Last year, the Power Rangers returned to the big screen, only instead of being a direct tie-in to one of the TV shows, their movie rebooted the characters previously seen in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. The end result was met with a mixed critical reaction and an underwhelming box office performance, and for a year there was no indication that Power Rangers 2 would ever happen. Then earlier this year, Hasbro purchased the Power Rangers property and other entertainment brands from Saban for $522 million, and after it was rumored last week that Hasbro was interested in making a new Power Rangers movie, the company responded that it see "tremendous potential for the Power Rangers franchise around our entire brand blueprint, including feature films."
To be clear, Power Rangers 2 has not officially gotten the green light yet, but under new leadership, it certainly stands a better chance of happening now in comparison to the immediate months after Power Rangers' release. That movie was by no means an exceptional movie, but it did show potential. Assuming that Hasbro is interested in making another Power Rangers movie, it might be tempted to press that reboot button and start from scratch again, but that would be a mistake. With that in mind, we've laid out why Power Rangers 2, a direct sequel to the 2017 movie, needs a shot to improve upon what its predecessor delivered.
We Need That Green Ranger Payoff
In Power Rangers' mid-credits scene, the teacher overseeing detention announces that a student named Tommy Oliver will be joining them, but we never actually see Tommy, only the green jacket the new kid left behind. This teases Tommy's debut in Power Rangers 2, and since the Green Power Coin is out there somewhere following Rita Repulsa's defeat, the stage is set for him (or her) to become the Green Ranger, just like Jason David Frank's version did in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. The Green Ranger's introductory storyline was one of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers' best storylines, as Tommy was corrupted by Rita and forced to fight the other Rangers, but later broke free of her control and joined the team. Seeing a cinematic Tommy go through a shortened, but similar redemption arc is arguably the biggest reason Power Rangers 2 needs to become a reality. Plus, bringing in the Green Ranger also means we'd bear witness to the mighty Dragonzord!
The Main Characters Were Compelling
There's no question that Power Rangers had its narrative issues, but in terms of character work, the movie excelled. While Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers did slowly develop its characters over time, the series definitely prioritized action, which is understandable given that kids were the main demographic. The Power Rangers movie, on the other hand, operated under a PG-13 banner, meaning that while younger moviegoers couldn't get away with spending the majority of its time showing the teenagers with attitude beating up monsters. The protagonists needed to be more fleshed out than their TV predecessors, and for the most part, the movie succeeded with this. The Rangers certainly could have had more suit time (more on that later), but at least they were compelling and interesting to watch, especially in Power Rangers' quieter moments. Seeing them grow in Power Rangers 2 would be most welcome.
Lord Zedd Needs To Be Brought In
Rita Repulsa was the first main antagonist in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, so naturally the Power Rangers movie selecting her to be the villain, albeit depicting her as the former Green Ranger rather than a full-blown alien witch. For the sequel, there's no one better to succeed her than Lord Zedd, who overthrew Rita at the start of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers Season 2, but later the two joined forces. Rita told Jason in Power Rangers that others would come for the Zeo crystal, and that's more than enough setup to bring in Zedd to pick up where Rita left off. Even though Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers was a series for children, Lord Zedd still looked unsettling and frightening, so just imagine how he could be portrayed through a PG-13 lens. Both the Power Rangers cast and director have expressed interest in having Zedd antagonize the Rangers in the sequel, so assuming this project moves forward, it's a good bet that he'll step in and reign hell on Angel Grove (and possibly the rest of the world).
The Rangers Deserve More Time In Action
As great as it was seeing Jason, Kimberly, Billy, Trini and Zack fleshed out as individuals and earning their powers rather than just getting them instantly, it resulted in them being Rangers for a little bit. In that short period, they only fought on the ground for a few minutes at most, and they spent the rest of the climactic battle in their Zords to combat Rita and Goldar. That may have been necessary for Power Rangers to feel like a proper origin story, but we can't leave them with only that brief time in the spotlight. These versions of the Rangers deserve way more time in action, especially when it comes to ground battles. Fighting Putties is one thing, but let's see them take on a proper monster minion or two sent by Rita, Zedd or whoever the main baddie ends up being. Jason was the only Ranger to manifest a weapon during Power Rangers, so let's see the other Rangers bring out their weapons and watch what happens when the five are brought together. Admittedly, making a Power Rangers movie isn't cheap, but hopefully with Hasbro now backing the property, enough money can be poured into ensuring that the Rangers get more time to show off their fighting chops.
Hasbro Can Do More With The Property
Power Rangers only made $142 million off a $100 million budget, meaning that its box office performance was lukewarm at best. The movie's toy sales, on the other hand, were quite impressive, so it's excellent that the property, having spent most of its time at Saban and a little over a half decade at Disney, is now part of Hasbro, the biggest toy company in the world. Saban gave it a decent shot with Lionsgate, but Hasbro's bread and butter is where Power Rangers is shining best financially. So yes, the company's first goal will be to sell as many Power Rangers toys as possible, but from there it can examine how to bring the franchise back to the big screen. Just look at what Hasbro Films has accomplished with the Transformers film series in partnership with Paramount. With these kind of resources, Hasbro can surely do a better job of ensuring the Power Rangers succeed in a cinematic setting. Plus, if that Hasbro cinematic universe gets off the ground, the Power Rangers could live in the same world as G.I. Joe and Micronauts. That said, let's have the Rangers lead another movie or two on their own before we start planning any crossovers.
The Franchise Still Has A Lot Of Fans
While the Power Rangers were certainly at the height of their popularity in the 1990s, the franchise still has plenty of fans, and that's been quite evident this year, the 25th anniversary of its creation. On TV, Power Rangers: Super Ninja Steel is currently airing, and later this year, a special episode titled "Dimensions in Danger" will air featuring numerous classic Rangers to celebrate being around a quarter of a century. BOOM! Studios published its massive comic book crossover event Shattered Grid, which saw Rangers from multiple realities coming together to battle Lord Drakkon, an evil version of Tommy Oliver. In the Power Rangers: Legacy Wars mobile game, Street Fighter characters were recently introduced. Even the Power Morphicon convention is happening this weekend. It'd be foolish to say that Power Rangers is at the same level as other big franchises, but it definitely has loyal followers, meaning that Hasbro would be wise to give the Power Rangers movie continuity another shot and deliver a sequel sooner rather than later.