For a movie that was giving audiences rebooted versions of the original Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, there was surprisingly little Ranger action in Power Rangers earlier this year. Granted, we did spend a lot of time getting to know Jason, Kimberly, Billy, Trini and Zack, but the entire team didn't actually morph until right before their climactic showdown with Rita Repulsa. According to director Dean Israelite, it was because the teenagers took so long to become superheroes that drew him to the movie, as he saw it as a way to distinguish Power Rangers from other superhero movies. Israelite explained:
This is what got me interested in the movie -- this is a Power Rangers movie where the Power Rangers can't morph. And I thought that was a very clever way in. Because you're expecting, in the conventional trope of a superhero movie that they become superheroes, and get their armor, and sure they'll have to train and figure it out, but that they get those tools.
In the original Mighy Morphin' Power Rangers TV series, the Rangers had no trouble morphing into their Ranger forms when battling Rita Replsa's forces for the first time. Their movie counterparts, on the other hand, failed to morph numerous times, and spent nearly two weeks training so that they could unlock the Morphing Grid. Billy was briefly able to morph into the Blue Ranger when he was trying to stop Jason and Zack from fighting, but it was only after Billy was later revived that the five teenagers were finally able to turn into Rangers, as they had set aside their differences and were willing to lay down their lives to keep Earth safe.
Dean Israelite also recalled to writer John Gatins while they were chatting for the Power Rangers home media audio commentary (via PowerRangersNOW) that he was attracted to the idea to the Rangers have to earn their special powers rather than be given them right away. Israelite said:
What I thought was potentially so clever was this idea that getting your armor was a metaphor. And you had to delay them getting their armor until they had earned it for that metaphor to make any sense.
While the lack of Ranger action until Power Rangers' final half hour or so may have been frustrating to some moviegoers, at least Dean Israelite accomplished his goal of making it feel like the Rangers were deserving of their powers after doing the hard work. That being said, even when the team morphed into their Ranger forms, they spent very little time fighting on the ground, as they quickly had to jump in their Zords and battle Goldar. If a sequel is greenlit, hopefully it will put the protagonists' fighting skills to better use.