HARTFORD – For some time now, film-making has embarked on a trend that takes brightly colored, kid-friendly characters, and re-imagines them in a dark, gritty world. From Christian Bale’s Batman Begins, darkly different from Adam West’s original portrayal, to the Henry Cavill-headed Man of Steel, eons more violent than Christopher Reeves’ version, film-makers are pushing the barriers of the superhero world.
The trend continues with the newly released Power Rangers bootleg, produced by Adi Shankar (Dredd), directed by Joseph Kahn (Torque) and starring James Van Der Beek (Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23) as the Red Ranger and Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica) as the Pink Ranger, which takes the candy-colored Power Rangers to a whole new level.
CNET dubs the short as “Blade Runner meets up with Kill Bill and the Power Rangers in a dark, futuristic alley.” It’s definitely not a story for the kids, picking up after the Power Rangers have defeated Rita Repulsa and have since grown into adults. Shankar wondered what would happen to them after surviving the trauma of all their battles.
As James Van Der Beek’s Rocky puts it “Who would have thought that weaponizing youth and training them to kill could have turned out so ugly for so many of them.”
Kahn and Shankar maintain that the 14 minute short is not a pitch aimed at launching a feature film, but many viewers, fans of the children’s series when they were kids who have since grown up, are loving it.
Check out the gritty short for yourself, below.