An overnight sensation, The Ranger seemingly the story of a down-on-his-luck former soldier who is called upon to return to active duty. Lo and behold, it turns out that this disheveled veteran is none other than Jason, the (now former) Mighty Morphin’ Red Ranger.
Matt Jayson, who wrote and portrayed Jason in the short, had this to say about his inspiration for the project:
“My inspiration was soldiers who come home after war. There can be mental anguish that they go through. It manifests in the form of addictions, PTSD, depression, anger…any number of things. I didn’t go nearly as dark with any of those themes but I just wanted to gently touch on the fact that this is a man who has been to war and has really been through the ringer because of it. The only difference is with the reveal at the end, we see he is not an Army Ranger but a Power Ranger. It made sense to me. Years of fighting monsters during high school? What teenager could possibly live a normal life after that? So I thought it could be an interesting FunnyOrDie piece. Not because its funny. Its definitely more of a dramatic nature. But just because we take the audience on such a wild direction at the end. The idea was to release it as The Ranger and not give any clue as to the fact that its Power Rangers. But Twitter seemed to blow with tweets and articles talking this “fan video” so it had to become a fan video. And I’m ok with that. I certainly was a fan!“
The feature relies very little on special effects as in the property it’s based on, instead focusing mainly on exposition. The emotion of the story is thick, rife with drama, but also throws in the occasional joke to break it up.
“We have surpassed our goal by a long slide. Originally I just wanted people to enjoy it whether they were fans of Power Rangers or not and I of course wanted Power Ranger fans to go crazy. That’s why I wanted to be specific with the details, with the fun little Easter eggs placed throughout the film.“
When asked, Matt seemed rather open to working on another video like this, but doesn’t want to overdo it:
“I have written a few more episodes but I struggle with not knowing if I should continue with it or leave it as is. This did so well on its own I don’t want to soil it. But you never know. The fans seem to want it.”
From a personal standpoint, I’m absolutely in LOVE with this video. It gives a new twist on an old property, seeming rather noncommittal at first, in the sense that you can’t immediately tell that it’s based on Power Rangers. It doesn’t feel like something related to Power Rangers, nor does it force the atmosphere that it is based on the franchise. That’s what makes it as good as it is.
The Ranger applies a realistic approach to the hero paradigm, asking a sort of “what if”, referring to what could happen to heroes who were called upon so early in their lives. Matt Jayson definitely hit it out of the park.
If I were to conduct a proper review of this piece, I would give it a full five TentoRaigers out of five.
The Ranger also stars Harrison Lampert and was directed by Adam Perlman.
Many thanks to Matt Jayson for taking the time to answer our questions!
You can also check out The Ranger‘s Facebook page.
Also, don’t forget to check out Matt Jayson’s official website!