The "Power Rangers" reboot certainly won't go down in history as one of the finest superhero movies ever made, but it did succeed in delivering the big, dumb, nostalgic fun one would expect from a movie about a team of teenagers that ride around in dinosaur-themed zords.
Good or bad, it left audiences with plenty to talk about, and TooFab has questions. Lots of them.
From villain Rita Repulsa's vague origins and seemingly unlimited power to her hunger for gold, here are 12 WTF questions about Lionsgate and Saban's "Power Rangers" reboot.
The opening scene shows that the iconic "Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers" villain was actually the original Green Ranger who turned on a team led by Zordon (Bryan Cranston), the Red Ranger, defending some power crystal thing on Earth 65 million years ago while the dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Pretty cool update, but beyond being a power-hungry Ranger, the movie doesn't really give viewers much info on Rita's origin -- or more importantly, how she can do everything she can do.
Let's recap: A meteor Alpha-5 somehow sends a meteor crashing to Earth, which kills Zordon and sends Rita flying into the ocean, where she shrivels up into the mummy until she's fished out by new Red Ranger Jason Scott's dad and magically comes back to life, starts killing people for their gold teeth, robs a jewelry store for more gold so she can build her giant monster slave Goldar, randomly visits Yellow Ranger Trini (Becky G) in her bedroom, where she demonstrates the ability to fly (or at least hover), then easily manhandles the unarmored Rangers, and then summons an army of easily destructible rock creature things as well as previously mentioned monster slave Goldar for the final showdown with the now-armored Rangers and their Zords.
So, uh, how can Rita do all that? Does the green Power Coin give the being who possesses it sorceress-like powers? Or perhaps Rita was already a sorceress? Will Green Ranger Tommy Oliver be able to fly (or at least hover) in the sequel? Is the Green Ranger immortal? Where did Rita come from, anyway? Is Rita from the same planet as Zordon and the other previous Rangers she killed? Where did Rita get her staff from? Why does Rita have a staff? Will Rita thaw out from her deep space freeze in the sequel? Did screenwriter John Gatins actually understand Rita's powers and why she has them, or did he just write scenes her doing stuff he thought would be cool?
Did Zordon and Alpha 5 kill all the dinosaurs?!
Let's get back to that giant meteor Zordon ordered Alpha 5 to send crashing down to Earth in the movie's opening scene. Is that supposed to be the same meteor scientists believe caused the mass extinction of the dinosaurs? That didn't hit me until just now. And if that's what they were going for, damn. That means Zordon and Alpha 5 are kinda dicks, right?
When "Power Rangers" cuts 65 millions years into the future, team leader Jason Scott (Dacre Montgomery) is introduced as he's trying to pull a bull into his high school locker room, but the friend that's pushing from behind is eager to inform his star quarterback friend he "milked" the farm animal. Of course, farmers don't traditionally milk bulls and the joke that elicited some chuckles in the theater is that Jason's buddy accidentally gave the animal a hand job. But that friend is never heard from again, even though Jason likes him enough not to rat him out as his accomplice. Given the movie's odd callbacks (like Jason slapping a school bully, then later slapping intergalactic bully Rita Repulsa into space or Kimberly getting even with her bitchy cheerleader tormentors), I was kind of expecting the bull jerker to make another appearance, possibly to give Goldar some kind accidental pleasure, too.
Is "morph" a masturbation synonym?
"Power Rangers" is full of laughs -- some intentional and most not -- and one of the more awkward moments is when Zordon asks his new team if they've ever morphed before. Black Ranger Zack (Ludi Lin) is the only one who speaks up to say he has -- "but only in a shower."
Huh? What? Is this new slang? TooFab staff unanimously shrugged when asked if they ever heard that expression before. Even Urban Dictionary definitions don't shed much light on the joke. Here's the closest we could find:
The process of sexual intercourse in which both partners remain stationary and are subject to back-and-forth physiological switchings in gender. Stimulation is achieved through the friction occurring between the two sets of genitalia constantly inverting into and out of each other.
Please let us know in the comment section below if you know what Zack has been doing in the shower.
Do the Power Rangers even need their Power Coins, anymore?
In the original series, the Rangers needed their Power Coins to morph, but in the movie, it was all mental. Instead the coins just seemed to initially grant the teenagers their powers, but it wasn't clear what role they played after that. All we really learned is that when placed on a metal surface, they're powerful enough to melt it.
If the Power Rangers are so strong, how come Kimberly needed help carrying Billy's body?
The movie established that Kimberly could crush a cell phone in the palm of her hand, Jason could easily smash through a porcelain sink, all of them could climb cliffs like Spider-Man, and leap hundreds of feet through the air -- but it took four Rangers to carry Billy's body back to Zordon after Rita Repulsa killed him. Perhaps the decision was motivated simply by symbolism -- the team coming together in their darkest moment -- or maybe it was just a cooler visual than Kimberly hoisting Billy over her shoulder, but it seemed uncharacteristic of her strength established earlier in the movie.
Do Trini and Kimerly have the hots for each other?
Trini's LGBTQ sexuality was confirmed by the director before the release of the movie and is teased in one scene in which she tells her new Ranger team she feels like an outsider in her family that likes to put labels on people and expects her to behave a certain way. It was a sweet, subtle moment of inclusion, but there may have been more scattered throughout. Not only did a mid-movie montage feature the two female Rangers on a cute coffee date of sorts, but their eyes seemed to meet as often as Kimberly and Jason's did. A gay-straight love triangle would definitely make this franchise more interesting and a lot more progressive.
Are Trini's parents deaf? Or do they just not care if their daughter is being thrown through walls in the middle of the night?
Trini's parents are so overbearing that when the teenager tells them she found a spaceship and is a superhero now, her mother immediately drug tests her. But later on the in the film when Rita pays Trini a visit in her bedroom to verbally taunt her and physically abuse her, Trini's parents don't care enough to walk down the hall to check in on their problem child. Weird.
How much did Krispy Kreme have to pay to become a major "Power Rangers" plot point?
Product placement is normal in Hollywood, but it's rare to see it this blatant. Not only do the Power Rangers name check the franchise, but their nemesis strolls into the donut shop and samples the product while Goldar stomps around outside, because it's the location where the power crystal she's after is buried. I left the the theater craving a sprinkled donut with pink icing and will likely stop in to the next Krispy Kreme I see, so it was money well spent.
Why would Rita ever rely on the useless Putty Patrol?
Rita's faceless army of goons may have gotten a makeover in the movie, but they remained a weak, ineffective obstacle the Rangers could easily destroy with a swift kick to the chest. It's easy to imagine the decision to include them was simply to appease fans of the TV series, but it wouldn't have been a terrible idea to make them a slightly more formidable enemy.
How did the Power Rangers figure out how to operate those Zords so quickly?
Most people have trouble figuring out how to operate a brand new iPhone, let alone an ancient alien Zord they just got behind the wheel of for the first time. And the movie even demonstrates how hard the Power Rangers' trademark vehicles are to control when rebel Zack hijacks a Zord behind Alpha 5's back, yet when the rest of team starts charging toward Goldar to the classic "Go Go Power Rangers" theme song in the third act, they're pretty comfortable. Maybe Alpha 5 conveniently uploaded instructions for all the Rangers. Considering the alien robot uploaded the entire English language to Zordon in a few seconds, it's a plausible suspension of disbelief.
The movie shows Rita scavenging homeless camps for gold teeth and then robbing a jewelry store -- where she eats a few necklaces before blowing the joint up -- on her quest to build a monster the size of Godzilla. I'm assuming most of the gold came from the same gold mine where the Rangers found their Power Coins, but it's pretty clear Rita needs to digest that gold before summoning Goldar, which brings us full circle back to the first question: WTF is this humanoid-alien-sorceress-ex-Green-Ranger thing with a digestive system capable of melting gold into a the world's most valuable feces?