A violent psychological action film by indie director Dean Israelite, Power Rangers is the story of self-destructive teen, Jason Scott. As the hero quarterback of his small town’s high school team, these years are likely to be the best of Scott’s life and soon he will be trapped forever within this fading town, as his father was before him, forced into a life of unrewarding labour and missed opportunity. Despite Scott’s continued lack of introspection, he appears aware that the approbation of his peers has a limited lifespan, although is clearly unable to articulate his frustration at the life ahead of him. In the opening scene of the movie, Scott devastates his own life at that of a nameless teammate, when a high school prank ends in a car crash.
From here, the story takes an unexpected turn and the rest of the film, a spiralling power/revenge fantasy, takes place entirely within Scott’s damaged and unimaginative psyche, presumably whilst he languishes in a hospital bed.
Fantasizing that he somehow survives the crash with little more than a quickly forgotten knee injury, Scott’s mind creates a small squad of two dimensional friends, who, through a serious of violent and unlikely events, are gifted super powers by an alien intelligence, played by Brian Cranston. In this way Scott’s need to carry out destructive and selfish acts are justified, as only through these acts can the universe be saved.
Scott’s imagined proteges are indicative of his limited understanding of the world around him and his lack of interest in others. They exist as little more than placeholders. The space they take up must be reduced even further, however, as the fulfilment of Scott’s fantasies requires that these characters voluntarily submit to being nothing more than colour coded symbols.
The fantasy culminates in a violent showdown against a monsterous and faceless representation of the gold mining industry which defines this small town. As Scott violently rebels against his likely future, he is able to save the life of his disappointed father, shifting the power balance of their relationship and enforcing his own superiority.
Ultimately, the message here is that teamwork will save the day, although this takes the form of following Scott’s orders and abandoning any form of individuality.