The mining of existing IP continues in 2017 with a brand new, mega-budget Power Rangers reboot, and the latest trailer really reminds me of pre-Iron Man Marvel….
So, on one hand, they go for it. They straight up say “it’s morphin’ time,” lean in to the “go go power rangers” tag line from the ’90s and keep all the out-there trappings of the world – as in, they didn’t jettison Zordon and Alpha for like, a benevolent secret corporation who invented super suits.
However, they also engage in some of the wink-wink-nudge-nudge “isn’t this really silly, though? c’mon we all know this is kind of a ridiculous premise so turn your brain off” dialog of the early X-Men movies and other pre-superhero-saturation films.
The first X-Men has Wolverine say “this is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard” when Xavier explains the world to him, and here we have the rangers go all “did you just call us power rangers?” and “omg we’re talking to a wall, c’mon, this is silly.” Then what I assume will become Goldar appears in the city (a nice callback to the first episode, where Goldar is the first monster Rita MAKES GROWWWWW), but their line is “lol that’s a lot of gold.”
For whatever reason, this flippant approach to heritage reminds me of all the lame-to-awful sci-fi / nerd movies that came around before the modern, “fug it let’s put everyone in costumes, call them their toy names and just embrace everything” era that led to both core and mainstream success.
It’s not like modern films don’t have similar disarming / de-escalating dialog, but something about this particular treatment – combined with many stereotypical “gritting up” tropes that so many reboots seems to employ – makes me worry this’ll land in a weird zone that’s not for fans or for newcomers. That said, it’s entirely possible this walks the line and pokes a little fun at itself while also delivering a solid spectacle. I’m definitely down to watch some Zords stomp around a city!
I don’t have a great deal of nostalgia for the show, but I did watch a lot of it in 93~95 so I can tune in to a part of my brain that would’ve been more into it had the show made it over in 1991. From that faux-nostalgia perspective, this really sets off all my alarms… yet I don’t watch this trailer and think it’s a hot mess. It’s so strange.