'Power Rangers' Teaser Breakdown: Retro Remake or Origin Story Rehash?

Following the release of the most recent tease at 2017's reboot of the popular 1993 television series Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, I've been kicking around my thoughts on how I really feel about this upcoming and unexpected project. While on one hand the reboot seems ambitious, taking the franchise once based on (or stolen from) the Japanese series Super Sentai and ushering it into a more serious, less-campy format and design, it also appears to be another blasphemous Hollywood remake that may or may not live up to the original. While much is still unknown about the reboot, the first teaser trailer for Spring 2017's Power Rangers delivers just a peek at the darker, more mature adaptation audiences might get from the film. Here's my breakdown of some of the biggest surprises to pop up in the brief teaser.


Already being described as a look-a-like of sorts to the 2012 indie superhero flick Chronicle, I can already see where those people are coming from, based on the first few shots we get in this teaser, as well as its dialogue and angsty tone. Judging by where we find our protagonists -- troubled teenage outcasts Zack (Ludi Lin), Kimberly (Naomi Scott), Jason (Dacre Montgomery), Trini (Becky G), and Billy (RJ Cyler) -- you could say 1985's The Breakfast Club was a major inspiration for the film as well. Putting that aside for now, the teaser begins with a pretty simple plot, five teens facing individual problems at a small-town high school, who eventually find themselves cultivated in after-school detention for reasons unknown. Laying out the group's respective troubles in a snappy montage -- Montgomery's Jason facing some past run-ins with the police and possibly an incident of drunk driving, Scott's Kimberly going through the usual rebel teen phase, and Cyler's Billy tackling your average bully -- the teaser doesn't show us much of this, but we do get a pretty good sense of where we'll find our heroes when we meet them.

Moving along, we get a glimpse of Lin's Zack, ominously sitting atop a building, along with the budding friendship between Billy and Jason. While it's unclear whether or not Zack ends up in detention too, or if he just pops into the others' lives by chance, we can probably assume his character's up to no good when we meet him, judging by his quick reaction to the police showing up when the teens find the so-called Power Coins. As for Billy and Jason, we get a pretty decent sense of where their relationship is headed, Jason sticking up for Billy when a bully sends trouble his way. Along with this, we also get a glimpse of how the future Rangers meet one another, as we see Jason and Billy taking considerable notice to Kimberly after her "rebel teen" moment.


This friendship is solidified further when the teaser jumps to the group digging around a murky cave, eventually uncovering the alien craft containing the Power Coins. Hinting at not only Billy's skills with technology -- as he blows open the craft and releases the Coins -- but also the bits of somewhat freshman comedy we might get from the film, the teaser progresses further as the similarities to Chronicle begin to build up. Offering up next a quick display of the teen's new abilities, after coming in contact with the alien coins, it's hard not to see parallels to superhero origins films like 2002's Spider-Man as well (Nice abs, Mr. Montgomery). Causing even more trouble for the group in high school, with bullies taking their revenge to no avail and explosive cafeteria incidents bringing them unwanted attention, the teaser continues its streak of cliche plot points, offering little up to the imagination.

Still, as the trailer continues, offering up bits of nostalgia from the original franchise, as well as some of the action, mystery, and comedy that the film aims to deliver, I can't help but get excited for the potential this film has to be something new and refreshing for the superhero genre. Yes, while much of its first teaser contains your typical superhero origin stereotypes and a lack of real investigation into its characters, there is still much to be uncovered (hopefully) from this reboot. While its narrative may take on a very similar path and tone that we've seen many times before, the young and diverse cast of the newest Power Rangers film and its ability to evoke strong emotions with its nostalgic appeal (at least for people who were alive in the '90s) are some of the many hidden advantages this reboot has at its disposal.

Can't say that I remember much of Rita Repulsa from the '90s, but
Elizabeth Banks may end up being a pretty menacing villain 

What are your thoughts on the Power Rangers teaser trailer? Is it too similar to Chronicle, Spider-Man, and other superhero projects to deliver anything new and exciting? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!


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