The 2014 film Guardians of the Galaxy serves as the perfect counterpoint to the recent Power Rangers movie. It succeeds everywhere Rangers failed, but it does slip up in the one place Rangers succeeded.
While the Rangers were purpose-built to be non-offensive, the Guardians all have bizarre behaviors, whether you’re talking about Star-Lord’s flirtation, Rocket’s gun-toting thievery, Gamora’s vengeance, Drax’s literal mindedness, or Groot just being weird.
While the Rangers had very little personality and no room for any sort of romance, the Guardians had highly endearing personalities that set them apart as individuals — and there was even space for Star-Lord to romance Gamora a bit.
The dour, serious Rangers contrast strongly with the jolly anti-heroics of the Guardians, who are just more fun to watch. Since the Guardians aren’t intended to be role models, they can be a bit more colorful in how they behave — breaking out of prison, trying to steal from each other, getting drunk, and all other kinds of craziness.
However, the opposite is true of each movie’s villains. Rangers’ Rita Repulsa was jolly, sultry, and violent, her bold demeanor contrasting with the blandness of the Rangers; her brand of femininity is rarely seen in fantastical movies anymore. Guardians’ Ronan, on the other hand, is a very generic evil overlord type with no distinctive personality traits to set him apart from the pack.
The thing is that Guardiansdoes something that Rangers should have done: it created heroes that endear themselves to the audience rather than act as detached, perfect specimens of progressive idealism. Since Guardians has the viewer empathizing with the heroes rather than enjoying the villain’s antics, it is a superior film to Rangers, full stop.
Now read my novella Sword & Flower. Feel free to form your own opinion on it.