With the announcement of the Ghostbusters reboot, Darragh Kelly delves into the world of the reboot and why Hollywood insist.
Hollywood has done it yet again, the boys down in tinsel town have resurrected another favourite and brought it on back for a different audience, some young enough to be completely flabbergasted at to what a Ghostbuster is.
The film industry has made a fortune for itself in the form of countless sequels, reboots and franchises but the remake has come into its own as a hit and miss venture when the pool of ideas has been emptied for cleaning.
A formula that has not been milked dry, yet. With the approach of resurrecting beloved films the dial teeters from watchable to downright cringe worthy, with the impending renewal of Ghostbusters coming soon it would be a good idea to look at the best of and worst additions to a gimmick that has become a genre in itself.
The Karate Kid (2010)
The Karate Kid (1985) is a coming of age story about young Daniel Larusso, played by a perpetually young Ralph Macchio, an East coast kid who packs up and heads West with his mother in search of a better life. Instead, Daniel is forced to learn how to fight against a gang of eighties style bullies with perfect perms lead by Johnny (Billy Zabka). Danny boy learns Karate with the help of his local handy man, Mr Miyagi (Pat Morita) with his unusual training methods that are also a great lesson in time management.
A coming of age tale that deals with facing your problems with a wicked montage and a tournament winning move that is actually illegal when you look as the rulebook. Armed with a month’s worth of Karate and a sweet headband the young upstart comes out on top as the true Karate kid, if you don’t believe Barney Stinson’s theory that is.
First off, the story remains similar only instead of moving across the country, Tre, played by Jaden Smith heads off to China and has an even harder time fitting in. It should really have been called Kung Fu Kid but for obvious marketing reasons it remained the same.
Jackie Chan teaches kung fu to Jaden Smith in scenic backdrops of China. The film stays faithful to the narrative but alters backstories slightly, it is a fresh film that still remains faithful to its source material but in the spirit of reboots the 2011 version no can defence when matching up against the original.
Batman Begins (2005)
With the coming and going of Joel Schumacher as the director of the abysmal Batman and Robin (1997) the puns and the rubber nipples are thrown out in favour of a darker take on the dark knight. In an origin story that has been done in almost every Batman film, the world’s greatest detective’s rise to infamy among the criminal underbelly of Gotham city. A batman of the eighties enters, and the campy sixties style batman is put on the shelf.
This film stars a pre growling Christian Bale trained by a secret ninja society helmed by Liam Neeson, this film is often overlooked in the trilogy of Christopher Nolan films but is a solid stand alone in itself.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has been rebooted and rebranded many times over the years and has been involved in many mediums such as film, television, video games and comic books. Michael Bay’s poor attempt at a beloved classic now has a sequel in the works. Its the same thing you would expect from anything made by Michael Bay: explosions, trucks, heavy CGI, cheesy dialogue, the works.
All of the charm and wit of the cartoon must have been left on the cutting room floor rendering this film more of slasher than anything else. The film follows along the vein of Transformers more than a decent tribute to the ninja turtles.
Sherlock Holmes (2009)
Sherlock Holmes (2009) was not necessarily preceded by a bad batch of films, but they all followed the same formula of a gentleman in a deerstalker hat solving crimes with the power of deduction. Recently, Holmes is a character that has been subject to multiple revivals and reincarnations on television.
The gritty retelling in Victorian London shows a character closer to the novels written by Arthur Conan Doyle where Holmes would let his fists do the talking when words failed him. The relationship between Jude Law and Robert Downey Junior is palpable throughout the entire film. The sequel is also worth a look.
Casino Royale (2006)
Another gritty reboot in action cinema and a return to the tougher side of Bond from the Ian Fleming novels, Daniel Craig was brought in to fill the tailored dress shoes of Pierce Brosnan following Die Another Day (2003), something that Brosnan probably feared would happen if he were to play Bond again. Casino Royale does away with the borderline goofy Bond of the sixties and returns to the cold hearted killer more like Jason Bourne.
Solid performances by Daniel Craig and Eva Green also depicts their characters as equals in their traumatic upbringings to boot not your disposable damsel in distress. Tooth and nail action with gripping chases and a particular scene that will make you wince.
Fantastic Four (2015)
There was not much of a sterling legacy to go off as the Fantastic Four has a history of translating terribly to screen, and the 2015 addition is no different. The film had some things going for it in its inception, like a great cast to drive the project, Miles Teller from Whiplash (2014), Michael B Jordan from Creed (2015) and Kate Meara from House of Cards.
No Stan Lee cameo says it all, in this complete copy of a film that was no good to begin with. No fresh villains and no space battles like those in the comic books and the source material is completely underused. I guess we will just have to wait and see how the Incredibles 2 turns out.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)
This Tim Burton adaptation had a lot to live up to, and while it did not fail, it could not top the original version. With a twist to his own formula, Burton casts Johnny Depp in the lead role in a reboot as dark as the tunnel scene in the original film. But he brings his own approach to the role as a slightly anxious Wonka with his backstory provided in the dramatic tone of the great Christopher Lee.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory drops the nostalgic, whimsical tone with the disappearance of the original soundtrack and colour palate for an auto tuned nightmare of oompa loompas with CGI imposed faces are in no comparison to the nightmarish orange faces and green hair of the original film. It is a good film but pales in comparison to the charm of its predecessor.