Defying expectations, Lionsgate's #PowerRangers held its own critically. Thanks to the (mostly) cohesive story, and successful adaptation of its source material for modern audiences, people could easily connect with our new group of five teenagers whether they were facing usual teenage struggles or world-ending alien threats.
But as with any movie, not everything about it is perfect. Various story points in it can be picked apart, especially by diehard Power Rangers fans who know their way around the franchise's intricate mythology. And that was exactly what two actors from the classic Power Rangers series did.
The original Blue and Black Power Rangers, David Yost and Walter Jones, respectively, held a panel at Chicago's C2E2 convention. There, they made their true feelings for the new film very clear.
The Change Of Classic Elements
For starters, Jones expressed his displeasure at the lack of Zack's signature fighting style from the show: Hip Hop Kido. The Black Ranger, being an avid dancer, always enjoyed taking out his enemies by cutting a rug. For the movie, that fighting technique was dropped:
“I was a little disappointed that they changed the characters around a little bit because I wanted Zach to be with his kido because Hip Hop Kido was a really important element of who I was on 'Power Rangers'. I think if they would have added that then there could have been some parkour and there could have been so many other elements to that character that it would have been awesome.”
David Yost talked about the way the signature PR catchphrase, "It's Morphin Time', was used in the new movie. According to him, it didn't manage to generate the excitement that it did in the show:
"The only thing I care about progression wise when they do a sequel and they morph they better bring it and they better say 'It’s Morphin Time.' When we said, 'It’s morphing time!,' it was like, 'Shit’s about to go down;' when they said it in the movie it was so lackadaisical I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’”
There's something to be said here. Power Rangers was known for its cheesy nature, and the characters' exaggerated battle cries and expressions evidenced that. The Power Rangers reboot was a much realistic and adult approach to the PR formula, and a battle cry as seen in the show would have felt out of place.
A More Interesting Use Of Villains
Jones also had something to say about the villains, and their lack of personality in the film compared to their TV counterparts:
“I want to see some of the villains have voices or more voices. Like in the 'Power Rangers' [Television Series] the villains were from outer space or aliens but they had voices and personalities. I hope that the villains grow to have more definite personalities”
From his description, it doesn't look like he's talking about #ElizabethBanks' Rita Repulsa. The actor was most likely referring to Goldar and his mindless approach in the film, a big departure from the character's usually loud-mouth personality, which is a fair criticism. Speaking of giant creatures with incredibly high destructive capabilities...
The Megazord's Updated Design
In the Power Rangers TV show, when the heroes turned their respective fighting machines in the always-reliable Megazord, the transformation offered the teenagers a command center at the center (heh) of their metallic giant to have better control of the fight. In the film though, that was changed to each Ranger being in charge of a section of the Megazord's body. That design choice did not sit well with Jones:
“I want to see the Megazord come together, I want to see the pieces come together and click and combine. I don’t like the fact that they were little bubbles I wanted them to be together, I felt like all you had to do just take out Billy”
"The cool part for us being in Power Rangers is that we were all in a cockpit together so the fact they were in their little pods… well, it was weird”
After all of these negatives, you might understandably be wondering: Was there anything about the new movie that these two legendary Rangers actually enjoyed? Or did the actor's downright hated it? Fortunately, the answer's yes, there were things they enjoyed.
The Good Things About It
Jones expressed his love for the young new cast of heroes, stating they were great characters, with a compelling dynamic. And just like the majority of fans of the films, the highlight for him was #RJCyler's Billy Cranston:
“I thought the characters were great, I thought the energy and the cast were awesome, RJ Cyler killed it,” Jones said.
Yost echoed the sentiment regarding Cyler's performance, stating:
“I was like totally over the moon about RJ and I think he really hit it out of the park. I really loved what he did with the character.”
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Wow, Cyler just got congratulated by the original blue Power Ranger. It probably doesn't get any better than that. It's always great to hear positive feedback from a person who made iconic a role you've stepped into.
But let's be realistic here...a lot of their nitpicks about the reboot aren't really valid, as it seems their main criticism is that it wasn't enough like the original series. What worked in the '90s absolutely wouldn't work in 2017. There are elements that simply won't work without a modern update because one, audiences now are savvier and two, the audience for the movie was a slightly older demographic than for the original series. And the film definitely helped itself by moving away from that cheesier direction.
What did you think about what had to say about Power Rangers? Do you agree? Let me know in the comments!