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Since hitting the web a couple days ago, Joseph Kahn and Adi Shankar’s short film, Power/Rangers, has blasted past 11 million views on YouTube. (It was pulled from Vimeo, but that’s another story altogether.) The reaction from fans has been overwhelmingly positive, but there’s one prominent figure from the Rangers universe that doesn’t care for it: the original Green Ranger, Jason David Frank.
Frank recently posted a video reaction to Power/Rangers on his Facebook page. While he didn’t take issue with the production value or the performances by James Van Der Beek and Katee Sackoff, he didn’t care for the cuss words.
I know there's a lot of fans out there that love it and all that stuff, but I'm just a PG-13 guy. The cuss words, the drugs, all this other stuff — it doesn't fly with me. … The problem is that [Power Rangers is] still connected with adults and kids. You can't take a brand like this and reboot it so dark and gritty.
Frank portrayed the Green Ranger during the original series back in the early ‘90s, and has since gone on to feature in further iterations of the team. He’s become a mainstay of the Power Rangers series and films, and he’s even in close contact with Saban and Lionsgate on the new movie coming down the pipeline. This a world he knows a lot about and that is close to his heart. Though he certainly doesn’t have to like what Kahn and Shankar created, his reaction seems to skirt the entire purpose of what they were trying to achieve.
In a variety of interviews and statements Kahn gave to the press, including the original in-depth chat with HitFix, he wanted to see just how dark he could take his parody. He realized how goofy at times the franchise can be — "These guys turn into dinosaurs! How do you take that seriously?" he exclaimed to HitFix — and wanted to take the "dark and gritty" reboot everyone kept toying with and make it "even darker and grittier." That’s why, he says, there’s so much blood and boobs and blow.
In Power/Rangers, Van Der Beek portrayed a grown-up, scarred version of the second generation Red Ranger Rocky, while Sackhoff played Pink Ranger Kimberly. The short film planted itself around a scene with both of them in which Rocky, now sided with an alien race of machines, is interrogating Kimb for the location of the Green Ranger. Through a series of flashbacks, we find out what became of the other members. While the Yellow Ranger, Trini, was a casualty of war, the Black Ranger, Zack, became a coke-snorting assassin for the machines. The Blue Ranger, Billy, became the head of a weapons manufacturer who mass produced the Ranger side arms (and seemingly committed suicide at his desk). The Red Ranger, Jason, had eight hours of marital bliss with Kim before he was gunned down after the now drug-addicted Bulk and Skull sold them out. As for Tommy, he became a ghost, wandering the world he once knew as a Ronin.
You can watch the entire short film above, but do it fast. There has been legal troubles brewing between Kahn and Saban, and it’s unclear if it will escalate to pulling all copies from the web.