Reboot – the most commonly used synonym for ‘run out of ideas for films’. They seem to be taking over the cinemas, modern adaptions of classic movies, but are they really as good as their older counterparts?
There’s been a lot in the media about reboots recently (May 2016) – a ‘Power Rangers’ film scheduled for 2017, a remake of the ‘Ghostbusters’ films out later this year, and a whole heap of live-action Disney films adapted from fan-favourite classics that are coming soon. On paper, they all seem like good ideas: modern films telling classic stories with slight twists setting them apart from their predecessors. But when they finally reach the screen, I’ve found myself not enjoying them as much as I’d hoped.
Take 2016’s ‘Jungle Book’ (my full review can be viewed here) – a modern telling of the 1960s classic, made out to be a darker, more exciting version of the original, but it just had me bored in some places and knowing what was going to happen. That’s the problem with reboots – however much the story may be changed and updated, the main plot is always the same and the audience knows what is going to happen. Of course, the writers could simply change the plot to be something different, but this would result in outcry from some viewers and so puts the writers in a difficult position – have a predictable story or risk the bad reviews of the fans?
Personally, I’d much prefer the latter. There have been many controversial decisions made in the production of a film which have turned out to be brilliant. Of course, there will be a certain amount of backlash, but that is to be expected with any film, and so I’d much prefer a reboot which isn’t a scene-for-scene copy of the original and had more to differentiate itself from its predecessor than, say, the lead role being played by an actor of a different gender.
However, I’d much prefer not to have any reboots at all – at least not in the way we have them now. Every film hitting cinemas now is either a sequel, a reboot or adapted from something else. I have not seen one decent-looking film advertised that has not been adapted from something or is the sequel to another film, and that’s not good. Sure, I’m looking forward to the next Avengers film or the latest adaption of some novel as much as the next person, but once in a while it would be nice to see an original film, not inspired by anything, that takes the box office by storm and rockets to the top of my top-10 list.
Overall, reboots are a good thing. It’s good to see classic animated characters brought to life, or childhood heroes in the modern world, but when the stories are just carbon-copies of the originals’ and there aren’t any new and unpredictable films coming out, well then seeing a new film becomes seeing an old one and the excitement and engagement of movies is lost as you’ve seen it all before.
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