Power Rangers (film)

Last updated on 22 June 2017

Saban's Power Rangers[3] (or simply Power Rangers) is a 2017 American superhero film based on the team of the same name, directed by Dean Israelite and written by John Gatins. It is the third installment of the Power Rangers film franchise, and is a reboot that features the main characters of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers television series, portrayed by a new cast. The film stars Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Becky G, Ludi Lin, Bill Hader, Bryan Cranston, and Elizabeth Banks.

It is the first blockbuster film to feature LGBTQ and autistic superheroes.[4][5] Franchise creator Haim Saban returned to produce the film under his investment firm. The film premiered at the Regency Village Theater in Los Angeles on March 22, 2017, and was released in the United States on March 24, 2017. Met with mixed reviews upon release, with criticism primarily focusing on its uneven tone and lack of fidelity to its source material, Power Rangers grossed $140 million worldwide, and was labelled a box office disappointment.[6][7]

Power Rangers (2017 Official Theatrical Poster).png
Power Rangers (2017 Official Theatrical Poster).png

Plot

In the Cenozoic-era, six interplanetary warriors, the Power Rangers, are tasked with protecting life on Earth and the Zeo Crystal. The Green Ranger, Rita Repulsa, betrays them and plans to dominate the universe. The Red Ranger, Zordon, survives Rita's attack and hides five of the Rangers' power source, the Power Coins. He orders Alpha 5 to perform a meteor strike that kills him and sends Rita to the bottom of the sea, foiling her scheme.

In 21st century Angel Grove, high school football star Jason Scott is dismissed from the team and placed under house arrest after a failed prank. In school detention, he encounters Billy Cranston and Kimberly Hart. After defending Billy from a bully, Billy offers to deactivate Jason's ankle monitor for help at an old gold mine that evening. Once there, Jason leaves to explore and runs into Kimberly. Billy detonates explosives to break some rock, attracting the attention of Jason, Kimberly, and nearby students, Trini and Zack. The five discover the Power Coins and each take one. While escaping mine security, their car is hit by a train. The five find themselves at home the next morning and discover they have been granted superhuman abilities. Elsewhere, Rita's body is found. Waking, she goes on a rampage, hunting pieces of gold to raise her minion Goldar to find the Zeo Crystal.

The five teenagers return to the mine and discover an ancient spaceship where they meet Alpha 5 and Zordon's consciousness. They inform the teenagers about the Rangers history and Rita, warning that they have eleven days until Rita has her full power, finds the Zeo Crystal, and uses it to destroy life on Earth. The five leave the ship with no intention of returning until Zordon pleads with Jason to convince the team.

The five return to train the next day, but they cannot morph. They spend the next week training against simulated Putties and trying unsuccessfully to morph. To inspire the Rangers, Alpha reveals the Zords. Zack takes his Zord out for a joyride and almost kills the other Rangers when he crashes it. This angers Jason, and they fight. While trying to separate the two, Billy spontaneously morphs. However, when he becomes conscious of it, the armor disappears. Angered at their lack of progress, Zordon dismisses the group. Jason returns to the ship to confront Zordon and discovers that once the Rangers morph, it will open the Morphing Grid and allow Zordon to restore himself in a physical body. Feeling betrayed, Jason accuses Zordon of using the team for his own benefit. The team camp at the mine and bond with each other.

Later that night, Rita attacks Trini and orders her to bring the Rangers to the docks. Trini informs them about Rita and they arrive to fight, but are quickly defeated. Rita forces Billy to reveal the location of the Zeo Crystal, kills him, and releases the others. The Rangers take Billy's body to the ship and ask Zordon to resurrect him. The Rangers agree they would give their lives for each other and resolve to defeat Rita. In doing so, they unlock the Morphing Grid. Zordon revives Billy, sacrificing being able to restore his physical self. With the team restored and confident, the Rangers morph into their armor.

Rita creates Goldar, raises an army of Putties, and attacks Angel Grove to find the Zeo Crystal. The Rangers battle the Putties and head to Angel Grove in their Zords. After the Rangers destroy the Putties, Goldar pushes the Rangers and their Zords into a fiery pit. In the pit, the Zords combine, forming the Megazord. Rita merges with Goldar. The Rangers battle and destroy Goldar. After refusing Jason's offer to surrender, a defiant Rita tells the Rangers that more will come for the crystal and leaps at the Megazord only to be slapped into space. The Rangers are praised as local heroes, and with Rita's threats foiled, they return to their normal lives.

In a mid-credits scene, in detention, the teacher announces that Tommy Oliver will be joining them, but their desk is empty save for a green jacket.

Cast

Jason David Frank and Amy Jo Johnson, two of the stars of the original TV series, make cameo appearances as Angel Grove citizens.[30]

Production

Development

Saban Capital Group and Lionsgate announced the film in May 2014,[31] with Roberto Orci originally attached to produce. Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz were hired to write the film's script.[32] Orci eventually left the project to work on Star Trek Beyond.[33] On April 10, 2015, TheWrap reported that Dean Israelite was in negotiations to direct the film.[34] Israelite told IGN in an interview that the film would be "completely playful, and it needs to be really fun and funny. But like Project Almanac, it's going to feel very grounded at the same time, and very contemporary and have a real edge to it, and a real gut to it, it's going to be a fun, joyful [movie] but one that feels completely grounded in a real world, with real characters going through real things."[35] Brian Tyler was brought on to compose the film's music.[36] Israelite has said that the film updates itself from the original series, being more character-driven and incorporating naturalism and a grounded nature.[37]

Casting

Cast of the Power Rangers movie (cropped).jpg
The main cast discussion offsite at Petco Park during San Diego Comic-Con 2016. From left: Dacre Montgomery, RJ Cyler, Naomi Scott, Becky G and Ludi Lin.

Actors began testing for the roles of the five Power Rangers on October 2, 2015.[38] On October 7, 2015, Naomi Scott was cast as Kimberly.[9] Newcomers Dacre Montgomery, Ludi Lin and RJ Cyler were then cast as Jason,[8] Zack,[14] and Billy, respectively.[11] At the month's end, Becky G was chosen to play Trini.[12] When it came to casting the Rangers, director Dean Israelite said, "From the very beginning, diversity was a very important part of the whole process," and that while the characters' races were switched around, he added that, "We made sure that the essence of each of those characters are who they were in the original show, and this really will be an origin story of those characters."[39] On February 2, 2016, it was announced that Elizabeth Banks would portray Rita Repulsa.[19] Four months later, Bryan Cranston, who voiced Twin Man and Snizard in the original series, announced he was cast as Zordon.[18][40] Cranston revealed that he would perform motion-capture and CGI.[40][41] In September 2016, Walter Emanuel Jones, the actor who played Zack in the original series, stated none of the original cast would cameo in the film.[42] Towards the end of the month, comedian Bill Hader was cast as Alpha 5.[17] In March 2017, it was reported that Amy Jo Johnson and Jason David Frank, who played Kimberly and Tommy in the original series, would cameo in the film, despite Jones' earlier comments.[30]

Filming

Filming was originally set to begin in January 2016[43] but was rescheduled and began on February 29 in Vancouver.[44][45] On May 28, 2016, filming was complete.[46][47] Additional filming occurred in October 2016.[48][49]

Marketing

On March 3, 2016, Lionsgate released the first official photo of the five Rangers,[39] and the following month, the company released the first official photo of Banks as Rita Repulsa.[19] On May 5, the company unveiled the first official images of the rangers' suits. Speaking of the suits, director Dean Israelite said, "The show was about kids coming of age, about metamorphosis, these suits needed to feel like they were catalyzed by these kids and their energy, their spirit", while production designer Andrew Menzies commented that the new suits are "an alien costume that grows on them, that’s not man-made. You can’t win everyone over, but we are trying to appeal to a more mature audience and gain new fans."[50] A teaser poster was released in June,[51] with additional character posters released in July, September, and October.[52][53][54] On October 8, 2016, a Discover The Power teaser trailer for the film was released.[55][56][57]

A fictional Angel Grove High School Newspaper website was created,[58] alongside the official Power Rangers website, which features a GIF creator that allows users to make a GIF out of scenes from the teaser trailer.[59][60] There is also an official toy line, produced by Bandai,[61] and an extensive merchandising range was produced to promote the film.[62]

Max Landis, who was fired from writing the film, criticized the trailer. He stated that it looked like Chronicle, a film that he had written.[63] The trailer garnered mixed reactions, with some praising it for its darker, contemporary reimagining of the classic characters, while still looking action-packed and fun at the same time,[64][65] and others criticizing the lack of connection to the original series, and the trailer appearing cookie cutter.[66][67] The trailer received over 150 million views in the first two days after it was uploaded.[68] Lionsgate revealed the T-Rex zord toy, among others, on October 28, 2016,[69] and the Power Rangers Twitter account revealed the megazord toy on November 4, 2016.[70] On November 15, 2016, Lionsgate revealed the toys based on the film's individual zords.[71]

On December 8, 2016, a new poster debuted, as well as a photo of Rita Repulsa.[72][73] On December 19, 2016, Lionsgate and Boom! Studios announced that they would release a graphic novel titled Power Rangers: Aftershock, set immediately after the events of the movie.[74] An international trailer was released on December 22, 2016.[75][76][77] Qualcomm and Lionsgate produced a virtual reality mobile app of the film Power Rangers Movie Command Center that was exhibited at the CES 2017, from January 5–8, 2017, [78] and was released in the App Store on March 8, 2017.[79] On January 19, a second trailer, titled It’s Morphin Time!, was released.[80][81][82] Lionsgate debuted yet another trailer, which it called the All-Star Trailer, on February 17.[83][84][85] New TV spots were released on February 27, two about the Power Rangers,[86] and one about Rita Repulsa.[87] A clip was released on March 6, followed by two more on March 9.[88][89][90] Thirty-seven stills were then released.[91] Another TV spot was released on March 10.[92] In the final week before the movie premiered, two more clips, as well as photos, were released.[93]

A Build-A-Bear Workshop Power Ranger product range was announced on March 9, 2017.[94] Krispy Kreme released doughnuts to promote the film,[95] and served as an advertising partner.[96] Placement of Krispy Kreme products and locations were featured in the film numerous times.[97]

The group collaborated with YouTube sports entertainment group Dude Perfect ahead of the film's release, in a video titled Dude Perfect vs. Power Rangers.[96]

Video game

Lionsgate and Saban, in collaboration with nWay Games, released a PvP fighting mobile game called Power Rangers: Legacy Wars on March 24, 2017, to coincide with the film's release.[98] The game was featured on both Android and the Apple Store and got to the top spot on the Apple App Store for both iPhones and iPads,[99] and number three on the Google Play Store.

Music

The official soundtrack, with music by Brian Tyler, was released digitally on March 24, 2017, and on CD on April 4, distributed by Varèse Sarabande.[100][101]

Track listing

All music composed by Brian Tyler.

Power Rangers (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
No. Title Length
1. "Power Rangers Theme" 4:22
2. "Seek Those Who Are Worthy" 2:48
3. "Zordon Awakes" 2:13
4. "It's Morphing Time!" 3:19
5. "Destiny" 2:18
6. "Confessions" 4:22
7. "Megazord" 4:20
8. "United" 2:46
9. "Birth of a Legend" 4:10
10. "Metamorphosis" 2:39
11. "Goldar" 2:01
12. "The Morphing Grid" 3:58
13. "The Zords" 2:33
14. "Let's Ride" 2:19
15. "You Were Born for This" 2:03
16. "Reflection" 2:13
17. "The Lost Ship" 2:59
18. "Be Who You Want to Be" 2:06
19. "Hold The Line" 3:36
20. "This Is What Matters" 2:04
21. "Trespassing" 1:03
22. "Rita" 2:28
23. "Square One" 1:11
24. "Power On" 2:33
25. "Together We Stand" 2:19
26. "The Final Stand" 2:45
27. "Go Go Power Rangers – End Titles" 2:59
28. "Give It All (With You)" (Featuring Santigold and Vince Staples) 3:14

Release

Originally scheduled for release on July 22, 2016,[102] Lionsgate delayed it to March 24, 2017.[103] All five of the surviving members of the original cast of the Power Rangers series attended the film's Los Angeles premiere on March 22, 2017.[104] It was the first time they had been together publicly since 1995.[105]

Box office

Power Rangers grossed $85.3 million in the United States and Canada and $54.8 million in other territories for a worldwide gross of $140.2 million, against a production budget of $100 million.[6]

In the United States and Canada, Power Rangers opened alongside Life, CHiPs and Wilson, and was projected to gross $30–35 million from 3,693 theaters on its opening weekend.[106] The film made $3.6 million from Thursday night previews and $15 million on its first day.[107] It went on to debut to $40.3 million, finishing second at the box office behind Beauty and the Beast ($90.4 million).[108][109] The audience was notably diverse and mostly 18-34 years old.[110] In its second weekend the film grossed $14.5 million (a drop of 64%), finishing 4th at the box office.[111][112][113]

Critical response

Power Rangers received mixed reviews from critics.[114][115][116] On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 47% based on 126 reviews, and an average rating of 5.1/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Power Rangers has neither the campy fun of its TV predecessor nor the blockbuster action of its cinematic superhero competitors, and sadly never quite manages to shift into turbo for some good old-fashioned morphin time."[117] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating, the film has a score 44 out of 100, based on 30 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[118] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.[119]

IGN gave the film a 7/10, saying, "Power Rangers doesn’t quite pull off everything it wants to, but it’s a fun time at the theater nonetheless."[120] Mike McCahill of The Guardian wrote that "the film achieves a functioning mediocrity we perhaps might have thought beyond this franchise," and gave it 2 out of 5 stars.[121]

Mike Ryan of Uproxx gave the film a negative review, writing: "Power Rangers has one of the most zig-zagged tones of any big budget studio film I’ve seen in a long time. It’s jarring at times how often it goes back and forth between 'gritty' and 'silly'."[122] Writing for Variety, Owen Gleiberman also criticized the film's conflicting tones, saying: "...25 years ago, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was launched as superhero fodder for kids, and there was indeed a place for it, but we’re now so awash in superhero culture that kids no longer need the safe, lame, pandering junior-league version of it. They can just watch Ant-Man or the PG-13 Suicide Squad. Safe, lame, and pandering have all grown up."[123] In a review for The Telegraph, Robbie Collin gave it 1/5 stars, criticizing the "abjectly embarrassing frenzy of product placement".[124]

Home media

Power Rangers was released on Digital HD on June 13, 2017, and is set to be released on Blu-ray and DVD on June 27, 2017.[125]

Accolades

Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) and nominee(s) Result Ref(s)
Teen Choice Awards August 13, 2017 Choice Sci-Fi Movie Power Rangers Pending [126]
Choice Sci-Fi Movie Actor Dacre Montgomery Pending
Choice Sci-Fi Movie Actress Becky G. Pending
Choice Sci-Fi Movie Actress Naomi Scott Pending

Potential sequels

In a conference call to analysts, Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer stated, "We could see doing five or six or seven."[127][128] On March 22, 2017, Haim Saban said that he and Lionsgate already have a six-film story arc.[129] However in May 2017, Forbes noted that due to the underwhelming performance of the film in most markets, it is unlikely any sequels would be made.[7]

References

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Further reading

PR Mini Production Notes FINAL(archived)
PR Production Notes 2 (archived)

External links

Content from Wikipedia