Superheroes don’t have to come from the brightly-colored pages of American comic books; the Power Rangers series that captivated youngsters during the ‘90s and early 2000s had roots in Japan, stemming from their tradition of kaiju films. It’s a powerful bridge between cultures, the universal desire to watch a team of teenagers with extraordinary abilities team up to beat the stuffing out of gigantic monsters, And now it’ll connect generations, too, as the official trailer arrives today with the promise of the same spirit of teamwork and towering-menace-fighting that made them an unlikely cross-Pacific sensation two decades ago.
A group of telegenic teenagers are innocently palling around when one of them discovers some mystical ancient coins, imbuing them with powers and leading them to an underground spaceship where their lives will be changed forever. What follows looks like the standard-issue Peter Parker arc, as they come to grips with their spectacular new powers and learn about the great responsibility that comes with them. In this instance, that responsibility is fighting the nefarious Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks) and her army of rock monsters with the help of their mentor Zordon (Bryan Cranston). And along the way, they just might learn something [deep breath] about themselves.
It‘s a bit disappointing to see the new trailer scrubbed of its charming kaiju influence, and it’s something of a red flag that two of the film’s five (!) credited writers were recently responsible for Dracula Untold and Gods of Egypt, but maybe it’s not time to abandon hope just yet. After all, we still haven’t gotten much quality time with their Bill Hader-voiced robot sidekick.