There are few things that inspire more nostalgia in me than Power Rangers. In fact, I wrote about that many many Fridays ago here.

I was intrigued, and maybe a little terrified, when I saw that Adi Shankar (known for The Grey and a host of other “bootleg” films based on popular culture) had re-imagined that show that occupied many hours of my life growing up. I have a few friends whose opinions on Power Rangers I respect (because I know they liked the show as much as I did, maybe more and you know who you are) and when they gave the film their stamp of approval, I decided to check it out for myself.

The short follows the fates of the original six rangers: Jason, Zach, Billy, Trini, Kimberly and Tommy after the Machine Empire (who didn’t turn up until well after Jason, Zach and Trini had left). Curiously Rocky (capably played by James Van Der Beek) features strongly in the film as the traitor, who abducts Kimberly (played extremely well by Katee Sackhoff) in an attempt to discover the whereabouts of Tommy, who has presumably escaped the violent fates of the other rangers.

It is bloody, it is violent, and it sure as heck isn’t appropriate for children. What it does have going for it is a pretty compelling storyline and twists and turns that will make your jaw drop. It skips the camp and low-tech special effects that the original series had in spades and replaces them with J.J. Abrams quality cinematography and special effects. But it doesn’t solely rely on that to get the story across. It’s the interplay between Rocky and Kimberly that carries most of the film and results in the epic conclusion.

It stays true enough to the original canon that you understand the references and appreciate the subtleties. It deviates enough that it isn’t a direct rip-off and can stand on its own. Perhaps, most notably, it never features the death of Trini (actress Thuy Trang, who played the character, passed away in 2001 in a car accident) but does feature a funeral scene for the character.

I never saw James Van Der Beek as an action star but he holds his own. Katee Sackhoff puts on an emotional showing as the victim but still embodies that tough-as-nails persona that she brought to Battlestar Galactica and the short-lived Bionic Woman.

The big twist at the end is worth the nearly twelve minutes of film before it. I won’t spoil it here, but the video is worth your time. And…well, someone needs to find me that dubstep remix of the theme song.