For those of you who don’t know me in person, I was raised in a very conservative, white, Catholic household. If you are from a Catholic family in the Arlington area you are probably aware of the newspaper called “The Catholic Herald.” If you are not familiar it is a biweekly newspaper produced by the church. Typically it’s pretty harmless, just letting people know about church activities in the area, the scores of the Catholic high schools’ sports teams, and various editorials. About once a month the newspaper reviews movies. Again, pretty harmless. The reviews usually talk about the basic plot and the suggested viewing ages. Over the last four years, I’ve gotten a laugh out of these reviews. They are very nitpicky and point out very thing that can be a “sin.” The newspaper’s suggested viewing ages is almost always a step above the actual rating.
Now why am I bringing this up and what does this have to do with Power Rangers?
How about you read the review
“A popular Saturday morning children’s show of the 1990s makes its third appearance on the big screen. But this latest adaptation, by director Dean Israelite and no fewer than five screenwriters, replaces a relatively benign concept with an ill-mannered teen drama, replete with vulgarity and inappropriate sexual talk. Five ordinary high school students (Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Ludi Lin, Becky G) discover ancient artifacts that bestow extraordinary powers, transforming them into the eponymous superheroes. They are trained by an ancient deity (voice of Bryan Cranston) to lead the fight of good over evil, and vanquish a resurrected queen (Elizabeth Banks) hell-bent on world domination. Had the film taken a more wholesome tack it would have been mindless, escapist fun for all ages. Instead, an excess of bad taste prevails.
Watch out for: Much crude humor, rough language, sexual innuendo, references to homosexuality and masturbation.
Rated: L, limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling; MPAA: PG-13”
As a member of the LGBTQ+ community it is very disheartening to see this. This movie is very important to me not only as a queer woman but also as someone who is Hispanic. For once in my life I’ve found a character that I can truly see myself in, not only another Hispanic queer woman, but a superhero. Many people can relate to these updated versions of loved characters. A black, autistic teen, a loving son trying to keep things together for his mother, a “bad girl” trying to make up for past mistakes, an athlete without a career, and a queer teen trying to figure out who she is.
This is true representation.
The review does not mention the overwhelming diversity of the cast. Nor do the self-proclaimed champions of the “mentally disabled” applaud the positive and accurate depiction of being an autistic person. With articles supporting charities meant to help those who are homebound, they did not mention once how Zack stepped up to take care of his mother as a teenager.
While it may seem very redundant to mention how homophobic, and generally unwelcoming towards different individuals the Catholic church is, this is important. By reading this newspaper, parents can restrict what their children see. By reading this simple article, a teen will have to continue hiding in the closet. All of us, especially people of color and members of the queer community know what it is like to be outsiders. We have to stick together. Support positive diversity and representation in the media. Go and support this film.