Maybe more movies should take note of what Power Rangers did and stop trying to force romantic subplots into movies where it just doesn’t fit.
To measure the appropriate amount of romance in an action film, you have to go by the rule of Fred Savage as demonstrated in The Princess Bride. For the most part, you don’t want kissing to pop up too often, but when the finale ends in a climatic duel that proves love conquers all, it’s okay.
However, that’s not how Power Rangers went. If there was any love going on, it was between the adorable bros Billy and Jason, whose friendship evolved from that of guardian to true brotherhood.
If you noticed in trailers for the film, there was a clear romance that developed between Jason Scott / the Red Ranger and Kimberly Hart / the Pink Ranger. One scene showed them sharing a kiss in Jason’s bedroom. And if you’ve ever seen a teen film, that usually escalates quickly. But in the actual film released in theaters last weekend, that kiss never actually took place.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the film’s director, Dean Israelite, explained that the scene was cut because test audiences
thought it was stupid didn’t like it.
"“For that scene to culminate in some kind of romantic moment between her and Jason undermines her character and feels a little old-fashioned and becomes a movie trope of the female lead there to support some kind of male arc. I think it was actually kind of lovely that the audience pushed so hard against that, and the moment we took it out, everybody liked Kimberly way more and felt she was much stronger, and I loved that we got that reaction.”"
No spoilers, but the scene finds Kimberly explaining what she did to earn herself some detention. It’s very Breakfast Club and ends with Jason calling for her to be better. While she continues to tackle her angst in the film, a kiss would’ve ruined the integrity of the scene and sent the wrong message.
Obviously, there’s some exchanged glances and whatnot. But I never felt like Kimberly favored him over the other three rangers. And I never felt like she shunned the other female ranger in favor of running with the boys. Though that seems small, it really added to the likability of the character, even though she did something pretty terrible.
It’s nice to see that Dean Israelite understood the weight of the film, due to both the franchise’s fans, plus the modern and somewhat progressive era in which it plans to make a comeback. Let’s give more work to the directors who put their money where their mouth is and support “independent” female characters who don’t “serve the male arc.”
Power Rangers is now playing in theaters everywhere.