Power Rangers begins 65 million years in the past. After the deaths of his fellow Power Rangers, Red Ranger Zordan (Bryan Cranston) sacrifices himself to defeat the evil Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks). Before Zordan dies he releases five power-infused coins, giving these coins instructions to find those who are worthy.
In the present, a chance occurrence brings together five teenagers at an abandoned gold mine. The teenagers are Jason Scott (Dacre Montgomery), Billy (R.J. Cyler), Kimberly (Naomi Scott), Zack (Ludi Lin) and Trini (Becky G.). At the gold mine the five teenagers find Zordan’s coins and take one each. The authorities arrive and try to apprehend the teenagers for trespassing and a car chase follows, ending with the teenagers’ car colliding with a train. But instead of being killed instantly, they all wake up safe and sound the next day in their own beds, unable to explain how they got there. And they soon learn that they have super-human strength and are apparently invincible.
Realising that they’re now somehow connected and wanting to know why, the five teenagers return to where they found the coins and enter an alien spacecraft hidden in an underwater cave. They find that they’re to train to become the new Power Rangers, and they must save the world from Rita Repulsa, who has risen from the dead.
Here we outline any topics, issues and ideas in this movie that might upset children and adolescents, so that you can gauge whether it is appropriate for your child. For example, children and adolescents may react adversely to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, separation from a parent, animal cruelty or distress, children as victims, natural disasters and racism.
Aliens; superpowers; world destruction
Here we identify any violence in this movie, and explain how and why it might impact on your child or adolescent. In general, movie violence can make children less sensitive to the use of violence in real life. Alternatively, they may become fearful about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world. In some contexts, it can also teach them to see violence as an acceptable means of conflict resolution.
Power Rangers has extended sequences of action violence with many deaths, mass destruction and bullying. For example:
- In a scene that looks like a battlefield after heavy bombardment, a large explosion kills a humanoid alien and hurls a second alien through the air like a rag doll. A wounded alien covered in ash crawls across the ground, groaning and gasping for breath, then radios for a comet to be sent to bomb the planet. There’s a large explosion and the surrounding area and the alien disintegrate.
- Scenes of school bullying show slapping and punching, and a bully knocking himself unconscious by headbutting his victim. There’s also cyberbullying, which involves a girl’s photo being inappropriately distributed.
- Several scenes show the five teenagers battling alien rock monsters. Stone bodies, head and arms fly in all directions.
- An alien demon/witch woman takes several gold chains from a jewellery shop assistant and then eats the gold. Her skin glows gold. The alien opens the assistant’s mouth and uses her fingers to probe inside his mouth, searching for gold teeth. A police officer walks into the shop, gives the alien woman a warning and then shoots her in the chest. The impact of the blast hurls the alien woman against a counter, shattering glass. A couple of seconds pass and the alien rises from the ground, seemingly uninjured.
- Rita attacks a man, jumping on top of him and ripping at him like an animal.
- Rita wakes and attacks a teenage girl, who is violently thrown against a wall and is left with bloody claw marks on her throat.
- Rita presses her staff against a boy’s neck, causing the boy’s skin to age and his neck veins to bulge. She then kills a second boy who falls into the water. His distraught friends pull his body out of the water and carry him away on their shoulders. In a later scene the dead boy is bought back to life, seemingly uninjured.
- In the movie’s final epic and scary battle, the Power Rangers ride inside dinosaur-like vehicles fitted with automatic weapons as they battle against a gigantic golden monster. The monster rampages through a town, causing mass destruction and sending people running and screaming.
- The Power Rangers are eventually pushed into a fiery abyss and pass out in the severe heat, but their vehicles combine to fight on.
Content that may disturb children
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, Power Rangers has some scenes that will scare or disturb children under five years. For example:
- There are scary scenes of car chases and crashes. Some vehicles are seriously damaged and people are injured.
- There are several scary characters, including a white-skinned bald alien with scars covering his face and another alien with chain-like arms.
- A decayed body is discovered in a fishing net. A policeman later goes to look at the body, which is now wrapped in plastic and glowing. We later hear that the policeman has been found dead with several teeth missing.
- A dead and rotting alien in a body bag suddenly comes to life and bursts out of the bag.
- Rita is a scary witch-like alien with a muscular body and several gold teeth. She carries a large golden staff with a gold claw-like end. In one scene, this staff is plunged into the ground, causing a gigantic molten gold monster to form.
- When the five teenagers change into Power Ranger form, they’re engulfed in swirling coloured light that transforms into differently coloured suits of armour.
Children in this age group will also be scared by the scenes mentioned above.
Children in this age group are also likely to be scared by the some of the scenes mentioned above.
Younger children in this age group might also be scared by some of the scenes mentioned above.
Power Rangers has one scene, played for comedy, with sexual innuendo. This involves a boy claiming to have milked a cow, which is actually a bull.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Power Rangers shows some use of substances. For example:
- Several teenagers drink from a bottle of beer while sitting around a camp fire.
- After a mother has an argument with her teenage daughter, the mother demands that her daughter urinate into a container to be tested for drugs.
- A boy gives his sick mother some tablets.
Nudity and sexual activity
Power Rangers has some partial nudity. For example:
- Girls wear low-cut tops, which expose cleavage.
- A girl goes swimming in her bra and pants, and a boy watches her take off her clothes.
The following products are displayed or used in Power Rangers: Sports drinks (Gatorade), Krispy Kreme Donuts, and American brand-name cars.
Power Rangers has some coarse language, insults and toilet humour.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Power Rangers is a science fiction action movie based on the popular children’s TV series. But it is not a movie for young children, who might be attracted by the title and the fact that they have Power Ranger toys.
This movie has some very scary scenes and characters, and some intense violence. Therefore, it isn’t recommended for children under 12 years, and we strongly recommend parental guidance for children aged 12-15 years.
These are the main messages from this movie:
- When we work together we can achieve much more than when we work individually.
- Good triumphs over evil.
You might also want to talk about the cyberbullying shown in the movie and whether the consequences are appropriate, as well as how the movie deals with issue of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as shown through the character of Billy.