'Power/Rangers' short film is 'Mighty' impressive
Posted Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 1:52 PM Central
Last updated Friday, February 27, 2015 at 8:56 AM Central
by John Couture
Until this morning, I had no clue who Adi Shankar was. Sure, the name sounded familiar in that way that names you see over and over again do, but I didn't have an anchor for his name until I watched this incredibly awesome viral short "POWER/RANGERS."
Basically, he's the 30-year-old version of ourselves that we always aspired to be. He's a successful film producer with enough money to throw around that he can create amazing "fan fiction" films that will literally blow your socks off. No really, it will knock your hair back, just take a look below.
What you are about to experience is something that every child of 1990s has dreamed of, a gritty take on The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. What this short fan edit does is imagine a dystopian future where these Power Rangers have grown up and are dealing with the trauma of being recruited to fight someone else's war.
Think about the original series for a moment. The absurdity of recruiting teenagers to fight an alien war was lost on most of us at the time, but don't worry, this video hits all of the key moments, including Hip Hop Kido.
Equally a satire and an homage to the popular TV series, the real story is just how amazing director Joseph Kahn is able to make the final product look without a massive Hollywood budget. In keeping with Adi Shankar's trademark, the film is well within the hard R territory and the swearing and bloodshed only adds to the gritty composition that is a whole 180 turn from the original series.
And yet, it works. Besides Kahn, the real revelation comes from stars James Van Der Beek and Katee Sackhoff. I've seen Battlestar Galactica, so I wasn't surprised by Sackhoff's performance, but the range and sinister malice that Van Der Beek conjures up is something that would make Pacey wet his bed back in the Creek.
I suggest you hit play quickly, because the controversy is spreading and lawsuits are being filed. Sadly for Lionsgate, which is developing its own big screen adaptation of The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, this little "fan edit" sets the bar so high that anything they put on screen will pale by comparison.
One would assume that Lionsgate was looking to make a more family-friendly PG-13 film that they could turn into a franchise and while that might help bring the Power Rangers to a new audience, the success of this short film proves that the young adults that grew up with the show are also looking for a darker version to satiate their changing tastes.
The best way I can parallel this short film is to Star Wars and how audiences turned their back (to a degree) on the new prequels because they were targeted towards kids. The kids that grew up with the original Star Wars wanted to see a darker series of films and there is evidence that the upcoming trilogy will be darker in tone than the prequels.
If I were Lionsgate, I would scoop up Adi Shankar and bring him on to their project and let him develop a darker version of the Power Rangers. Maybe they don't go as dark as this short, but there has to be happy middle ground that would satisfy both camps. Oh, and all of the film companies should be hiring Joseph Kahn because man, his short film on little to no budget looks better than most of what Hollywood put out last year.
See, I told you to click fast. It seems that YouTube has been hit with the cease and desist and has taken down the video. You can still see the film on Adi Shankar's Facebook page for the time being.
This is your second warning, I'm not sure how long Facebook will keep the video up. So, click over and watch it. Trust me, it's worth your time.