Recently Joseph Kahn (music video director behind clips like Taylor Swift's "Blank Space" as well as videos for Britney Spears, U2 and others) and Adi Shankar ("The Grey" and "Dredd") released this gritty 12-minute short called Power/Rangers based on the show and starring Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galatica) as a blonde Kimberly and James Van Der Beek (Doesn't Trust that B--- in Apt 23) as a Rocky who has turned over to the side of the Machine Empire from Zeo. The short uses a lot of events and characters from Mighty Morphin and Zeo like Rita, Tommy, Trini, Jason, Skull, Billy, and Zack.
In this story, Zack does Hip Hop Kiddo, there is a character named Skull who becomes a real gangster, Kim marries Jason, Trini died (like in real life), Billy is gay (like in real life), and Tommy is pointed to be an enemy. Also, Rocky has a robotic leg, Steven Cardenas injured his leg in real life. I am not crazy about the outfits nor helmets, but it is understandable they have to be different. Other than the great acting and star power from Katee and James, the special effects and tone bothers me. I feel like it is a mix of the complicated robots and rapid action from Michael Bay's Transformers, the Mortal Kombat movies and the bloodiness and tackiness of Robert Rodriguez films. I didn't like the amount of blood nor cursing. They did a good job but Power Rangers and any Tokusatsu has a very thin line of tone.
Power Rangers RPM did show that Power Rangers can be dark and serious but it balanced comedy. Fan don't want to admit that Power Rangers can be campy, I like camp and I think Power Rangers can be campy and it's okay. I think you have to find a balance. Not go too gritty but you can be serious, as long as you acknowledge the campiness, silliness and comedy. Be tongue in cheek but clever, not just self-referential for the sake of being self-referential like Ninja Storm ("Another quarry?"). Also don't be too tacky. Anyways, it is hard to explain. Also, Saban has pulled the video off Vimeo and might get it off YouTube. Joseph Kahn doesn't like it, as he is not getting any profits. But Saban has powerful lawyers. That's all I have to say. So I hope the new writers for the new Power Rangers take note of this film and the tone.