Banking on Elizabeth Banks to boost "Power Rangers" appeal
"Power Rangers" became an instant classic in the early '90s. Despite its somewhat comical nature, the show earned its place in the hearts and memories of young children everywhere. Now, after numerous incarnations, it's "morphin time" once again.
On March 24, the Power Rangers will return to Angel Grove, Calif. in an epic reboot of computer-generated proportions. With its "Man of Steel" atmosphere and "Transformers"-style battles, the film itself promises to be the sum of its predecessors. Though that in itself isn't an automatic death sentence, the upcoming installment doesn't quite have the nostalgic vibe hardcore fans might prefer.
Of course, it's no surprise that the filmmakers found it imperative to update the tone of the series. Its leads face an entirely different world than their "Mighty Morphin" counterparts, after all. Yet, while the actors who portray the Power Rangers weren't yet born when the original episodes aired—an aspect we "old folks" would rather sweep under the rug—it's Elizabeth Banks' turn as Rita Repulsa that promises to attract viewers of all varieties.
Banks has proven her versatility over the years, but it was her role as Effie Trinket throughout "The Hunger Games" series that proved she can go above and beyond your basic Judd Apatow film and still retain her charm. (She also demonstrated that she can rock any crazy costume you throw her way.) She's got the dramatic flair necessary to pull off an evil, destructive sorceress, and she's got the comedic chops necessary to (hopefully) infuse "Power Rangers" with the latent humor it so desperately needs. If we're lucky, Banks' rendition of Repulsa will be the perfect blend of sarcastic and scary—a worthy nemesis.
And, if Banks' role isn't enough to keep critics happy, there's always Bryan Cranston. Having played some of the costumed monsters during the original series' run, it's nice to see he's been promoted to Zordon in the upcoming film. Not only does his portrayal of the notorious floating head/mentor pay homage to how far he's come since his early "Power Rangers" days; it also honors the series' beginnings. But will these elements be enough to make this film an early-season blockbuster? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Power Rangers on Instagram.