As I’ve seen what the new Power Rangers movie has in store for fans like me, I’m excited to see this reboot as I grew up living in Southeast Asia with both the Saban Rangers and the Japanese Super Sentai in my weekend mornings. This reiteration, however, is not for my inner child. I think it does not pander to my inner 7 year old, and it shouldn’t try that with the old fans because it will waste its energy doing so.
The new Power Rangers gives us the teenagers with attitude of Angel Grove discovering the new Ranger base with Zordon and Alpha Five in it. With the threat of Rita Repulsa looming, these teenagers are called to protect the city from her machinations. That sounds about as similar to Power Rangers as it can be from what I remember, but the twist is just about to come. From what we’ve seen so far, the story is supposedly a gritty movie reboot and I’m glad it is.
Power Rangers, even when I was younger, was quite the silly show. It was typically the learn-an-aesop type of show and I’ve always cringed at the idea even when I was younger. The new rough and tough problem child grittiness of the movie is a new direction, hopefully away from the silliness of the original. For a Power Ranger movie to work in my opinion as a fan, it needs to talk to its old audience like what they are now: adults. It needs to say to them that this isn’t that kooky 90’s show that you have watched but a new take on the life of the Mighty Morphin’ Team. I know that we’ve been saturated to the brim with gritty superhero movies, but this is the part where It think gritty works. This movie will show that the franchise has come full circle and matured, and it should be accepted as a fresh at an old IP. The idea of trying to call on the old fans’ nostalgia won’t work.
I don’t know about many of you, but I personally don’t feel nostalgia when I see the new Power Ranger movie, and I know why. Power Rangers as a franchise never actually stopped, and the sentai genre as a whole is alive and kicking. It’s hard to feel nostalgic for an IP that my 3 year old cousin can still watch. The movie does not also have hints of being similar in feel to the older Mighty Morphin’ series. It talks about the struggles of adolescence, the plights of the younger generation and them trying to fit in a world full of hardships. It’s not just about them going to school and saving the day.
This Power Rangers reboot is a much awaited release and I can’t wait for it to stand on its own feet. This is not a reboot so that it can try to call in its old fans to unite; that won’t work as everyone’s an adult now. This reboot should be a movie for a new breed of fans – a new generation of Power Ranger fanatics young and old that will see the struggles of life for a bunch of teenagers who are given the responsibility to save the world. Gritty works here, and I’m glad this isn’t the same silly Power Ranger story that I once watched.