Former Power Rangers Walter Jones and David Yost who played the original Black Ranger Zack Taylor and the original Blue Ranger Billy Cranston on the hit Fox Kids series Mighty Morphin Power Rangers were not thrilled with Lionsgate’s darker, more mature reboot of the colorful and campy children’s show.
Both Jones and Yost were guests at the C2E2 Convention this past weekend in Chicago when they made clear on stage the elements from the original series that they felt the feature film reboot lacked.
When fans who grew up watching Mighty Morphin think of Zack Taylor, the first thing that comes to mind is the unique fighting style the character created that combined martial arts and dancing to form Hip Hop Kido.
Jones explained that he felt Hip Hop Kido was an integral part of his character on the series and that the reboot missed the opportunity to include it:
“I was a little disappointed that they changed the characters around a little bit because I wanted Zach to be with his kido because Hip Hop Kido was a really important element of who I was on Power Rangers. I think if they would have added that then there could have been some parkour and there could have been so many other elements to that character that it would have been awesome.”
Some dancing did manage to make into the film when Billy (RJ Cyler) made the Megazord dance after defeating Rita Repulsa and Goldar in the climactic battle. Jones added that he appreciated it but ultimately was a change that didn’t work for him:
“I thought it was cute that they added that element in but it wasn’t true to what the original was.”
As for Yost, he explained that what ultimately disappointed him was that he felt the most crucial turning point of the entire film: when the Rangers all finally morph together and become the Power Rangers, lacked the power and excitement he thought Mighty Morphin packed into the morphing sequence:
“The only thing I care about progression wise when they do a sequel and they morph they better bring it and they better say “It’s Morphin Time.” When we said, ‘It’s morphing time!,’ it was like, ‘Shit’s about to go down.’ When they said it in the movie it was so lackadaisical I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’”
Both Jones and Yost agreed that issue in the film was not seeing the Dinzords form together to create the Megazord:
“I want to see the Megazord come together, I want to see the pieces come together and click and combine,” Jones continued. “I don’t like the fact that they were little bubbles I wanted them to be together, I felt like all you had to do just take out Billy.”
The Zords emerging from the fire combined as the Megazord was a bit jarring but it was clear the production did not have the budget it needed to showcase the Zords’ transformation making it understandable and somewhat forgivable. On the same subject, Yost also shared that the Rangers not having a shared cockpit was odd:
“The cool part for us being in Power Rangers is that we were all in a cockpit together so the fact they were in their little pods… well, it was weird”
There doesn’t seem to be a logical reason for the lack of the Megazord cockpit. It was very strange, especially given the emphasis on teamwork in the film.
But on a positive note, Yost added that he absolutely loved the reimagining of Billy Cranston and RJ Cyler’s portrayal of autism.
“I was like totally over the moon about RJ and I think he really hit it out of the park. I really loved what he did with the character.”
So what do you think? Do you agree with Jones’ and Yost’s comments? Could Hip Hop Kido have worked within the tone of Power Rangers? Were you disappointed with Dacre Montgomery’s delivery of the iconic “It’s Morphin’ Time” line? Let us know in the comments below.
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What do aliens, robots, superheroes, pirates, genetically-modified apes, and Will Ferrell all have in common? All of them will be visiting theaters this summer, most as perennials of the blockbusters sphere. There’s a cavalcade of riches this summer, with new offerings from both DC and Marvel, new (and in some cases, final) installments in long-running franchises, and a couple newcomers testing the waters for future sequels. Even some non-theatrical films get in on the fun, like Netflix’s War Machine starring Brad Pitt.
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