The new Power Rangers film has been highly anticipated for years and it officially opened worldwide on Friday.
In early reports, the film scored an impressive $40.5 Million opening weekend at the box office, with nearly $60 Million worldwide Forbesreports, exceeding expectations of a predicted $35 Million debut. While it is certainly an impressive start for the movie, it wasn’t enough to dethrone Disney’s Beauty and the Beast from its second week at the No. 1 spot (not that anyone expected it to).
The new film marks the third in the franchise overall, but the first in 20 years (the film premiered only four days shy of the 20th anniversary of the second film). However, the movie serves as a reboot for the series.
In a film industry landscape filled with sequels, prequels, and reboots, this is hardly a surprise. But was it a reboot worth making?
Early reviews have been mixed at best, with Rotten Tomatoes giving it an underwhelming 45 percent rating with the site consensus reading: “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.” Other reviews have shared this sentiment with Metacritic giving it a 44 out of 100 rating.
On the other hand, the film has fared much better with audiences. The audience score almost doubled that of the critics’ on Rotten Tomatoes, showing that fans of the original films and TV series believe the long wait was worth it in the end. And fans will likely be happy to know that the producers and studio already have a plan for a six-movie arc, so long as the next ones to follow see similar box-office success, Variety reports. As the article states, there is a big market for 90’s nostalgia right now which is exactly what this new re-imagining of the original film and television series provides.
Apart from the box office and the reviews, Power Rangers has broken new ground for superhero films alike. Not only does the film have the first LGBTQ superhero, but also the first autistic one.
The blue ranger named Billy (played by RJ Cycler) is on the Autism spectrum, something that no other superhero blockbuster has showcased before, ScreenRant explains in an article about the film. About his character, Cycler said: “I just wanted to show a different, like, viewpoint of people that are seen as being on the spectrum, right? Or people diagnosed with Autism…” and the actor claims to have learned a lot about the diagnosis in the making of the film.
Many critics and audiences alike agree that having an autistic character adds a sense of realism to the story that’s not usually seen in big-screen action-filled blockbusters.
As for the LGBTQ character in the film, Becky G plays the yellow ranger named Trini. In the movie, Trini questions her sexuality and for that reason, Becky was quoted as saying that this is “a film of firsts…,” according to Variety.
It’s a positive step forward to have big Hollywood films of this genre finally being inclusive in its storytelling, a move that’s long overdue.
Beauty and the Beast most recently did this by including a gay character in the film, a move that was met with praise as well as controversy. Like the Disney film, Power Rangers has been met with backlash as well, especially in Russia when the film received an 18+ rating due to the presence of Becky G’s gay character.
So far, the film has exceeded box office expectations, if not critical ones. Only two days into its release, the movie is well on its way to exceeding its $100 Million budget. As a result, long-time fans can expect many more adventures in the years to come bringing the 90’s nostalgia back again and again.
[Featured Image by Rich Polk/Getty Images]