POWER/RANGERS (2015) fan film shows why grim-dark is grim-dumb

If you’ve been following my writing for a while, you’ve probably picked up that I detest hollow, needlessly cynical, faux-mature “gritty” reimaginings of once colorful and optimistic characters and franchises. It’s a juvenile, self-absorbed misunderstanding of the entire concept of maturity to think that simply being darker makes something better or more complex. And seeing grown men constantly demanding a beloved franchise become more “adult” simply to soothe their own insecurities about still liking something intended for children only robs it of everything they enjoyed about it in the first place.

Lately, the studio most guilty of this trend is Warner Brothers, as you can see in basically every DC superhero film made this century. But they’re far from alone. Star Trek and Spider-Man have gotten the same treatment, and Fantastic Four is next in line. It seems just about everyone outside of Marvel Studios have decided that superheroes just aren’t allowed to be fun anymore.

So with the promise of a Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers movie in 2016, I can’t help but become anxious as I wait to see what form the film will take. Will Saban elect to stick to the fun (if campy) tone that’s kept the TV series going for more than two decades now? Or will they bow to blockbuster trends and give us a drab, joyless, self-conscious drag? Only time will tell.

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In the meantime, however, we’ve been given an unexpected gift: a glimpse at a possible future, and a worst case scenario for how a “dark and gritty” Power Rangers movie could end up. Joseph Kahn, the offbeat, eccentric genius behind Torque, Detention, and the best music video Taylor Swift ever made, has released a 12-minute fan film entitled POWER/RANGERS, and like everything else Kahn has done, it’s… something else.

POWER/RANGERS (2015) fan film shows why grim-dark is grim-dumb

It shows a dystopian future in which Earth has been taken over by the Machine Empire (if you don’t know your Power Rangers lore, the Machine Empire is… well, exactly what they sound like). The Rangers are all grown up and their lives have gone horribly wrong. Blue Ranger Billy has become a weapons manufacturer, Yellow Ranger Trini is dead, Red Ranger Jason was murdered after his wedding to Pink Ranger Kimberly by Bulk and Skull (who later OD on meth), Black Ranger Zack is a fitness guru that spends all his time doing hookers and blow, and Green Ranger Tommy is a wanted man living on the streets.

POWER/RANGERS (2015) fan film shows why grim-dark is grim-dumb

The main focus is on Kimberly (played by eternal fancasting favorite Katee Sackhoff), who’s being interrogated by Rocky (played by unicorn slayer James Van Der Beek), formerly the second Red Ranger and now an agent of the Machine Empire. Rocky wants to capture Tommy, as he’s suspected of murdering the other Rangers. To say any more would be to spoil the film (in as much as you can spoil a 12-minute movie), but suffice to say, it doesn’t end well for anyone.

POWER/RANGERS (2015) fan film shows why grim-dark is grim-dumb

Here’s a safe-for-work version of the short film in question (the NSFW version has fallen victim to a bogus copyright claim by Saban).

[Update! Saban has backed off and allowed the NSFW version to be posted, which you can watch below.]

I have to admit, the film threw me the first time I watched it. Being already worn out by so many grimdark reboots of things I love, and apprehensive about the possibility of the same happening to my beloved Power Rangers, the whole thing felt almost like a slap in the face.

Watching Bulk and Skull, two of the most enduring, lovable characters in the show’s history, being portrayed as foul-mouthed white trash who sell out the human race to aliens, murder their friends, and then die of drug overdoses was basically the equivalent of watching Winnie the Pooh go postal on the Hundred Acre Wood. But after watching it through a few more times, it became clear that what I was seeing was not meant to be taken remotely seriously. It’s a Joseph Kahn film, after all. In his own words in the video description, this is his “take on the FAN FILM”.

In an interview with HitFix, Kahn had this to say.

Kahn: I’ve seen repurposed stuff on the Internet where they take a property that’s serious and make it even more so, like a Batman fan film or something like that, or a video game or whatever. I’ve actually seen stuff like where they’ve taken ridiculous stuff like Mario Brothers, and then tried to make the dark and gritty version, and they obviously play it for laughs. I think the trick that I really wanted to do with this was to make that dark and gritty version that everybody keeps talking about, but really do it. Really see if I could totally accomplish it with essentially a really incredible, incredibly silly property.

In that context, POWER/RANGERS makes a lot more sense. He’s making fun of the fad of grit-ification but taken it to its furthest extreme by playing it completely straight. It’s a commentary not just on the film industry, but also on fan films themselves. I’ve watched plenty of fan films before, and I know that what Kahn is saying is true: many of them take themselves far, far too seriously. In fact, a grimdark Power Rangers fan film was released not long ago, only without any of the irony of Kahn’s version.

So the fact that Khan’s film is meant as a joke is clear. How effective a joke is debatable, however, because the reactions to this thing have been all over the place. For fans like myself, either the joke didn’t register, or it did and they just didn’t like it. Many others, who either aren’t fans or only casual fans who haven’t watched the show since they were kids, took the thing 100% seriously and seem to think it’s the greatest idea ever. All over the internet, headlines are calling it “badass”, and commenters are saying this is exactly what they want the actual Power Rangers movie to be.

POWER/RANGERS (2015) fan film shows why grim-dark is grim-dumb

For me, this raises questions about the very nature of satire. To what extent is a comedian responsible when people don’t get the joke? This isn’t a new issue; Remember last year, when Stephen Colbert got called a racist for a joke on his show that went completely over the heads of certain people? Or how about all those guys who saw Fight Club and then went out and formed actual fight clubs, completely missing that the movie was a condemnation of that sort of empty macho posturing?

It’s hard to find fault with the film in this case, because arguably making the point any more explicit would be to compromise it. Part of the joke is that, for the most part, there’s no winking at the camera or transparent self-awareness. It’s taking the most over-the-top extremes and being completely serious in their presentation, which is, in and of itself, the joke. This isn’t a Robot Chicken sketch. It’s an experiment to show just how far the idea of a dark and gritty reboot can go and why it’s ultimately a dumb and futile enterprise.

POWER/RANGERS (2015) fan film shows why grim-dark is grim-dumb

So I can’t really fault Kahn for being too subtle. At the same time, much like Fight Club, it’s really hard to enjoy the film as a piece of satire, simply because the reaction to it irks me. All I can think is, “A lot of people out there actually, unironically want this,” and the thought just depresses me. If taking this concept to its worst extreme doesn’t show people what a terrible idea it is, what could? And what if Saban and Lionsgate take the response to Kahn’s fan film as a sign that there’s a market for this vision of Power Rangers, and take the actual film in this direction? It’s not out of the realm of possibility. Remember those awful Mortal Kombat web shorts Kevin Tancharoen made that landed him a job making a real Mortal Kombat feature film? (Sure, it didn’t end up happening, but still.)

Joseph Kahn will not be making a Power Rangers movie. He’s openly said he has no interest in it, and that’s for the best. A feature-length version of POWER/RANGERS would be utterly pointless. The joke works as a simple short film, but dragging it out for two hours would get old fast. Better that he’s free to pursue his own projects and interests, and I’m excited to see what he does next. In the meantime, he’s certainly left us with something to think about, if nothing else.

Final thought: I believe the most telling and interesting thing about POWER/RANGERS is that when you get down to it, it’s not really any more “mature” or “adult” than the actual show, despite its aesthetic shift. It may not be safe for kids anymore, but it’s still (very deliberately) mindless junk food. The characters are just as flat and devoid of personality, the premise is just as silly, and the plot is just as nonsensical and formulaic. It’s still mainly an excuse to watch people fight in rubber suits. The only real upside is that the acting is generally better, and the effects are vastly improved. That’s pretty much the film’s ultimate lesson: simply making something darker and more realistic doesn’t improve shit. If anything, it just makes it dumber.

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  • Gritty just isn’t appetising whenever it’s food or film.

  • RockyDmoney

    I agree. This type of “mature” is made for the aging man child who is unable to let go of his childhood to realize this stuff is supposed to be for kids. This somehow legitimizes this stuff for that audience. Case in point was the transformers movies. What an ugly ugly mean spirited take on a franchise filled with bright colorful characters. Why does a story about shape shifting giant alien robots need to be “realistic”? Other guilty parties are Man of Steel, Green Lantern movies and the entire modern comic book industry. Marvel movies may be fun but the comics are still a dark depressing mess

    • Skylar Zenas Mullins

      I take issue with the term “let go of his childhood.” letting go of your childhood would suggest entering a state where you can no longer play or like cartoons and you must force never watch or do the things that make you happy because it’s not “adult” and even if you are responsible and productive doing things that aren’t considered “adult” isn’t allowed. so we present this paradighm where we say you must purge all of the unique things about yourself that make you happy until your inner child is crying inside. no wonder people try to make old things they liked grim and dark, they, and we, are desperately trying to cling onto the few things in life that make us happy by disguising them as things society says are acceptable for them to watch.

      we shouldn’t as individuals have to let go of our childhood to become adults. we as a society need to embrace our inner child and except that being human, being a mature person, is not a binary 1 and 0 but a complex superposition of billions of things that come together to make us each who we are. we are both adult like and childlike, remove either and you destroy all of what it is to be you.

      • tcorp

        “letting go of your childhood would suggest entering a state where you can no longer play or like cartoons and you must force never watch or do the things that make you happy because it’s not ‘adult’ and even if you are responsible and productive doing things that aren’t considered ‘adult’ isn’t allowed.”

        I would argue that society’s problem is the *exact opposite* of what you’re describing. In an effort to avoid making hard decisions, committing to long-term goals, and risking failure–we are seeking more diversionary, short-term kinds of things. There’s nothing wrong, objectively speaking, with sitting at home and watching cartoons. But if you’re sitting at home, watching cartoons, and aren’t investing in your future, then yeah, you need to let go of your childhood.

        • Skylar Zenas Mullins

          it seems your talking more about the social engine, governance, literacy, employment. the statement that we are seeking more diversionary short term things sounds more aimed at the culture of selfishness that many have commented on in this country and many others. I was talking more at a personal and social (as in socializing with others) ground floor level the premise of being free to do what you want and like what you like without being ashamed of it so long as it doesn’t hurt anybody. I never meant to suggest that apathy is a good thing only that apathy and being childlike are not synonymous. my mom loves games, cartoons, and is one of the silliest and most childlike people I know, she is also one of the most reliable and hardest working people I know.
          it’s not about letting go of something, it’s about finding balance within yourself.

          acting adult doesn’t mean someone is any better of a person. is sitting around watching cartoons and neglecting your life any more wrong then sitting at a bar drinking beer and neglecting your life? one is considered childish one is considered adult yet both have the same bad end. at least the former isn’t likely to get you drunk and have you abuse your family.

          • tcorp

            “it seems your talking more about the social engine, governance, literacy, employment. the statement that we are seeking more diversionary short term things sounds more aimed at the culture of selfishness that many have commented on in this country and many others.”

            Yes and no. My comments referred both to the social impact of personal responsibility and the value of freedom as enabling self-actualization.

            “I was talking more at a personal and social (as in socializing with others) ground floor level the premise of being free to do what you want and like what you like without being ashamed of it so long as it doesn’t hurt anybody.”

            That’s fair. I would argue that “so long as it doesn’t hurt anybody” presupposes a lot of things. An activity that doesn’t hurt anyone on the individual level may hurt the community in aggregate.

            “I never meant to suggest that apathy is a good thing only that apathy and being childlike are not synonymous.”

            Nice. How would you define childlike then?

            “is sitting around watching cartoons and neglecting your life any more wrong then sitting at a bar drinking beer and neglecting your life? one is considered childish one is considered adult yet both have the same bad end. at least the former isn’t likely to get you drunk and have you abuse your family.”

            Both are childish because both avoid responsibility. In some ways, the former may be more harmful in the long-term because the harm is less obvious.

          • Skylar Zenas Mullins

            “Both are childish because both avoid responsibility. In some ways, the former may be more harmful in the long-term because the harm is less obvious.”
            “How would you define childlike then?”

            yeah I think you just hit the head of the nail there. we are both using the word childlike but clearly we aren’t talking about the same thing. to quote a line from freeman’s mind “you should always remember to define your term or people die!” hehe. yes well for one thing your actually using, and I probably should have noticed this sooner, is the word childish and clearly you are referring to the negative aspects of being a child like selfishness and irresponsibility. me I think of that as being a brat and I think that whether you are 5 or 50 you can still be a brat, like how most politician are, hiyo!

            when I think the word childlike I think of: innocence, optimism, pure curiosity, fun loving, and the urge to just do things. you know enthusiasm and drive. my view of the word comes from my mother who has always been very reliable and hard working and capable of making tough decisions, she’s a CNA so it’s kinda her job to do so. however she has always been fun and, well, like a big old kid. she the one who always taught me that you don’t have to give up your childhood to become a responsible, productive, adult.

            oh by the way in regards to “the former may be more harmful in the long-term because the harm is less obvious.” I think alcohol would be worse long term since alcohol is an actual addictive substance that can cause a real chemical addiction. not to mention there’s the risk of alcohol poisoning, it can give you depression, violent mood swings, liver damage, and cancer, oh and beer can make you obese so add all of the health risks that come with that on top of the ones just for alcohol. plus the aforementioned depression could drive you to the whole sit on bum thing, or suicide, intentional suicide or the “hold my beer and watch this,” kind.

      • RockyDmoney

        Yeah. So what I’m saying is that Power Rangers, ninja Turtles, Transformers, superman are for children and should stay that way. Making a “realistic” version of these things is just dumb and kinda sad. Kids today dont have a superman they dont have straight up noble Optimus Prime.

        • Wizkamridr

          They don’t have superman or Optimus prime? Sure they do. They can still watch the older versions.

    • Wizkamridr

      Obviously you’re totally oblivious to zyuranger or dairanger. Those shows are dark and mature compared to power rangers. Something can be dark and mature and still fun to watch. Garo and bio booster Guyver are perfect examples. They are mature power rangers.

  • KLLRFRST

    There was also a short video released by the producer explaining that this was a take on Power Rangers that showed what it would be like if it didn’t gloss over the fact that it’s about teenagers being used to fight wars and didn’t ignore the traumas associated with war like PTSD.

    • Yeah, but that’s still part of the joke: applying real-world logic to a fantasy setting, like people tend to do way to much and end up missing the point. Yeah, in the real world Zordon would be kind’ve a monster building a child army. But Power Rangers is very clearly nothing like the real world.

      • CaptainCalvinCat

        Might I ask a question? Why does everything need to be seen through “relatively realistic eyes”? I mean – Batman I kinda, sorta, get – although I think, that’s one of the more stupid ideas, concerning, that this franchise is everything BUT to be taken seriously.
        But Power Rangers? Why would you do that?

    • Skylar Zenas Mullins

      wasn’t that what evangelion did with the giant robot genra? madoka did a similar thing with the magical girl genre but with more of a Faustian by way of Lovecraft theme. though it was more coherent than evangellion. neither of them were quite this gritty though, more melodramatic then gritty. plus they were original IP’s. it’s not like madoka was a dark retelling of cardcaptor sakura or sailor moon where Usagi is a drug addict. it’s generally okay to do a dark dissection of a genre but if you actually use an existing property known for being uplifting it can come across as a betrayal since your changing so much it may as well be a different thing all together and feels like it’s insulting the original by it’s comparison. it would be like telling you your getting chocolate but it’s actually tree bark in the shape of a chocolate bar, just not cool man.

  • You know, we have 20 years of silly light hearted fun from the “Power Rangers” franchise. And much like I can enjoy both the Nolan (dark) and Adam West (silly) versions of characters I can enjoy both a silly or a dark take on Power Rangers.

    Yeah, it is a joke… But it is the kind of joke that makes you laugh for a few seconds and then you pause quizzically and say, “Wait, that might actually work… It might be awesome.” I am kind of fine for any interpretation of a character along the “dark silly” sliding scale.

    • tcorp

      Sacrilege!

    • It’s not like every incarnation of the franchise has been identical. They experimented with going a little darker in seasons like In Space, Lost Galaxy, and RPM.

      • I did not say they were all the same, I said they were all silly.

        If you were to have a “silly-ness Quotient” Going from 0- “Schindler’s List”, “Sofie’s Choice”, or “The Road” for instance. And the Quotient increased up to 100- “Pee Wee’s Playhouse”, “Ren and Stimpy”, or “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” worlds which are decidedly kooky. I am going to have to say every iteration of “Power Rangers” as a series has been closer to 100 than it is to 0. Even at its darkest the needle only slid down a scant few points. They are all pretty up there.

        This little fan film lowers that score, and lets the implications of that tonal shift ripple thru the story. It is not “The Road”. Yeah there has to be a minimum threshold of silly necessary to sustain the premise of space-cop-mecha-pilot-teens… maybe this movie is below that threshold, maybe it is on the edge, maybe it is too far for most people, but it is a funny little experiment.

    • Skylar Zenas Mullins

      well what I take pause at is how we confuse gritty and dark for being mature. to me being mature is treating a subject with intelligent examination. the ending to the lego movie had was mature because it took a real look at something and presented a deep, moving, and thought provoking idea while still managing to be fun and silly. toy story is a series whose underlying themes are acceptance of ones mortality, death, and rebirth. for goodness sake toy story 3 had the characters take a metaphorical journey through limbo/purgatory, hell, and reincarnation. those movies didn’t have a single swear in them and they are leagues more mature than the recent man of steel or something like mortal combat.

      • Yeah, people are stupid. It is possible to be silly and mature (I would classify Marvel movies and “Thor” especially in that category) or silly and immature (“Ren and Stimpy”) and things can be Dark and mature (“Memento”) or Dark and immature (“Warhammer 40,000”). There are audiences for each of those quadrants, and many people who only consume stuff that is right in the middle (“Titanic”, “Independence Day”, “Harry Potter”) that are not too dark or silly, that take their subjects seriously but have aspects that seem very child-logic.

        I have been told by my Mom that she can’t watch “House of Cards” because she says it makes her feel anxious. But she can watch “Criminal Minds” because it is a lot sillier and less mature.

        In my mind “Power Rangers” is not very mature, and is very silly. This fan film is a lot darker, but not all that mature. It is funny they have Katee Sackhoff in there because she starred it what could be considered the quintessential dark and mature reboot, “Battlestar Gallactica”. I think we can all agree that while that show had faults it is still the best example of what can be done when you take a premise and tweak the tone.

        • Skylar Zenas Mullins

          of coarse I never got into the battlestar reboot. not so much because of the darker tone, I mean fleeing a race of genocidal machines hell bent on your annihilation is a concept that fits well with a dark tone. my problem was how damn boring it was, at least in the first season or so. seriously we barely see the real cylons, you know the cool ones, we mostly deal with the dull humanoid ones and their soap opera problems. plus just because a premise is dark doesn’t mean the characters need to be. what really has kept me from those type of shows is that whenever I see the characters my eyes gloss over because they are all soooo dull and basically slight variations on the same grey archetype speaking in the same barely audible serious tones and hardly ever smiling or showing any emotion other then grim stoicism, anger, and emo “what you looking at” attitudes. soon the characters all begin to blend and I can’t remember any of them or tell them apart..

          take something like lord of the rings. here we have a story about the people of middle earth facing overwhelming odds against an army of evil dedicated to slaughter and enslavement lead by their worlds version of satan and their only hope is in a small hobbit who must endure great hardship and literally venture into hell while he is slowly corrupted and driven insane. that is one hell of a dark premise, yet all of the characters are memorable and distinct with their own colorful quirks and personalities and sense of humor. heck they actually HAVE a sense of humor in the first place. even with the very real threat of genuine horrors being put in front of them the movies still have a sense of fun to them, not all the time, but in the places where it counts. see the problem with going full dark is that it’s very hard to see in the dark so you stumble over stuff and it’s impossible to make out anything intelligible in whats going on around you. if everything is always crappy and dark then there’s no contrast and it makes it impossible for the emotional scenes to have any impact because they’re virtually indistinguishable from everything else and your probably desensitized by that point anyway. if someone gets decapitated in mortal combat you wouldn’t bat an eye, but if big bird ripped elmos head off and dangled his blood drenched spine from his hand you would be traumatized. I probably just traumatized you right now by giving you that mental image. now yeah that was a bit of an extreme but my point is we connect with characters more when they have some light elements to them, some likable trait or personality. even the most broody characters have some lighter characteristics. take batman, or at least the 90’s animated version, he was broody and dark but not always 24/7. he would laugh or even tell jokes at times there was a balance between his lighter and darker traits and in the show as a whole. we need the light elements to give us investment with the characters so that we care more about what happens to them thus giving the events weight and tension.

          now to each there own of coarse. if you like it that’s cool. to use a food analogy some food I think tastes completely bland someone else might find a variety of subtle flavor or maybe the texture alone is enjoyable on it’s own. heck I myself enjoy the matrix movies purely based on the aesthetic. the characters are flat and lifeless (and probably less emotional then I accused battlestars characters of being), the plot is almost as convoluted as final fantasy 13, and the underlying premise itself makes no sense when you consider using humans as a power source for a massive robot empire is only slightly less stupid then suggesting that we replace fossil fuels with hamsters on treadmills. but despite all of that I still like the movies, and yes I mean all of them, based purely on the fact that I think people in sunglasses and black coats doing super kung fu in slow motion looks cool, plus Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus could make reading the phone book sound cool. even if I admit a movie sucks if there is a guy or girl in a long black coat with sunglasses walking in semi-slow-mo with the “we’re cool and we know it” look, I’ll probably still like it a little. at least you could probably articulate some reason on an emotional level why you like the battlestar reboot, all I have in defense of why I like the matrix is “it looks pretty.”

          • Thomas Stockel

            You’re not alone in thinking the BSG reboot was good. I found it not only boring, but I hated Sakoff’s Starbuck. She was constantly screwing up people’s lives and she was always forgiven. And she could do Anything; best shot in the fleet, best pilot, could box as well as a man, was an artist, was a professional level Pyramid player, etc.

            I kept coming back to see if it got better but it didn’t. and that finale was horrible and nonsensical, written so the characters could be the descendants of Earth men. I don’t deny there were some cool ideas and good episodes, just that overall the series is overrated.

          • It is not necessarily about universal appeal. There are niche audiences, and by catering toward those audiences mutations and permutations to the brand take form, and those changes influence things down the line. It is important to play with tone and messages (even if they do not always work, I got frustrated with BSG on its initial airing and only came back to it years later on Netflix). Because sometimes an alchemy takes place and you get something totally new and different.

          • CaptainCalvinCat

            You really are the anti-me, aren’t you? You find nBSG boring, but yet you praise Stargate: universe, a.k.a. tedium – the show. ^^ But the thing about the ending of BSG you got backwards. They are not the descendants of us, we are the descendants of them. Granted, Starbuck is a bit of a mary sue – but on the other hand: best stot in the fleet, best pilot, good boxer and good pyramid player is something I can buy, after all, if all has to do with great reflexes. And that she wanted to be an artist first – even that I can buy.

          • Thomas Stockel

            I apologize, I mis-spoke in regards to the part about who begat whom. As for being the anti-you; yeah, I can live with that.

          • CaptainCalvinCat

            Me 2. ^^ I mean – after all, my opinions differ from the most people. Take greece, for example: I can understand, why they would be pissed off, most people yell “This will cost us MILLIONS and BILLIONS”….

  • drumstick00m

    People want a gritty Power Rangers, people want a Power Rangers movie. Can’t they just watch Neon Genesis and Pacific Rim and then move on? Is it that hard to imprint your favorite Power Rangers on to the cast of those shows?

    • Yeah! And why do we need so many Batman movies? Can’t they just watch The Crow and pretend that’s Batman?

      • drumstick00m

        Reducto ad Absurdum–called on both of us. I am going from the premise that the above is said tongue in cheek, given the first piece I ever watched by you defended Batman and Robin; you get my point right?

        Too many people are still looking to get something from their old favorite childhood stories that these stories just cannot give to them. Of course merely switching from re-watching and rebooting childhood stories to watching stories aimed at an adult audience is not going to full fill all the needs of the nostalgic, but that is discussion for another time. I have to get to work at 6:30am today.

      • Wizkamridr

        Adi Shankar who produced this film thinks he’s the Crow apparently.

      • Anon

        Why would you want to pretend The Crow is Batman when The Crow is actually a decent film on it’s own? It’d be a better idea to watch one of the least terrible Batman films and pretend it’s another Crow.

  • Jack Burton

    I don’t know why you’re attacking DC when Batman is supposed to be dark. Everyone but Marvel? Have you see the trailer for Ultron?

    • I’m not against dark undertones on principle. It’s the pretentious, hollow, teenage angst cynicism that robs films of their joy that I can’t stand. Going dark is fine if it’s done well, it just rarely is is superhero films these days.

    • writebrain

      Right – everything has to be “Fun”, or people hate on it. I think this sense that comic book films have to be fun all of the time is more detrimental than taking something seriously.

      • CaptainCalvinCat

        That clearly depends on your definition of “fun” – but if I had the choice between the MCU and this grey, dull, drab DC-flicks…. you’re right, I lean more to the relative-fun-MCU.

        • writebrain

          People mistake “serious” for “dark”. Just because a movie takes its premise seriously doesn’t make it grim. I don’t need to be winked at all the time, or have a joke a minute that says “hey, we know this is supposed to be “fun”. Look, we’re having “fun”. It seems that all people want to make these days are comedies, even with material where it’s not appropriate.

  • Wizkamridr

    I think a dark and gritty PRs can work and still be faithful to the mythos if done right. The Japanese have power ranger type characters thrown in a dark world and it still works. The only thing I liked about this bootleg was James Van Der Beek. I got upset when they killed off the red ranger, but was rooting for the bad guys when they fought the black ranger. That fight choreography was terrible.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garo_(TV_series)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=aoI9rVAo8hQ

  • Wizkamridr

    This is a small nitpick. The movie confused north and south korea.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kkangpae

  • Alexa

    Oh god, please don’t remind me of those god awful gritty, non-ironic, Mortal Kombat fan films. Those were so terrible :P

  • Wizkamridr
  • MichaelANovelli

    To everyone who would want a darker version of Power Rangers: that line of thinking is what gave us Ivan Ooze!

    Keep that in mind!

    • Skylar Zenas Mullins

      the obsession with making a darker version of a light hearted franchise also gave us bomberman: act zero, or as I like to call it; WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!

    • Wizkamridr

      I still love the power ranger movie.

    • Jonathan Campbell

      Ivan Ooze was awesome!

  • VaioLance

    “For fans like myself, either the joke didn’t register, or it did and they
    just didn’t like it. Many others, who either aren’t fans or only casual
    fans who haven’t watched the show since they were kids, took the thing
    100% seriously and seem to think it’s the greatest idea ever.”
    ^^^^^where I’m at with this. The joke didn’t register. But I did not
    like it.

  • CaptainCalvinCat

    That only now comes to my attention: Is that black Ranger holding a P90 in his hands?

  • Wizkamridr

    Throwing a tantrum will get you places. They put the “satire” film back up.

  • Raiden

    Andre from Black Nerd Comedy Sums this up nicely.

    Does Power Rangers Have An Identity Crisis?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-BY6y0vhkI

  • Lina Jones

    The problem with making a “parody” of something by doing that thing completely straight, it’s not a parody anymore, it’s exactly the thing you’re supposed to be parodying and failing.

  • RockyDmoney

    “And seeing grown men constantly demanding a beloved franchise become more “adult” simply to soothe their own insecurities about still liking something intended for children only robs it of everything they enjoyed about it in the first place.”

    Truer words were never written. Some folks just need to grow the fuck up. Let the kids have these things. For fucks sake….