If anyone on this site is going to have an opinion on the 90’s pop culture sensation, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, it is gonna be me. And with the release of new information on Lions Gate’s cinematic reboot of the show, I find myself at war. On the one hand, heck, I want new Power Rangers things all the time – but on the other hand, I’m in that stage of my adult life where I feel like an old lady, telling the kids to stop messing with my front lawn. And in case you couldn’t get, in this instance, Power Rangers is my precious, beautiful, grassy paradise.
So with all that said, how do I feel about the new suits that were just shown on Entertainment Weekly? I’ll just give a simple, one word response: Eh.
First off, I am all for redesigns. I know that the colorful spandex of my childhood needs a serious upgrade for “the kids” to “get with it”. But at the same time, there should always be an understanding of quality versus quantity, and sadly the team on this Power Rangers project seems to suffer from grasping such a concept. These suits resemble a strange lovechild of the original Mighty Morphin movie suits from 1995, mixed with the elements that made Tron: Legacy‘s suits iconic and modern. Unfortunately, the end result of these reflect an misunderstanding of control and discipline.
The most obvious misstep is this new reimagining of the Ranger’s powers. Yes, those “Power Coins” of yesteryear have disappeared into the sands of time, and since we currently live in the times of Iron Man‘s movie popularity, these Rangers’ power is now manifested in some sort of light that can be seen (a la the Arc Reactor) glowing from the suit. But with such a change comes the loss of identity (excluding the colors) between the Rangers, with no clear tribute to their specific zords. I assume this was done to give more unity to the team and make their suits appear more “alien” like than before – but I think this could have been achieved without overabundance of “light” showing in every nook and cranny of their armor. It’s as if I have to scream “LIONS GATE, I GET IT! THEY ARE THE GOOD GUYS!”
The Helmets also seem a bit off. Granted, they pay a nice homage to the original 1995 movie helmets, sharing similar designs from the top of the head to about the eye line – but from there, the sizing comes off awkward. This is due mainly to the face that their eye pieces from the original suits now seem to be above their eye line (particularly in the pink and yellow versions.) Why this choice was made, I have no clue, but hopefully this is just the angle of the image that is giving that look to me.
The suit that is the most drastically different from the original is the Blue Ranger’s. With a much lighter shade than the traditional navy, I feel as if this design is more in line with Saban’s other American imports (VR Troopers anyone?) than Power Rangers, and appears almost bug-like. I wonder if this change might mean that the Blue Ranger gets a different Zord than his traditional Triceratops? Only time will tell.
Now with the release of this image, along with the several prior set photos of Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa, there seems to be a rumor going around that Rita is indeed (in this universe) the Green Ranger. Now, as much as that would be an interesting take on the character, I don’t believe in this theory but more in something a tad more logical when it comes to PR history. In Mighty Morphin‘s first season, we meet Tommy (Jason David Frank) who is seduced by Rita and given the powers of The Green Ranger along with his specific items (Dragon Power Coin, Dragon Dagger, etc.) and thus Tommy is evil. He of course later breaks this “curse” and eventually becomes one of the good guys.
Based on this information, and the design of Rita’s two costumes, I’m going to make a prediction that rather than her once being a Ranger herself or making someone the Green Ranger as a evil minion, she steals the power of the Green Ranger from Zordon in the past – meaning that the main conflict of the film revolves around the 5 Rangers getting back that power from Rita’s evil clutches. My main reason for this guess comes from the rope like designs that are featured in both outfits – making it look as if Rita has absorbed the Green Ranger’s power, and it “morphs” into a destructive version within her evil soul.
As much as the majority of the news on this movie has left me in a strange middle ground of emotions, I’m willing to give it a chance. The team clearly is trying their best to represent the best parts of Power Rangers, and also create a mostly diverse cast, allowing everyone (new fans and old) to play in the sandbox. But until I see a trailer for this new incarnation of my Mighty Morphin heroes, I’m going to just have to sit in my old rocking chair, and hope they don’t mess up my Sentai loving childhood (as Hollywood loves to do.)
What do you think of the Power Rangers new suits? Did the redesign rock, or was it too much for your taste? What is your opinion on Rita Repulsa’s true identity in this version? What do you think of the movie thus far? Comment below with your feelings, along with your favorite Ranger while you’re at it!