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Who better to critique the 2017 Power Rangers movie than two actors from the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series? Appearing at Emerald City Comic Con this weekend, Walter Jones (Zack Taylor, the first Black Ranger) and Johnny Yong Bosch (Adam Park, the second Black Ranger) were asked for their thoughts on the recent big-budget adaptation of the beloved TV show that failed to launch a big screen franchise.
Jones said that while he and his kids found it to be entertaining, he still came away with one major "grievance" related to Hollywood's tendency to take beloved kids' franchises and make them edgier for modern audiences.
"They were teenagers with attitude, but they were delinquent," he explained. "The problem with that, for me, is knowing what the show has done for people. I get to hear your voices now and you're like, 'Because of your show, I wanted to do this. I became a martial artist, I went into the military, or I was motivated to do this.' That was because we were teenagers with attitude [due to the fact that] we were leaders. We were confident ... I think that was one of the most important things about the show that they missed because if you are delinquent and that's your attitude and you find a magic rock and now you're a Power Ranger, that doesn't do anything to motivate anybody."
Bosch praised the film's general aesthetic and cast (which included Dacre Montgomery, Becky G, Naomi Scott, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Banks, and Bill Hader). His complaints with the film mostly had to do with the Zords and costumes. "I preferred the suits from our film that we did [in 1995] much more because you could tell them apart better and the Zords looked like what they were supposed to be," he added.
Echoing what Jones had said about the unlikable characters, Bosch continued: "The Pink Ranger, she was a terrible person. It's like, 'What's going on here?' It was really weird. They really leaned into that and thought, 'Oh yeah, we're just gonna make them bad! And then they'll just become good because they got powers.' Yeah, that's not gonna happen. You get abilities or anything like that... if you were a douchebag here, you're [also] gonna be a douchebag here."
Made on a budget of $100 million, the 2017 Power Rangers movie (directed by Project Almanac's Dean Israelite) barely made its money back with a global box office draw of $142 million.
For comparison, the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers TV show was produced on a shoestring budget, particularly in its early days. "In the very beginning of the show, Saban didn't really put a lot of money into [it]," Jones recalled. "We were doing weird things like filming on Venice Beach with no permit. So, we'd be in the back of a van and they'd go, 'Jump out!' And the cameraman would go, 'Ready? Action!' And then they're like, 'Jump back in the van, let's go!'"
Netflix and eOne Television are currently developing a new set of interconnected shows and films based on the long-running property. Jonathan Entwistle (The End of the F***ing World and I Am Not Okay with This) has been tapped as creative head.