The Malaysian Censorship Board (LPF) has now decided to review the “Power Rangers” reboot film, which was scheduled to be released in Malaysia cinemas on 24th March 2017.
This is coming after news that the “Power Rangers” reboot film will feature a gay moment, the first-ever superhero flick to have a gay protagonist character.
In case you missed it, in one scene, Trini the Yellow Ranger (played by the pop star and actor Becky G) appears to be having “girlfriend problems”. The gay character storyline was later confirmed by director Dean Israelite, who described the said “small moment as “pivotal” in the film.
The Hollywood reporter quoted Dean as saying, “For Trini, really she’s questioning a lot about who she is. She hasn’t fully figured it out yet. I think what’s great about that scene and what that scene propels for the rest of the movie is, ‘That’s OK.’ The movie is saying, ‘That’s OK,’ and all of the kids have to own who they are and find their tribe.”
Note: In the original “Power Rangers” series, the Yellow Ranger (played by the late Vietnamese-born American actress Thuy Trang) was portrayed as straight.
And now, rumours are rife that the LPF is considering banning the film.
A quick check on LPF’s website (refer to the above screenshot) confirmed that the film was approved on 21st March 2017 with a PG13 rating.
However, major Malaysian cinema operator TGV has halted advance ticket sales for the film and removed the listing altogether. “To avoid any issues that may arise, we pulled (the movie) from the cinema listing at the moment, as the film is still undergoing the Malaysian Censorship Board’s (LPF) review,” CNA quoted TGV Cinemas senior marketing manager Celeste Koay as saying.
Upon hearing rumours of a ban, Malaysian Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz commented that LPF’s action is counter-productive as it would draw attention to the scenes in the movies. “I am really depressed with what’s happening with our censorship board. We never appointed the censorship board to be our moral guardian,” The Star Online quoted him as saying.
“As parents, we are the ones in the best position to decide. Who is the censorship board to impose a blanket ban and to say it is not good for children,” he added.
This is not the first time that the “Power Rangers” brand has raised eyebrows. In 1995, the Malaysian government decided to take the “Power Rangers” series off the air because the “morphin” (which means metamorphosis) in “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” and “It’s Mophin Time!” sounded too similar to “morphine”, the drug.
Meanwhile, Disney fans celebrated a happy ending after all when it was announced yesterday that the live-action remake of “Beauty and the Beast” will air in Malaysia without cuts on 30th March 2017.
UPDATE (22nd March, 2:23pm):
Great news! According to CNA, citing LPF, “Power Rangers” will be screened in Malaysia with no cuts but with a P13 rating.
Time to get those tickets ;)
Directed by Dean Israelite, starring Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Becky G, Ludi Lin, Bill Hader, Bryan Cranston, and Elizabeth Banks, “Power Rangers” is slated to be released in Malaysian cinemas on 24th March.