Ah reboots. The ultimate excuse for the evil geniuses up in Hollywood to take anything that was ever mildly popular and make a ton of money off of it regardless of whether or not it needed to be rebooted in the first place. It’s called Brand Recognition, folks. And it’s an ugly thing.
But that doesn’t mean that a reboot is automatically bad. There are plenty of creative people in the film industry who look upon reboots as a chance to try new things and maybe even improve the original material, not just a quick cash grab that exploits people’s nostalgia. So let’s look at the very best and the very worst that Hollywood has to offer. Because, by god, we’ve got to find SOME reasonable excuse for the dramatically waning creativity in films nowadays.
DISCLAIMER! This list is my own opinion. If you don’t like it then we’ll just have to agree to disagree. Although you’d probably wouldn’t agree to that either, you uncooperative jerk!
HEAR ME OUT! Just hear me out. No, Godzilla is not a good film. It has a good first act, but it all goes downhill after that. However, whilst it’s not a good film, it is a good reboot. We all remember the first American Godzilla film from 1998, right? And we all know just how much it sucked. You see, the point of a reboot, or at least one of its points, is to take the original idea and expand upon it. Exploring new territory and ideas, whilst simultaneously improving where the original film went wrong.
Godzilla 2014 does this. The characters are better. The story is better. The goddamn monsters look better! Now, that doesn’t stop it from making its own, entirely new mistakes (And boy, does it do that! In spades!), but we can take comfort from the fact that it’s much better than Roland Emmerich‘s abomination.
4. Star Trek
Okay, I’m just going to say it. I don’t like Star Trek as a franchise. It’s not the worst, and I understand why some people like it. But I’m just not a fan. But I do respect it. I appreciate what the original series tried to do, and I admire the things that followed it purely based on the effort they put into it. But it’s not for me. Which is why I’m constantly surprised by how much I like the 2009 reboot.
It’s a fun, energetic film that captures the spirit of Gene Roddenberry‘s original creation whilst keeping it updated and fresh. Great for long time Trekkies, and for new audiences. And yes, Into Darkness pretty much ruined that. But you know what that means? It used to be that every odd numbered Star Trek film was bad. But then the reboot happened and now I think that every even numbered Star Trek film is going to be bad! The curse has been flipped! That’s what happens when you reboot a science fiction film series. You warp the very fabric of reality.
3. The Incredible Hulk
Poor Ang Lee. I mean that. Poor Ang Lee! He tried so hard to make Hulk a good film but it just didn’t work. Personally, I think he just couldn’t marry the two concepts of a comic book movie and a deep, visually creative movie. It was simultaneously silly and serious. The result was comic book panel transitions and introspective dreams. Hulk poodles and tragic flashbacks. Plus, I swear he used Comic Sans font for the credits.
So when Incredible Hulk came around, fans were overjoyed. A Hulk film that was both an intelligent film and had the angry green giant smashing stuff! What bliss! And what’s more, he didn’t look like Shrek. Way to go Marvel! Way to bloody go!
Hang your head in shame Sylvester Stallone! 1995’s Judge Dredd may have been kinda fun, but it paled in comparison to the comics. But have no fear! In 2012, our prayers were answered with Dredd. Now THIS was a proper Judge Dredd film. The helmet looks right. You never see his face. And best of all… no Rob Schneider! HALLELUJAH!
With a talented cast, great action, superb visuals and some very talented people behind the camera, Dredd was all but perfect. SO WHY DID IT FLOP??? On a budget of 45 million, it grossed 41 million. And because of this, the filmmakers have been struggling to get a sequel made. Despite overwhelming fan support and the drive of its cast, we still don’t know whether or not it’ll happen. So have faith people. Hopefully, the law will return.
1. Batman Begins
As the three people who regularly read my articles know, I hate Batman. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that I hate his films. Tim Burton‘s films are a visual delight and Mask of the Phantasm is one of my favourite superhero films of all time. Seriously. But what about the Nolan films? Honestly, I’m not a fan. BUT… they are good films. Well, the first two anyway. And Batman Begins especially stands out as a terrific example of how to do a reboot RIGHT!
There’s no confusing Batman Begins with Batman (1989). It’s different in every aspect. But it’s still a Batman film. Like I said earlier, it takes the original material and explores new ideas. I tip my hat to you Christopher Nolan. You showed us all how it’s done.