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"Power Rangers" (2017) vs. The Original "Power Rangers" (1993)

Nathan is a film critic and aspiring author with a true passion for the film industry who hopes his writings will help launch his career.


Warning, possible spoilers ahead.

Power Rangers is a 2017 remake of the 1993 TV show Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. The film features the talents of Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa and Bryan Cranston as Zordon and Bill Hader as Alpha 5. The five rangers were played by relatively unknown actors Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Ludi Lin, and Becky G.

The film itself is a huge disappointment, not just for a Power Rangers fan but for newcomers as well. The CGI was good but that's about the only good thing about it. There were plot holes and unnecessary inclusions that drag the film below the grave. It's hard for me not to compare this to the original so I've decided that's what I'll do. Here are the major changes made:

Zordon and Rita Repulsa - While Bryan Cranston and Elizabeth Banks are great actors, even they couldn't cause me to forget the painful new origins that were put on the screen before me. In the original, Zordon was a wise sage and Rita was a humanoid sorceress. Rita served Lord Zedd and was trying to take over Earth for him. Zordon managed to stop her and trapped her in a space dumpster and cast her into space where she would float for 10,000 years. As a last act, Rita trapped Zordon in a time warp. His only communication to the outside world was an energy tube. So quite literally they were both trapped. Rita finally landed on the moon after 10,000 years and was freed. Of course as any evil villainess, she didn't learn her lesson and tried to claim Earth once again. In desperation, Zordon turned to a group of five teenagers to take on the role of the Power Rangers and stop Rita. They had free choice and almost turned away but they eventually decided to accept the responsibility. All this that I just wrote was revealed in the first half of the first episode which was quite literally 20 minutes long. The 2017 movie however destroyed all of that in just 5 minutes. In the film, Zordon isn't a wise sage, but rather a power ranger himself. He was the Red Ranger, the leader of his group. Rita was also a ranger on his team, the Green Ranger. She eventually turned against the group out of a lust for more power. She was searching for a certain crystal that all planets with life have. This crystal is what gives the power of life and she wants its power for herself. The Rangers travel to earth to protect the crystal. Did I mention this all took place 65 million years ago? That's probably the most ridiculous part. Anyway, moving on. So Rita kills the Rangers. Before Zordon dies he hides the Power Coins and states whoever is worthy shall be able to weild their power. Alpha 5 sends help in the form of a meteor. Rita is hit and hurled into the sea, separated from her coin. She falls to the bottom of the ocean and begins to decay. The meteor opens to reveal a ship. Zordon is about to die but is trapped in a kind of matrix in the ship Alpha sent. Somehow Rita didn't die in the ocean. Being separated from her coin should have killed her. So fast forward to the present day and she has escaped and somehow reclaimed her coin. The more she kills, the more powerful and human-looking she becomes.

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The Rangers - The teens are all jerks. Why the coins decided they were worthy of the power I'll never know. In the original, the teens were different but they were friends and cared for one another even though they didn't always agree on everything. Also, when they were not Rangers, they were regular kids. In the movie however, the suits serve literally no purpose other than to hide their identities because they become super-powered the moment they touch the coins. They don't realize it though until they are in an accident and walk away without a scratch. So of course we get gratuitous shots of teens doing stupid stunts because they think they can't die.

Morphing - Now I figured this part would be changed. In the original, the teens each had a name of a dino that they called out which gave them their powers. In this film however, most of the movie was spent on them trying to figure out how to morph. That's right, don't expect much action because the action is literally maybe 35-40 minutes of a 2 hour film. Literally less than half the film. Iron Man became Iron Man in less time than that. But these teens can't figure out how to morph. And all they had to do was focus. Really? Nothing fancy, nothing difficult about it at all, just focus and the suits grow over them like a second skin.

Zords - The Zords aren't called upon like in the original. Rather, the Rangers just jump off a ledge within the cave and (surprise!) there they are. How did they know they'd be there? They didn't.

Megazord - In the original, the MegaZord is formed by the Rangers bringing each of their Zords together and working as one. Zordon tells them how to do it even. In this film however, they each fall into a fiery pit and accidentally attach to each other. Woooow great way to work together guys.

In conclusion, I was literally shaking my head and scoffing through the whole film. There were so many plot holes and differentiations that it's beyond insulting. This just furthers my belief that people today want to be spoon-fed and shown pretty images instead of being given a film that makes you think and helps you grow as a person. Too many people today think films are just movies and mean nothing. Movies DO mean something. Movies show us the dark side of life, the good side of life, the fantastic and supernatural and ugly sides of life. Movies can impact you personally and help you make decisions for your life. movies can open your eyes and mind and give you epiphanies. This film, however, does nothing but dull your mind and tells you that you don't have to be a good person or even need to try to excel; you just have to be in the right place at the wrong time. I give the film a 1 out of 4.

© 2017 Nathan Jasper

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