I have a few thoughts today on the subject of reboots. In the last five years, the movie industry has gone crazy for the reboot, largely because of the ease of recycling characters and stories and adapting them for contemporary audiences.
It’s a trend that has grown in prominence, and has become a part of pop culture. Basically, if anyone thinks that they can create an adequate take on a movie, they can buy the rights and go nuts.
Now, it’s one thing to do movies that celebrate older classics, like The Italian Job or Ocean’s 11 or other memorable movies. They’ve been out of the public consciousness for decades, and the stories are fun to return to. It is the recent trend of rebooting movies that are barely a few years old that is truly irritating.
An easy way to determine the usefulness of reboots is to look at the superhero spectrum. Batman shines as an example of a great reboot that challenged audiences and pushed the envelope. Looking at Spiderman and the Incredible Hulk… not so much. Spiderman had the recent movies that started off amazingly strong, then turned to decent mediocrity. Is a possibly awful reboot necessary five years later? No.
Likewise, the Incredible Hulk has been through two mediocre reboots and will be rebooted for a third time in the new Avengers movie. …Yay? Not really.
To give an example of a planned reboot that simply seems stupid no matter what, look no further than Charlies Angels. The TV show was adapted for the big screen in the early 2000’s, and was moderately successfully, despite having little quality or substance. Essentially, they were throwaway movie that were completely forgettable. However, producers refuse to let the concept die, and have ordered that Charlies Angels be rebooted again for TV. I don’t even need to know details, because I know that it’s gonna be mediocre- just like the last reboot was.
To sum this whole things up? Reboots are a good idea in some cases. Franchises that have since turned dormant, stale, or outdated may need to be rebooted if they have an audience of fans who will appreciate it.
However, rebooting just for the sake of rebooting because a cash cow didn’t perform well enough is pointless and stupid. Essentially, it walks a very thin line between filling a useful role and being generally pointless and irritating.
The most defining feature of a reboot lies with the effort and love that is poured into it. Audiences can immediately tell whether or not its a cash grab or not, and the box office results often speak for themselves. One thing is for sure- Hollywood is so very out of ideas right now that it’s getting kind of sad.