Go Go Power Rangers

A sense of nostalgia swept the nation with the recent release of “Power Rangers.” Since its premiere on March 24, the film earned over $54 million with $40 million coming from its opening weekend, according to box office results.

The 2017 “Power Rangers” movie serves as an origin story reboot of the 1993 television series, “The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.” The return of the classic characters of the original television show created a wave of positive feedback from the millennial fans who grew up with the Power Rangers franchise.

Freshman and Power Rangers fan Audwin Harris agrees that the new film gives justice to the ’90s classic.

“It was really enjoyable and it kept me on the edge of my seat,” Harris said. “Although it didn’t have every aspect that the ’90s show did, it gave it a new story while appealing to those who were fans back in the day.”

“Power Rangers” follows the story of five troubled high-schoolers who discover an ancient alien ship and, by destiny, are called upon to save their small town as the Power Rangers. The Red Ranger, Jason Lee Scott (Dacre Montgomery); the Pink Ranger, Kimberly Hart (Naomi Scott); the Yellow Ranger, Trini Kwan (Becky G); the Blue Ranger, Billy Cranston (RJ Cyler); and the Black Ranger, Zack Taylor (Ludi Lin) take on the evil Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks) with the help of Zordon (Bryan Cranston) and Alpha 5 (Bill Hader).

The film’s modernization of the ’90s phenomenon introduces the Power Ranger franchise to first-time viewers.

Junior Gwendolynn Malone was not a huge fan of the Power Rangers growing up but willingly saw the new movie.

“The movie was amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the movie, which is surprising because I never watched the television show as a child,” Malone said. “It was not what I was expecting because it took away every doubt I had towards it. I would recommend everyone go see it.”

According to Malone, the depth of the story and characters really won her over to the Power Rangers franchise.

“Power Rangers wasn’t really part of my childhood, so I don’t know the original backstories behind the characters,” Malone said. “The way they were presented in this movie, though, was very easy to pick up. Each person had their own unique struggles.”

One twist that this 2017 reboot has that “The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” did not was the introduction of the first-ever gay Power Ranger and possibly the first-ever gay superhero in film history. Played by actress and singer Becky G, Trini Kwan subtly admits to having “girlfriend problems” in the film when all the Rangers are learning about each other’s hardships. Director Dean Israelite described the moment as “pivotal” to the film, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Israelite told The Hollywood Reporter that Trini is really questioning herself throughout the film and she hasn’t figured it all out yet.

“I think what’s great about that scene and what that scene propels for the rest of the movie is, ‘That’s OK’,” Israelite said. “The movie is saying, ‘That’s OK,’ and all of the kids have to own who they are and find their tribe.”

Though “Power Rangers” added contemporary elements to the original ’90s television series, long-time fans still have much to look forward to in the new movie. Those who have yet to see the movie or are going to see it again can find a few hidden nods to past Power Ranger shows if they look. They’re not easy to spot, so here’s a freebie: Two street signs in the film read “Ocean Bluff Rd.” and “Reefside.” These are the city names in which the Power Ranger spin-offs, “Power Rangers DinoThunder” and “Power Rangers Jungle Fury” take place.

It’s also noteworthy to mention that fans should pay attention to the soundtrack of the film. The original theme song “Go Go Power Rangers” makes a cameo in one of the fight scenes.

Long-time fans will also benefit from watching through the end credits. After the credits roll, there is a scene in which all the Rangers are in detention and the teacher is taking attendance. The teacher calls the name Tommy Oliver, which is the name of the Green Ranger in “The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” television show. Is this hinting at a possible sequel?

Regardless, fans believe that this film does have the potential to expand in the future, resurrecting heroes, villains and storylines from the original ’90s shows.

    “If the new “Power Rangers” sticks with the original characters and builds on the history of the old shows and films, then this could be the next big movie series,” Harris said.

Justin Smith