Last year, Battlestar Galactica’s Katee Sackhoff teased a secret project that many assumed was her playing Carol Danvers in Marvel’s Captain Marvel movie. While fans still wait on that casting, it turns out that Sackhoff has been spending her time recently playing a gritty, grown-up take on many Millennials’ childhood female role model: Kimberly, the Pink Ranger.
While the Power Rangers reboot chugs along, Joseph Kahn, Adi Shankar, and James Van Der Beek have enlisted Sackhoff and other talents to create the wonderfully dark fan film Power/Rangers. The teenagers with attitude are now the adults with PTSD, living in a world where an uneasy truce with the Machine Empire has combined humans with machines and has torn apart the Power Rangers.
Director Joseph Kahn isn’t even really a fan of fan films, as he tells HitFix. But he wanted to make a science-fiction narrative short film, and was intrigued by producer Adi Shankar’s fan films starring the Punisher and Venom. Power/Rangers is as much of a dark reboot about the grown-up Power Rangers as it is a commentary on blockbuster adaptations of existing properties.
There are some interesting homages in the film, from the Kill Bill-style wedding/murder that casts former Pink Ranger Kimberly (Sackhoff) as the Bride and puts her face-to-face with the cyborg turncoat Rocky the Red Ranger (Van Der Beek). Then things get even more self-aware, as Rocky throws out some meta commentary on former Blue Ranger Billy coming out as gay, and how narratively illogical it is for Green Ranger Tommy to keep switching sides.
The film is just the right length, both for viewers and for Kahn:
The irony here is that I wouldn’t even want to make Power Rangers: The Movie for real. Like if I had to make a Power Rangers movie, this is it. It’s 14 minutes long and it’s violent and this is what I have in me. If they offered me the 200 million version, the PG-13 version, I literally wouldn’t do it. It’s just not interesting to me.
See for yourself (warning: some nudity and NSFW language!):