Mighty Morphin Reboot Rangers: New ‘Power Rangers’ Movie in Works
After the immense (and unfortunate) monetary success of Michael Bay’s execrable Transformers film series and the equally execrable but far less financially successful G.I. Joe franchise, it was only a matter of time before the geniuses at some big film studio decided to move from gen X to gen Y and turn an icon of ’90s childhood pop culture into another massive cash-grab blockbuster. This time, it’s Power Rangers on the slab.
According to The Hollywood Reporter and The Dissolve, Lionsgate is partnering with Haim Saban to reboot Power Rangers for the big screen. The Rangers have appeared in two feature-length films so far: the gooey, canned-ham Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, which featured a slimy, purple villain known as Ivan Ooze (played with ravenous histrionics by the Raiders of the Lost Arc‘s Paul Freeman); and Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie, which featured some other villains not played by Freeman. (Memory’s a bit fuzzy on that one, as the movie barely recouped its $8 million budget, whereas the original made more than $60 million.)
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was a grade-Z hodgepodge of recycled, re-gargled stuff from popular Japanese television shows, and it was, to everyone’s amazement, a tremendous success. Each season of the show essentially taps a different season of the cult favorite Japanese series Super Sentai, using battle footage from the Sentai shows while splicing in shots of American actors saying typically ’90s things.
The show’s producers treated Mighty Morphin Power Rangers like a television salad, tossing in all sorts of tokens from Japanese pop culture, including kaiju (creatures that bear an uncanny semblance to Gomera and Gigan) and the Ultra series. What made the show work so well is how unabashedly cheesy and stupid it was; kids loved it, as kids are wont to do, and ironic teenagers could laugh at the inanity on screen, like so many cheap, colorful cars smashing into each other repeatedly. Critics, needless to say, weren’t quite as loving.