A Superhero version of The Breakfast Club:
I had just finished watching the new Power Rangers film and I have to say, what a damn good movie. As an old-school Ranger fan, I went into the theater expecting a somewhat cheesy film, and due to the reviews I read beforehand, I didn’t expect much, but going into this movie with low expectations escalated the greatness.
While the movie was an average superhero film, what makes it so great is the way in which diversity was treated. Ludi Lin’s character (The Black Ranger, Zack) and RJ Cyler’s role (The Blue Ranger, Billy) stole the spotlight from everything else. RJ Cyler was simply immensely fun to watch and he was definitely the most entertaining from the bunch and tackling a character who was a minority in terms of skin color but also with slight autism is no small feat, and he does such a splendid job. Though, what I want t highlight is Ludi Lin’s performance since his character is something I can relate to the most.
As an Asian-American, to see such a cool, masculine, and not stereotyped at all, Asian character in a Hollywood budgeted film was amazing. The way in which the director highlights Ludi Lin’s character is so subtle, yet, so powerful. While not spoiling the film, Ludi Lin’s character is something I’m sure many first-generation Asians in a melting pot such as America or Canada can relate to, though, he is also the cool “AZN” type of character that all of us Asians strove for back then. His character’s story, I believe, has the most heart behind it, and I think his reasoning to be the outcast he is (as all the rangers are outcasts) is the most valid and understandable.
I am so proud that Power Rangers gave relatively unknown actors a time to shine and that the director did such a wonderful job with being progressive in this ongoing age of whitewashing in films/shows (Upcoming Ghost in the Shell live-action and Deathnote live-action films–looking at you two).
I recommend that any Asian-American or Canadian who has felt like an outsider, despite having being born in America or Canada, watch this film and send kind regards to the actor, Ludi Lin!
On a side note, while possibly a minor spoiler, Becky G (Yellow Ranger’s actress) played the first superhero part of the LGBT community so well without shoving/preaching the fact that she’s possibly lesbian or bi-sexual–again, more praise to the director who handled diversity and progressiveness so brilliantly.
Also, whoever was in charge of the cinematography of the film–AMAZING work. I never expected such great shots from a Power Rangers film of all things–so many scenes where I got chills or was just in awe of the camera work plus good music combo.
Power Rangers is expecting an obvious sequel, so do your part and support the film so that a number two is guaranteed!