Go Go Iron Rangers! The new Power Ranger suits have just been revealed by Entertainment Weekly and seemingly gone is the look of cheesy children's television show that we know.
The new Ranger suits strongly resemble more mainstream superhero looks of today. The bright colours and dino-helmets of the originals are still there, but the RoboCop-esque suits are a step away from the tight spandex that the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers squeezed themselves into in the early 90's. We already knew that this movie was going in a darker direction after the reveal of the more reptilian looking Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks) just over two weeks ago.
Director Dean Israelite confirmed that this is, in fact, looking to appeal to more than just the younger audience that the Power Rangers franchise normally aims at. He said about the new suits:
“Ours is an alien costume that grows on them, that’s not man-made. You can’t win everyone over, but we are trying to appeal to a more mature audience and gain new fans.”
The generation of people that watched the original show are older now and while nostalgia alone would be enough to get us to cinemas to see the reboot, it'll be nice to have something on our level as well. Dean Israelite has already stated that the movie will be fun but also very grounded, much like Project Almanac, his last movie.
The new look actually closer resembles the suits seen in the violent and bloody short fan film, POWER/RANGERS. As Israelite said, the suits will be something that grows on them, similar to what we see here. Perhaps there was some inspiration drawn from this mature take on the classic children's television show?
As for my thoughts on the suits, it's very much "meh." I've seen the mostly negative response to come from this and I can somewhat understand why. They maintain the overall look of the originals while modernizing them to closer resemble the metallic look made popular, especially in more recent times, by the likes of Iron Man, RoboCop and Terminator and the public's ever increasing interest in robots. Most of the criticism I've seen has been about the new Pink and Yellow Rangers. The new suits have unnecessary breast armour and heeled boots- which is highly impractical but could definitely do some serious damage. The suits look very feminine and while I generally don't have a problem with them wanting to be 'girly', it does seem a little overdone in some respects. There's a long list of badass female characters that don't scream "Look! I'm a woman!" In science fiction fantasy from Faora in Man Of Steel, to Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games series, Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films and Captain Phasma in The Force Awakens. Also, Brienne of Tarth in Game Of Thones. The list goes on.
Even the original Mighty Morphin Rangers had no real 'female' indications in it's Pink and Yellows. This'll be seen in one of two ways: As sexism or as embracing their femininity. Whichever way you choose to look at it, is up to you. Personally, I look at it as the latter.
Having said all that, these are teenagers in high school and maybe (without being sexist or whatever) they would want to show off what they have and be 'girly' but in this day and age it would ultimately be met with the 'sexist' card. Director Dean Israelite says:
“The show was about kids coming of age, about metamorphosis. These suits needed to feel like they were catalyzed by these kids and their energy, their spirit.”
Like I said, I personally don't have that big an issue with it. As with all movies based on already established source material, you're gonna get people that get it, embrace it and people that don't. Personally, I never have issue with new directions for popular characters. Take Suicide Squad for example, the character's looks have been altered and met with a largely mixed response but it didn't phase me at all. I don't know, maybe it's because i'm a creative. Times change, people change and we have to move on with them. The classic 90's spandex simply wouldn't work with the feel that they're going for and the audience that they're seemingly aiming at. I'll wait and see how it comes across in the movie.
The Power Rangers are made up of Dacre Montgomery, Becky G, Ludi Lin, Naomi Scott and RJ Cyler (Red, Yellow, Black, Pink, Blue) and Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa; and is set for release in 2017.