Much has been said about the director Joseph Kahns DEBOOT of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Retitled Power/Rangers, the fan film rocked the nerd world with excitement. Agent Bobby did a great job going over the film, so do read his article right HERE. I won’t repeat what he said, mostly because I feel pretty much exactly the same way.
Whatever the Power Rangers movie ends up being, it should be something that can be watched by both adults and kids. Even Michael Bay’s Transformers movies have pushed it too far that I don’t want to show them to my five year nephew. (When you have a scene in which the big robot truck whose suppose to the the series Superman shoots point blank in the head the main bad guy, you lose touch on who the audience is.)
So, instead of looking at Halo, District 9, Bay’s Transformers and Aliens for inspiration for a Power Rangers films… might I suggest a few different movies?
I’m gonna give you five movies that I feel will be better as places of inspiration to make this flick. Now, let me be clear, you don’t have to LOVE all the movies I’m listing but just hear me out on what elements that can be taken from each movie to combine it into a movie that feels like Power Rangers but updated.
Treat this like the ingredient list to a dish.
Lets start with….
1.) BIG HERO 6
Well, this film DID just win an Academy Award, but that’s hardly the point. I’d argue that, for me, this movie is the one you should look at the most. It’s a great team movie for sure, but the films strength comes from it’s great characters. For a short amount of time you get the personalities of Hiro, Go Go, Honey Lemon, Wasabi, Fred and Baymax. They feel liked fully fleshed out characters, and you can see the fun of them interacting with each other. Make each member of the Power Rangers movie cast this well thought out, then you got a great start.
The tone Big Hero 6 is another major key to cracking the Power Ranger code. It’s not just funny and light hearted, it’s also just serious enough to know that the danger is real. My goodness, if you could find a way to have my heart broken (like seeing how Hiro deals the tragedy that hits him) then you got a Power Ranger movie that will connect with the audience in a big way.
2.) GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
Yes, much like Big Hero 6, this movie works because of the great characters and the perfect combo of funny/heart breaking/ seriousness that makes the film feel complete, but a MAJOR component to GOTG is that it’s weird.
Like, really fucking weird.
Power Rangers (and it’s source material Super Sentai)….is weird.
Don’t be afraid of the weird. EMBRACE IT!
Give us crazy Aliens like GOTG did. Give us big ideas like a society living in a the head of a giant dead space god.
The high concept is about a space wizard and a space witch battling it out in the epic war of good against evil. This is silly…and it NEEDS to be. Not too silly like Agent Bobby said in his article, but don’t completely hide from it either. Your main villain is an evil witch named Rita Rupulsa, have fun with it. If the audience could love a giant Tree, there is no reason to hide the sillier elements of Power Rangers.
3.) THE BREAKFAST CLUB
You want REAL teenagers with attitude? It certainly wasn’t the original Power Ranger characters. They were the nicest teenagers you were ever gonna meet. Naw, you want real teens with real teen problems? Look at the classic John Hughes film. A group of teens, each from a different part of the social circle, are forced together in a circumstance out of their control. What does that sound like to you? Yes, once again, the characters are great and their interaction with each other is perfect, but it’s not just that element for the Power Rangers movie should take….
If the new Power Rangers film is about them being teenagers again, then try adding a DASH of real teen angst. It’s an angle they never really did on the show. It’s the stuff that makes Spider-Man so relatable. I’m not saying make the whole movie a teen drama with a little superhero action, but a touch of it would be a fresh angle on the concept.
4.) THE LAST STARFIGHTER
A young teen from Earth just found out he’s been recruited to join a giant intergalactic battle to save the galaxy. While he’s in awe of this brand new galactic world, he’s got doubts and fears that he could pull it off. But when the call to action comes, he decides to over come his fear and save the day.
God, do I love this movie.
Now take my first sentence and make it FIVE teens and you got another strong element to make the Power Rangers movie really work.
Oh, and while I understand the shows music was usually rock, maybe take a few notes from the still great score to The Last Starfighter since you’re already here.
5.) Pacific Rim
First, I get it, this movie isn’t that well loved as the others on this list, but hear me out. When the Power Rangers film gets to the end, we all know what we want. We want the Megazord to be punching the crap out of some giant monsters. All I’m saying is be like Pac Rim and don’t skimp this part of the movie out. Make it epic, make it huge, make our hero’s struggle in the cockpit, make it not an easy win but when our heroes does do the final blow to the monster it is a HUGE win.
BUT WAIT….WHAT’S THIS?
6.) Gokaiger/Goseiger Super Sentai 199 Hero Great Battle
Yes, I know…to all that know me, I have a deep love for Japanese Super Heroes. It’s the reason I started watching Power Rangers in the first place. It was the only place I could see the cool live action Japanese robots and super heroes, even if it was distilled to a pretty bad show.
So, all I ask is this: Whoever ends up making this movie, don’t ignore the Japanese roots of the property. It’s it a 40 year old legacy that still works to this day. Hell, the fact that Power Rangers is still around on TV for over 20 years simply because they too are using the same legacy is a testament to what works in this franchise. The costumes have to be bright. The heroes have to pose. The monster has to grow even after it’s defeated. And the heroes are TRUE heroes.
And if you can’t see the cool in that, may I show you the opening of this film? It’s pretty epic and it gives you a taste of the history of Super Sentai….
Pretty awesome right?
There’s a lot of places to take this property, For me I hope they make a movie that works for adults and children, doesn’t forget the huge fantasy element that has kept the series going, that doesn’t forget the fun….
and doesn’t forget the roots.