Lionsgate and Saban's big-budget reboot of the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers TV series has already become controversial for changing iconic characters such as Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks), who looks nothing like the original Rita from the show, and even the Rangers themselves. The first trailer also had a very different tone than the original — it seemed like a blend of Chronicle and The Breakfast Club:
Half of fans consider these changes to be a betrayal, while the other half are optimistic about it. I am a part of the latter, and I usually find myself defending this movie when I can, because I feel that changes are necessary for a big-budget reboot. Here's why.
As A Fan, I Can Admit The Original Wasn't Perfect
I am someone who genuinely enjoyed many of the Power Rangers shows (Mighty Morphin', Zeo, In Space, Lost Galaxy, etc.) for being a silly, fun, monster-of-the-week kid's show. However, I'll be the first to admit that every single Power Rangers show from the beginning until now has been incredibly stupid and nonsensical with really bad effects, not-so-impressive actors and repetitive stories.
So that's why, when I see Elizabeth Banks's Rita with a green and gold outfit, I really don't mind...especially if you compare her to the original Rita.
If you dislike Elizabeth Banks's look as Rita simply because you don't find it to be a good design, okay, fair enough — but don't try to tell me that this is some betrayal of a sacred character. I mean, the original Rita was an incompetent screaming idiot who looked like she raided a 99-cent store to find a Halloween costume, whereas Elizabeth Banks appears genuinely sinister.
While we only have a toy to go off of so far, the same goes for Rita's faithful monster servant, known as Goldar.
Goldar in the original was a bumbling idiot who looked like a melted version of the flying monkeys from The Wizard Of Oz, but in this new reboot, he seems to have a much more threatening look — like he's an automaton made completely out of gold. This I find to be much more appealing.
The New Designs Are More Practical
We don't want to laugh at our main villains; we want them to be threatening and imposing, so our heroes can fight them with real stakes involved. Speaking of, let's talk about the Rangers' designs.
The biggest criticism is that these new Power Rangers look like cadets from the Iron Man Academy. There were also complaints about the female Rangers' breastplates and high heel boots.
Both complaints I find to be pretty silly. The armored designs are almost identical to the original looks of the suits, except more practical for what a team of soldiers would wear into battle. What did you want? A bunch of goofballs in tights?
As for the breastplates and high heels, does that really matter? Like at all? This can be explained: the armor they wear in this version is made from an alien alloy that crystallizes over their bodies, hence why the suits show off their physiques.
Lionsgate could have easily gone the route of Fox's X-Men franchise and made all of the suits black leather. So let's be grateful that the Rangers look as familiar as they do.
If you look at Marvel, they have changed the looks of their heroes: Captain America's suit is very different from the source material, but people love it. Same goes for the DCEU and their version of the Batman suit. The zords all have bright and vibrant colors and still have the iconic dinosaur designs, but are updated to not look like a bunch of toys running across a screen. They look like something from another planet.
The Originals Don't Stop Existing Now
If you are saying that this movie is somehow "violating your childhood," then let me state this next part as clearly as I can: THIS. IS. A. REBOOT.
Lionsgate is not trying to replicate the first season of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers with a big budget behind it, nor are they trying to continue that universe. This is its own separate canon of the Power Rangers with a brand new take on the story, thus removing any connection to the original series.
So let's say if this reboot does end up being a failure (which is definitely a possibility), it will have zero effect on the original series. If you are so fond of the original series, you will still be able to go back and watch it. This same logic goes to ALL reboots that are being made; if a reboot turns out to be bad, you can still enjoy the original.
Change is going to happen with any adaptation or reboot, and that is just a fact that I have accepted — what really matters is the execution of the changes. All we can do is wait to see the finished product instead of judging every little aspect of the production, which probably only looks right when it's finished.
IT'S MORPHIN' TIME on March 24th, 2017.
Do you love or hate the new Power Rangers designs? Let me know in the comments below!