“It’s morphin’ time!”
If there is a single 90’s kid out there who doesn’t understand the significance of the above three words, then I’m at a loss for whatever horribly abusive name to call them.
Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers was a staple of both my own childhood and many other childhoods across the world. There was no greater joy than sitting down in front of the TV for an hour and watching my favourite, colour-coded, spandex-clad heroes doing battle against all manner of nasties with their arsenal of weapons, Zords, cheesy dialogue and some-times bad haircuts.
Nowadays though, Power Rangers is not at the same level of epicness that it used to be. Since Disney’s acquisition of the franchise in 2003, it became a lot more kid-friendly – not that it wasn’t before. Despite some initial controversy in the level of violence it contained for a children’s programme, Power Rangers was pretty tame by anyone’s standards. However, Saban re-acquired the rights to the series in 2010, and despite some efforts to regenerate the standards set by original series such as Mighty Morphin, Zeo and Lost Galaxy, it’s just not reaching the same levels of viewership as the original – probably thanks to the fact that most of the series produced by Disney (apart from Dino Thunder – I actually quite liked that one) weren’t that great at all, oh no they weren’t. That and the fact that kids today are much more interested in playing Call Of Duty.
If only there was some way of merging Power Rangers with Call Of Duty, I hear myself thinking. A way of making the series grittier, darker, with death and destruction actually shown on-screen, not just implied. A way to showcase Power Rangers to the grown-up versions of the kids it once entertained now that they’re quite a lot older and in the world of the big people.
Step forward, Joseph Khan.
Khan wrote and directed this short film, entitled Power/Rangers, releasing it on February 24, 2015 to critical acclaim and widespread appreciatin from both fans of the series and former cast members. Both Amy Jo Johnson, who played Kimberly Hart, the Pink Ranger and was the first crush of many a 90’s kid (myself included) and Steve Cardenas, who portrayed Rocky DeSantos, the second Red Ranger who had absolutely nothing on Jason, praised the film, although Power Rangers legend Jason David Frank (Tommy Oliver) disliked it, claiming that it was too violent and that Power Rangers is still aimed at children.
Detailing an alternate future where Earth’s givernments negotiated a truce with the Machine Empire and forced the Power Rangers to disband, the film shows Rocky (who now sports a bionic limb after being wounded in battle against the Empire) interrogating a restrained and near-helpless Kimberly as to the whereabouts of the legendary Green Ranger, Tommy Oliver, after the deaths of their former compatriots.
Dark, gritty and exceptionally well-put together, Power Rangers is an experience that fans of the series the world over will appreciate, whether they only watched it once in a while or whether they were die-hard fans that sat on the edges of their seat to watch the Megazord beating seven shades of snot out of the monster of the day that Rita Repulsa had cooked up. But don’t take my word for it. Watch it yourself and judge whether you think that it lives up to the standards set by the original series.
May the Power Protect you all.