Australian Council on Children and the Media

Power Rangers

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Not recommended under 12, parental guidance recommended 12-15, due to violence, scary scenes and characters, and coarse language.

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Power Rangers
  • a review of Power Rangers completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 30 March 2017.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 12 Not recommended due to violence, scary scenes and characters, and coarse language
Children aged 12 to 15 Parental guidance recommended due to violence, scary scenes and characters, and coarse language
Viewers aged 15 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Power Rangers
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Mature themes and science fiction violence
Length 124 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The film Power Rangers begins sixty five million years in the past where after the deaths of his fellow Power Rangers, Red Ranger Zordan (Bryan Cranston) sacrifices himself in order 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, five high school students are drawn together at an abandoned gold mine by a chance occurrence. They 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 teenager’s car colliding with a train. However, 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. Further, they soon learn that they have super-human strength and are seemingly invincible.

Realising that the five of them are somehow connected, and wanting answers, the five return to where they found the coins and enter an alien spacecraft hidden in an underwater cave. They now find that they are to train to become the new Power Rangers in order to save the world from Rita Repulsa who has risen from the dead

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Aliens; superpowers; world destruction

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

The film contains extended sequences of action violence with many deaths, mass destruction, and school bullying. Examples include:

  • In a scene that resembles 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 is a large explosion and the surrounding area and the alien disintegrate.  
  • Scenes of school bullying involve slapping and punching, and a bully knocking himself unconscious by head butting his victim.  There is also cyberbullying, with a girl’s photo being inappropriately distributed.
  • Several scenes depict the five teenagers battling alien rock monsters; stone bodies, head and arms fly in all directions.
  • In one scene an alien demon/witch woman takes several gold chains from a jewellery store clerk and then eats the gold; we see her skin glowing gold. The alien opens the clerk’s mouth and uses her fingers to probe inside his mouth searching for gold teeth. A police officer walks into the store gives the alien woman a warning and then shoots her in the chest the impact of the blast hurling the alien woman against a counter shattering glass; a couple of seconds pass and the alien rises up from the ground seemingly uninjured.
  • One scene depicts Rita attacking a man, jumping on top of him and ripping at the man 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, appearing uninjured.   
  • In the film’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 rampaging through a town causing mass destruction with 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.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that will scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • There are scary scenes of car chases and crashes with serious damage to vehicles and some injuries.
  • There are a number of scary characters, including a white-skinned bald alien with scars covering his face and one 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.  Still later we hear that the policeman has been found dead with several teeth missing.  
  • In one scene a dead and rotting alien in a body bag suddenly comes to life and bursts out of the body 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 teens “morph” into the Power Ranger form, they are engulfed in swirling coloured light that transforms into different coloured suits of armour. 

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group will also be scared by the above-mentioned scenes

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group are also likely to be scared by some of the above-mentioned scenes

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Younger children in this age group may also be scared by some of the above-mentioned scenes.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Sports drinks (Gatorade), Krispy Kreme Donuts, American brand named cars.

Sexual references

The film contains one scene, played for comedy with sexual innuendo. This involves a boy claiming to have milked a cow which is actually a bull.

Nudity and sexual activity

The film contains some partial nudity. Examples include:

  • Some shots of girls wearing low cut tops with exposed cleavage.
  • A girl goes swimming in her bra and pants and a boy watches her take off her clothes.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Several teens 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 pee into a container to be tested for drugs
  • A boy gives his sick mother some tablets.

Coarse language

There are some coarse language, insults and toilet humour in this movie, including:

  • wise arse; suck; Oh my god!; in my butt; crap; holy shit; screw up; arse; bullshit; motherfu…;  weirdoes; criminals; freak; crazy girl;  

In a nutshell

Power Rangers is a science fiction action film based upon the popular children’s TV series of the same name. It is not, however, a film for young children who may be attracted by the title and the fact that they have Power Ranger toys. There are some very scary scenes and characters, and some intense violence, so the film is not recommended for children under 12, with parental guidance strongly recommended for 12 to 15 year olds.

The main messages from this movie are:

  • When we work together we can achieve much more than what we can achieve individually.
  • Good triumphs over evil.

Parents may also wish to discuss the cyberbullying depicted and whether the consequences are appropriate, as well as what the film has to say about autism as shown through the character Billy.

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