd such, he is the second longest serving Ranger in history.
Bridge Carson, the SPD B-Squad Green Ranger, SPD B-Squad Blue Ranger, and SPD B-Squad Red Ranger
Meet the only guy to shown on screen as three different Ranger colours for the same darned team. Bridge started off as the Green Ranger of Space Patrol Delta’s B-Squad, serving as such from the beginning of the season right up until the finale, wherein Jack Landors, the Red Ranger, retired from SPD and Sky Tate, the Blue Ranger, was promoted to Red, leaving his old position to Bridge. Sometime afterwards, Sky was promoted again, leading to Bridge becoming B-Squad’s Red Ranger by default. Some would call Bridge the most unlikely Red Ranger ever due to his quirky off-the-wall behaviour, but I think he’s pretty cool. He has the power of psychometry, though apparently he needs to wear gloves to keep such power in check or he’d read everyone’s auras uncontrollably. He also has the ability to achieve an epiphany by doing a handstand. Both are actually powers belong to two members of Dekaranger, SPD’s Japanese counterpart, but I’m trying not to talk about Sentai so let’s move on. Overall, Bridge is pretty cool. I do wanna punch him though, because now I can’t say the word “buttery” without wiggling my fingers. Thanks Bridge, really.
Trent Fernandez-Mercer, the White Dino Thunder Ranger
…Okay, I said I would keep Sentai references to a minimum, but I cannot keep this one down. Trent is frigging awesome, but he is also a VERY underwhelming counterpart to Mikoto Nakadai, AbareKiller. Seriously, if you have not watched Abaranger, let me just say that it is worth watching, if for no other reason than AbareKiller.
…Okay, mini rant over. Trent is the adoptive son of the man who would turn out to be the main antagonist of the show, and would later become the White Ranger for Dino Thunder, though he was actually a major antagonist to them for a while due to possession from his dino gem. When he was freed from his possession, he joined the team, though not before having his powers cloned into an evil White Ranger. For a long time, he had to grapple with loyalties to both his team and his father’s Jekyll/Hyde condition, as well as being in a constant grapple with his clone over the White Ranger powers. However, Trent’s will eventually saw him through both. Oh yeah, and did I also mention his powers let him move at light-speed for a few seconds at a time?!
And the last of my 10 favourite Power Rangers is…
Linkara, the White Zeo Pimp Ranger
Alright, chillax, I’m just kidding. I just couldn’t possibly resist that one. Seriously though, I WANT that hat.
Andros, the Red Space Ranger
How could I possibly not include the Ranger that saved the universe from the United Alliance of Evil? When the Turbo Rangers were without power and needed someone to lead them through space against the forces threatening the entire universe, Andros was just the man they needed. He taught them all about space and their new powers, and in return, they taught him about Earth and how to be a part of a team, something he’d forgotten since his friend Zhane had been critically wounded in action. In the final battle, he found their great leader Zordon, only for Zordon to insist that Andros shatter his energy tube, thus destroying him but leaving a wave of energy that destroyed or purified every single member of the Alliance, thus saving the universe. And with the war finally over, Andros, who had learned so much about being part of a team of friends, elected to go back with them to Earth, claiming his real home was with them.
So those are my 10 Favourite Power Rangers. I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane, feel free to leave your comments below, and hopefully I can remember to talk more on Power Rangers in the future. Thanks for reading, and may the power protect you all.