Every time I hear a new nugget of information about the upcoming Power Rangers film, no matter how shiny that nugget is, I can’t help but to retain a bad feeling about the movie.
My feeling tells me that it’s either not going to turn out good or it’s going to disappoint at the box office. The latter is quite easy to explain. Power Rangers is being released on March 24, 2017, a week after Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast, and I think there will be much more excitement for Beauty and the Beast, even in its second week. It’s undeniable that Disney is simply a juggernaut at this point, much more so than Wolverine, which is the movie (Wolverine 3, rated R and releasing March 3, 2017) I would’ve put Power Rangers up against. But that’s a lingering question for me. Why release a movie in Disney’s tremendous wake rather than before? Remember what happened to Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip when it released against Star Wars: The Force Awakens? Oh, you didn’t even know that a fourth Alvin movie was made? Exactly.
It could be that the studio behind Power Rangers, Lionsgate, has about as little confidence in the movie as I do and just wants to bury it behind a more-powerful film as an excuse for why it’s not going to be terribly successful. But if that’s the case, then why even make the movie in the first place?
Perhaps they were sold on the pitch. And maybe someone told them that they could possibly get Bryan Cranston involved since he did voice work for the original television show and may want to be in the movie for old time’s sake (they were right about that one; Cranston has recently been cast to play Zordon, the Rangers’ floaty-head leader).
Or maybe they were sold on the idea of a sort of reboot of Power Rangers, this time as a film franchise. A reboot featuring a new look, as we see with Elizabeth Bank’s Rita Repulsa. A reboot that has an adequate enough budget to give us robot versus monster fight scenes that look at least somewhat cool (I always loved the cheesy fight scenes in the show, though). A reboot that could carry on the Power Rangers legacy even if the show leaves the airwaves as it did once before when Disney, the former second owner of the Power Rangers property, ceased production of the show (it returned to television when Saban, the original owner, bought it back).
But whatever the case may be for taking another stab at a feature film treatment of Power Rangers, it’s all for not if the writers can’t deliver on the most important aspect of the film: the characters. With involving characters, along with actual character development, Power Rangers could end up being well worth watching even if the story is the same save-the-world stuff we get far too much of these days. I mean, seriously, when isn’t some evil force trying to destroy the world?
This, however, is where my bad feeling checks in. After all, big-time action film screen writers usually don’t seem to care much about writing solid characters. It’s all about a quick introduction and set-up followed by a story that’s only developed enough to justify the action scenes. Would it be too much for me to expect more than this, especially for Power Rangers?
I think the reason I want to keep thinking the movie is going to be bad is because I simply want to save myself the disappointment of when (or if) it actually does turn out that way. Lowered expectations, you know. I think that will help me to enjoy the film even if it’s of the quality I believe it’s going to be.
But who knows? The movie may end up surprising me. And even with my feeling being what it is, I am keeping an open mind. I mean, I’m already in love with the tone of the teaser poster.