If you’re a fan of giant robots, troubled heroes, super powers, and 1990s nostalgia, then you’ll love the new Power Rangers film from Saban Entertainment and Lionsgate. This spring release is a reboot of the widely popular Mighty Morphin Power Rangers franchise that took the world by storm in 1993.
The original series has over 23 seasons and released two major movies in theaters in the late 1990s. Now, nearly 25 years later, the beloved heroes of the Power Rangers franchise will be making their way to the big screen again. However, Power Rangers doesn’t plan to be just an homage to the hit television series. For fans and newcomers alike, there are a few details to make a note of before going to see this film in theaters.
#1: The Tone
From the trailers, it’s clear the writers want to explore the more serious, less comical aspects of the Power Rangers series. The characters in the original series never took their pledge to protect the universe lightly, but there is no denying the humorous, almost corny undertones of fight scenes and interactions between rangers and their extraterrestrial enemies.
Power Rangers is decidedly more mature than the fun-loving original series. Despite this, guardians of younger fans won’t need to worry about whether to take their kids to see this film. While the new movie does delve into darker themes, like bullying and exclusion, these themes are primarily used as a means of bringing the team together. Their shared experiences as social outcasts are what encourages them to join the fight against evil.
The MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) has yet to give Power Rangers an official rating, but it’s unlikely the movie will exceed the PG-13 label.
#2: The Backstory
The highlight of the new film will be its portrayal of the rangers’ origins. For those less familiar with the Might Morphin Power Rangers franchise, this film is as much an introduction to Power Rangers as it is a reboot for seasoned fans.
Power Rangers isn’t the first film in the franchise, but it is the first to focus so heavily on the backstories of the individual characters. In the original series, the five rangers who harness supernatural powers were recruited by one of the original (ancient) rangers.
However, the focus of this first film will not be the plot of rebooted timeline. Instead, the new movie centers on the characters in hopes of developing a sense of familiarity between the audience and the new rangers.
#3: The Cast
For such a highly-anticipated remake, it’s surprising this film features a cast of largely unknown actresses and actors. This will be the first major role for the five actors Ludi Lin, Becky Gomez, RJ Cyler, Naomi Scott, and Dacre Montgomery who play the Black, Yellow, Blue, Pink, and Red Rangers, respectively.
Though the movie decided not to aim for big name value, its cast is extremely talented. Ludi Lin previously appeared in Monster Hunter and the Netflix original series, Marco Polo. RJ Cyler has made a name for himself with his role as the Earl in Me and the Earl and the Dying Girl. Naomi Scott appeared in The 33 and The Martian. Montgomery starred in a short film titled Bertrand the Terrible. Gomez appeared in the hit Fox television series Empire as Valentina Galindo, but many will recognize her as the popular Mexican-American singer Becky G.
Unfortunately, the new movie will not be featuring the Green Ranger, a fan favorite and well-known protagonist, because he was not one of the original five. Nevertheless, wistful fans shouldn’t lose hope, as it’s too early to tell who will be making an appearance as the rebooted series progresses.
#4: The New Looks
Each new season and crew of Power Rangers come with their own signature uniforms and catchphrases. However, it appears everyone and everything have undergone a makeover for the new film.
The first thing you’ll notice is that the new team won’t be wearing colored spandex one-pieces or gold-topped boots like earlier rangers. Instead, they will debut sleek, modern power suits (that look a little like the Iron Man suit) perfectly designed for action.
The updated battle gear isn’t the only way the reboot plans to set itself apart from its previous iterations. Apparently, the rangers will retain their power outside of the suits, a huge departure from the television series and its sequels.
This change was likely made to push the character’s development and make the film more accessible to other superhero movie fans. By depicting the characters’ struggle to balance their new powers and identities with their ordinary lives, Power Rangers aligns itself with many other household names, like Marvel’s X-Men.
#5: The Old Enemy
The rangers aren’t the only ones receiving a design makeover. Not only does the new movie intend to resurrect the ranger’s arch nemesis, Rita Repulsa, but she’ll be making her dastardly debut as a less funny, more frightening super villain.
The Rita Repulsa that terrorized the heroes of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Powers Rangers Zeo, Power Rangers Turbo, and Power Rangers in Space was a humanoid alien witch who wanted to add Earth to her collection of conquered planets. Like her various henchman, the old Rita served as comic relief, always failing to best the rangers in spectacular and hilarious ways.
The new Rita ditched the puffy, orange gown and large, silver wig that the original wore, in favor something more sinister. In Power Rangers, Rita is meaner, greener, and sports an ensemble that makes her look almost reptilian. As of yet, there’s no information about how her evil henchman will come into play, so, for now, the job of terrorizing the Earth will be Rita’s one-woman-show.
#6: The Zords
Fervent fans are sure to be curious about the forms the Zords, biomechanical or fully-mechanized robots used by the rangers to battle oversized monsters, will take in the new film. Zords have taken on various shapes throughout the franchise such as giant vehicles, ninjas the size of buildings, and colossal dinosaurs.
Power Rangers plans to play into the 90s nostalgia and bring back the original concept of Zords as giant robots. Although the trailers and teasers have been quiet about their designs, posters indicate that Zords will have a massive role in the new film. Whether the reboot will stick to tradition and have rangers combine their Zords to form the enormous Megazord is yet to be determined. Still, moviegoers can expect action sequences on a similar size scale as Pacific Rim.