In 2017, Lionsgate released Saban's Power Rangers, a modern cinematic reboot of the popular superpowered franchise. Originally intended as the first movie in a six-part saga, director Dean Israelite's Power Rangers took its time in telling the origin story of Jason, Billy, Kimberly, Zack and Trini. However, the movie didn't manage to make a big dent at the box office. With a budget of $105 million, Power Rangers only grossed $142.3 million and ended with a Rotten Tomato score of 49 percent.
The chief criticisms were that it took too long for the characters to transform into the multicolored rangers, there was too much product placement and some of the story beats were distractingly campy. Now, two years later, Hasbro is in control of the license, and the company is considering a new movie with Paramount. While we welcome the idea of a new Power Rangers film, we really, really hope that Hasbro will not simply make another reboot.
Why? Because 2017's Power Rangers got a bad rap. It's actually a great film and it more than deserves a sequel.
Many fans criticized the film for taking too long to feature the cast's transformation into the Power Rangers. This is actually an example of how the film excelled. It's not like the movie twiddled its thumbs until the rangers first suited up. Instead of being this big sci-fi epic from the get-go, Power Rangers opted for the quiet route. It introduced us to the core cast and spent a great deal of time developing them as actual, well-defined characters. How could a film be criticized for developing its characters too much? It's that focus on these five teenagers that made us root for them, and what made their eventual transformation into the rangers as epic as it should have been.
The transformation felt earned, and it brought a whole lot of excitement along with it. The rangers themselves, played by Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, Ludi Lin, R.J. Cyler and Becky G were brilliantly cast, their great chemistry no doubt the result of having all five characters in the same room for most of the film.
With its core cast, Power Rangers has a great foundation, and it's one that could easily be carried over into Paramount's next film. In this day and age of Spider-Men and Batmen, audiences have seen a lot of reboots in a short amount of time, and there is no need to give them any more of that cinematic whiplash. Carrying the actors over will only make for a stronger sequel. Instead of starting from scratch, the next Power Rangers could just build on what worked in the previous film.
You didn't like the ranger costumes or the design of the Zords? Those can easily be changed in-universe. The pacing was too slow? Good news, the rangers are now ready to fight. The story wasn't to your liking? Not important, because the sequel will just start a new one anyway. Better still, the 2017 film ended with a mid-credits stinger that teased the arrival of the Green Ranger, something that all Power Rangers fans can't wait to see on the big screen. Instead of ignoring this big development and starting anew, a sequel would pay that off and continue to explore the rangers' well-defined friendship even further.
The idea at the core of 2017's Power Rangers was that the characters had to be willing to die for one another in order to access the Morphing Grid. It's an incredibly strong idea that worked because of the strong cast, who had the time to develop believable friendships. It's a commendable effort and the main reason why the movie should be given a second chance. Forget about reboots. There was enough that worked, and worked quite well, in Power Rangers to warrant a mighty morphin' sequel.
Saban's Power Rangers is directed by Dean Israelite. The film stars Dacre Montgomery as the Red Ranger, Naomi Scott as the Pink Ranger, Ludi Lin as the Black Ranger, R.J. Cyler as the Blue Ranger, Becky G as the Yellow Ranger, Bryan Cranston as Zordon and Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa. The movie is available on Blu-ray and DVD now.