I remember being 5 years old and seeing commercials for a new Saturday Morning TV show called Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. There were robot dinosaurs, karate brawls, and cool outfits, so needless to say, I was 100% certain I would be seeing this show. Alas, as I woke up that first Saturday morning, I was out of luck. I slept in too late and missed the entire show, turning on my old dial-TV just in time for the end credits to roll. I sat in awe as I watched, for the first time, the Megazord come together with the ultra blasted guitar sweeps the end of the theme song, and I was filled with a mixture of disappointment and thrill.
As time went on and I watched the show regularly, my friends and I were so enamored that we used to play Power Rangers outside while we punched the air around us screaming, "YOU HAVE TO HIT THEM IN THE CHEST!" while we (very dramatically) pretended to get hit and fall to the ground. I'm certain that I was not the only child in the world to have these experiences.
Hollywood, recently, has been playing up our love of nostalgia to sell movie tickets. It's that simple. While some of them have been brilliant (LEGO Movie) and some have been downright bad (Battleship) there is still one constant that goes through all of them: modern updating. That's where my problem with all of these movies begin.
Now, this is mostly speculation, but what worries me most is that this is going to take the new TMNT route and try for a "gritty, dark" retelling while still trying to market to children who watch the TV show. There are two issues with this concerning a Power Rangers movie: They already (kind of) did that with the 1995 film, and this is completely untrue to the TV show in which its based.
Now, I am a fan of the 1995 film because it was very good at balancing the fantastical aspects with a slightly darker tone, but that movie is still VERY goofy and directly aimed at kids. This new Power Rangers, from what I've been able to gather, is going to try to appeal to both our generation and the new generation. It's also going to feature the "original" characters: Tommy, Billy, Kimberly, Jason, Trini, and Zack; which leads me to believe this could end up being another Star Trek (2009) without the franchise strength that helped propel that movie.
Also, to darken a story like this completely takes away from what made the Power Rangers so cool when I was a kid. It wasn't about the special effects or the monsters. The show had second-rate effects, even for their time, and still managed to captivate an entire generation of children. It was about the idea of being called upon, out of the blue, and asked to save the world for its own sake. Stop the bad guys because they need to be stopped. It's about six friends coming together to bring about peace in a world of chaos.
But it's also about teenagers dealing with the daily problems of living in said world of chaos. The problem with a dark, gritty update is that it will focus more on the destruction and chaos than the goofy antics of teenagers transforming and fighting people/monsters made from clay. There's a real possibility that taking this material too seriously could result in something more along the lines of Transformers, where it appeals to kids because it's an innately silly idea but takes itself too seriously, never stopping to have fun with the material.