Editor's note: David Yost played the Blue Ranger, Billy Cranston, on the original "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" TV series and film. After attending the remake's big premiere this week, he reviewed the film for TooFab ... Warning: minor spoilers below.
As a member of the original cast, I was very excited to see this updated version of the franchise that started 25 years ago. I went into the movie with an open mind and I was truly happy and impressed with the results.
I will say that the film is a far cry from the TV series and feature film that I participated in, but that is to be expected. From the beginning, I loved the set up of the back story between Zordon, played by Bryan Cranston, and the evil villainess Rita Repulsa, played by Elizabeth Banks. Banks nailed the role and brought an evil depth to the character leaving the audience filled with fear throughout.
Our five heroes are the recognizable character names of the original "Power Rangers" cast. Jason (Dacre Montgomery), the rebel football jock; Kimberly (Naomi Scott), the ostracized cheerleader; Billy (RJ Cyler), the intelligent and humorous science geek on the spectrum; Trini (Becky G), the questioning outcast looking for purpose; Zack (Ludi Lin), the wild kid with a heart.
There are moments of the "Breakfast Club" as we find Jason, Kimberly and Billy in detention. They meet up with the others, Trini and Zack, accidentally in the local mine. They come across their individual Power Coins which give them super human powers after Billy blows up a part of the mountain. Their journey then begins as they find out that they have been chosen to be the Power Rangers. They train and train until eventually they are able to morph into their true superhero alter egos.
Their journey is much different from the original TV show and film. I will confess, I missed hearing "it's morphin' time" delivered the way we used to say it on the TV show. When we said "it's morphin' time," you knew shit was about to get real. In this film version, the Rangers' signature catchphrase feels a bit lackadaisical and is not the true transformational moment it should be. However, the audience still ate it up and screamed with excitement.
I enjoyed what the five lead actors brought to their roles and that they created interesting characters with their diverse backgrounds. Seeing this diversity, unfortunately, is still needed in this day and age so that we can see that we can be from different backgrounds, races, orientations and come together and be a team. Perhaps a team of Power Rangers.
I also missed the use of the original theme song from the '90s TV series. I think the use of this song would have really sealed the deal in bridging the gap between the old and the new. I will say that I did enjoy all the music that was chosen, and that all the music was very fitting for the moments throughout. [Note: the theme from the 1995 movie does make an appearance.]
The battle sequence at the end of the film was epic as our five heroes take on Rita and her beloved Goldar. The battle was not easy for the heroes as they struggled to fight Goldar individually, but eventually they realize they need to join forces, creating the Megazord. The Megazord was updated and looked impressive.
I really enjoyed director Dean Israelite's updated take on the franchise that has stood the test of time. He had very good insights for the direction of the story and the characters. I really enjoyed myself and will be curious to see what the sequel delivers, as we will be introduced to Tommy Oliver, a.k.a. the Green Ranger. If you're a long time fan of Power Rangers or just coming into the Power Ranger world, you will like this film and will be entertained.
TooFab also caught up with Yost and original Black Ranger Walter Emanuel Jones at the premiere. Watch what they said about wild fan interactions and hopes for future cameos.