The Power Rangers, much like comic book superheroes, are popular the world over. So it's no surprise a new incarnation of their costumes would garner some strong opinions from fans.
Seriously though, almost every Marvel and DC hero that's wound up on film or television in the last few years has gotten crap for their costume design. Iron Man might be the one exception which makes the Power Rangers reveal all that more interesting.
Entertainment Weekly got the exclusive reveal of the new costumes. They're still colorful but they're armored to the teeth. It…kind of doesn't make sense. Sure, fighters want to be protected in battle but the Power Rangers are known for their martial arts and it doesn't look like these armored suits would allow for much flexibility. EW reports:
The spandex-free makeover also helps set the film apart from other big-screen franchises. “It”s tricky finding a new language for a superhero costume,” production designer Andrew Menzies (G.I. Joe: Retaliation) admits. “Ours is an alien costume that grows on them, that”s not man-made. You can”t win everyone over, but we are trying to appeal to a more mature audience and gain new fans.”
You may recall the reveal of Elizabeth Banks' Rita Repulsa raised some eyebrows. Well, that's probably a drop in the bucket of what's to come for the Rangers themselves (just look at some of the responses on the reveal tweet). I was glued to my seat for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers when I was younger but I'm nowhere near the level of fan most die-hard Power Rangers lovers are. And they've got opinions.
The new look has already been likened to just about every other iteration of armor you can think of. My personal first impression was that they all looked like Iron Man. And well, when you put the red one front and center with a glowing chest piece, that's bound to happen (the Blue Ranger also looks like DC's Blue Beetle). Via EW:
The sartorial update may look radical, but the outfits are visual throwbacks to the franchise”s long-running mythology. “The show was about kids coming of age, about metamorphosis,” director Dean Israelite (Project Almanac) says. “These suits needed to feel like they were catalyzed by these kids and their energy, their spirit.”
But the overall look aside, I'd be remiss if I didn't discuss the female characters and their boob armor. Boob armor keeps happening on screen BECAUSE PEOPLE LIKE BOOBIES. End of story. I know. But two other recent female characters (coincidentally both played by Gwendoline Christie) didn't rely on form-fitted armor and are hugely popular – Game of Thrones' Brienne of Tarth and Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Captain Phasma.
Female armor does need to be shaped slightly different to account for size and form of the person but it does not mean vacuum sealed. Plus, as one armor-maker once wrote:
Note that nobody was naked under their armor. There was a ton of padding between the metal and the flesh that absorbed the energy of the blows. That means the difference between male and female plate armor is relatively trivial because once you've padded it out and left space for movement, you've all but erased the figure of the person inside.
And that's coming from a guy who's made boob armor for the visual effect but thinks it's a terrible idea in actual practice:
I worry constantly that she's going to fall hard and it will crack her sternum, even with the padding. Note also that it seems almost perfectly designed to guide sword points and arrows into her heart. They still have to penetrate the armor but, honestly, that's a design flaw.
Stop doing this, Hollywood! Men don't need armor tubes for their junk and women don't need boob cups. They also don't need wedge heels for no reason. The original Power Rangers didn't rely on making their characters sexually appealing in order to be popular, it's a shame the film feels the need. Hey, at least the Pink Ranger isn't wearing a skirt, right?
Equally important though: what is going on with their faces?