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It’s Mighty Morphin time!

CEBU, Philippines - Ordinary teens rise as superheroes

Based on the popular legend of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comes the rollicking, action-packed modern chronicle of how the famed color-coded crew of teen warriors first transformed from a band of small-town outcasts into a united team of mighty superheroes in the new “Power Rangers” movie.

The re-imagined story of Saban’s “Power Rangers” comes to the screen on a thrilling scale that amps up the action, effects and creative design. A fresh young cast from around the world joins Bill Hader, Bryan Cranston and Elizabeth Banks in a non-stop adventure that puts ordinary teens to the test in the most extraordinary situation imaginable: transcending a 21st century pressure cooker of cyber-bullying, alienation, peer pressures and family issues to become nothing less than the world’s only chance to survive.

“Recent research shows that most of us are born with what is termed as a ‘selfless gene,’” says Matt Suzana, co-writer of the “Power Rangers” movie.

“Daily selfless acts include donating blood, helping blind people cross the street, giving alms, and the list goes on. These selfless people share a common gene variation that is linked to the receptor for Oxytocin, often referred to as the ‘love hormone.’ Oxytocin plays a vital role in the formulation of social bonds and relationships, impacting a person’s capacity for empathy.”

“With this in mind, we imagined five selfless youths chosen to become Power Rangers. We want the characters to be real and believable, and that they are really selfless people in this world who risk their lives, their jobs, and their future to help other people and yet expect nothing in return. In the case of these young people, their heroic acts are truly believable and most of us can identify with them. Standing up for those in need is a selfless way to live. To exhibit altruism is to elevate our entire species to the next level,” reveals Suzana.

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The script honed in on exploring the five Power Rangers as 21st century high schoolers, each going through his or her own coming-of-age battle, all while learning to deal with superhuman strength and a heroic destiny that is thrust upon them without warning.

Adds screenwriter John Gatins: “We wanted our Power Rangers to reflect more of what teens are going through right now – so we married more realism to the original concept. For each of our Rangers, there is something inside they have been wrestling with and trying to overcome.”

Indeed, each Ranger-to-be has hit a form of adolescent rock bottom.

Jason, the Red Ranger (played by Dacre Montgomery) was a football legend in his small town of Angel Grove until one fateful mistake. When we first meet Jason, he is in need of redemption and is struggling to find himself. But soon he is given a chance to lead a new team made up of an unlikely group of teenage superheroes and must find it in himself to rise to the challenge.

Kimberly, the Pink Ranger (Naomi Scott) used to be Queen Bee of Angel Grove High, but has been cast out of the popular clique and is now struggling to find her identity. She has a new rebel-without-a-cause, edgy attitude, but this front is hiding a secret that makes her feel deeply vulnerable.

Billy, the Blue Ranger (RJ Cyler) has always been challenged in his abilities to communicate and interact socially. Whip-smart and sweet, he is the most pure-hearted of the group. Billy has never really had any friends, so finding teens that he is comfortable with is a big deal, and soon he begins connecting with people in a way he’s never been able to do before.

Trini, the Yellow Ranger (Becky G) is mysterious but extremely bright. Her parents constantly move for work, making her the perpetual new girl to any school. A loner who owns it, Trini is self-sufficient and contemplative, but always observant. All she wants is to find her gang of friends, but she’ll never admit it — least of all to herself.

Zack, the Black Ranger (Ludi Lin) is filled with bravado and swagger. He is tough and cool on the exterior but has many layers beyond his fearless appearance. Zack advertises everything about himself, except the truth, which makes him feel deeply inferior to all his peers.

It is only when these outcasts all land together in school detention that fate takes over – and they suddenly find themselves attached to strange, glowing coins that seem to be bringing them inexplicable strength. Now, they have to figure how to control their mysterious abilities even as they face all the emotions and drama of finding their identities… and try to save the world to boot.

The quintet learn that their small town of Angel Grove — and the world — is on the verge of being obliterated by an alien threat. Chosen by destiny, our heroes quickly discover they are the only ones who can save the planet. But to do so, they will have to overcome their real-life issues and before it’s too late, band together as the Power Rangers.

“Power Rangers” opens in cinemas this Wednesday, March 22. (FREEMAN)

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