Everybody remembers the Power Rangers. It was a staple of after-school TV programming, and pretty much every kid who grew up in the '90s watched the show religiously. There were teenagers, giant robots, monsters and aliens - what 10-year-old kid wouldn't love that?
Of course, it was all extremely family-friendly: sparks would fly when a monster got cut in half, nobody ever got seriously hurt and that stupid little robot would make a pun at the end of every episode. It was as harmless as a show about giant robots fighting monsters from the moon could be...and it was awesome.
So, what if you took all of that and threw it out the window? What if, instead of wholesome, family-friendly Power Rangers, the show took place in a post-apocalyptic alternate future? What if there was blood, gore, unnecessarily bad language and gratuitous sexual innuendo?
Right off the bat, it's a stunning fan movie. The CG on display isn't on some insane, Michael Bay-esque level of detail, but what's here is great and does its job well. The ridiculous number of computer displays and neon lights can be a bit much at times, but it goes a long way to sell the over-the-top cyberpunk aesthetic Power/Rangers is going for.
Few people probably would have expected a Terminator-like post-apocalypse to work so well with the Power Rangers, and while it's not exactly the most original setting, it works well with what the film sets out to do. It's gritty, dark and exactly the type of atmosphere that Power/Rangers needed.
Granted, it can be a bit much sometimes: the gore in some fight scenes feels really out of place, even with the short's incredibly dark tone. It's not so far gone that people won't be able to watch it, and some will likely get a kick out of it. Either way, it's a lot, even for something that's trying to be ridiculous.
At the end of the day, Power/Rangers is an extremely well-done fan film. It's bizarre, no doubt about that (why exactly is James Van Der Beek in this?), but it's well-executed and extremely fun to watch.
Let's just hope the proper 2016 reboot can find more of a middle ground between kid-friendly playground fun and a dark, hopeless future.