July 12, 2017

5 Great Reboot Films

War for the Planet of the Apes comes out this weekend, being the ninth film in the franchise and third in the reboot series. Reboots can be tedious for audiences to go through. However, there are some great reboot series out there.

Godzilla (2014)

Being around for more than 50 years and going through three reboots, the Godzilla franchise doesn't give up. The latest U.S. reboot in 2014 proved that, if done well enough, Godzilla can be intriguing to American audiences. By focusing most of the action on the human characters instead of the kaiju, director Gareth Edwards moved toward a more modern, grounded approach to monster films. Godzilla was a commercial success. As of late, Legendary Studios has confirmed a cinematic universe in which King Kong, Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah will feature alongside Godzilla. A reboot of King Kong was released in 2017, as Kong: Skull Island and received similar critical and commercial acclaim. All thanks to the King of the Monsters. 

Godzilla, Courtesy of Warner Bros.
The Mummy (1999)

Reboots usually mean re-imagining and there was no film that re-imagined more than the 90's action adventure starring Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz. Originally based on a horror film, The Mummy (1999) brought a classic tale of redemption and romance, along with great action sequences and a bit of spookiness. Studios reboot films in hopes of creating a franchise. The Mummy (1999) is the exemplar. Well received by critics and audiences, the film went on to spawn two sequels, a spin-off, an animated series, a rollercoaster, and novelizations. Grabbing onto the commercially successful concept of cinematic universes, Universal Studios had decided to reboot the film franchise yet again with 2017's The Mummy starring Tom Cruise. The second reboot was universally bashed. I think we can agree that it's time to bring back Fraser and crew.   

The Mummy, Courtesy of Universal Studios
Star Trek (2009)

There were many reasons to reboot this franchise. The television series Enterprise was a bust. Star Trek: Nemesis was a bust. Star Trek was fading into history while Paramount Pictures was scrambling to find a resolve. The answer came in the form of J.J. Abrams, Roberto Orci, and Alex Kurtzman. The idea was simple. Instead of a prequel, the film would start everything over and be set in an alternate timeline apart from the original series. The reboot garnered commercial and critical success, going on to make two sequels and producing a new television show in Star Trek: Discovery. A fourth film in the reboot series has been confirmed.

Star Trek, Courtesy of Paramount Pictures
Casino Royale (2006)

The James Bond franchise has often been one to resort to lazy screenplays and cheesy films. Before Daniel Craig took the helm, Pierce Brosnan played Bond in a painstaking five films. While Brosnan started off on the right foot, his last two entries in The World is Not Enough and Die Another Day were critically bashed. With Batman Begins in production and the introduction of origin stories being underway as the new fad in Hollywood, it seemed inevitable for Bond to head down realistic, un-cheesy, reboot path. Casino Royale received universal praise and went on to become the highest grossing Bond film at the time. Three more films featuring Craig were produced, all stemming from the story of Casino Royale.  

Casino Royale, Courtesy of Columbia Pictures & EON Productions
Batman Begins

While X-Men and X2 came out before Batman Begins, it was Christopher Nolan's reboot that changed the scope of superhero films. Begins was a gritty, realistic portrayal of a superhero. It was also one of the first superhero origin story films, which paved the way for a slew of origin story films across all franchises. Directors of franchise films more than often reference Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy as being their inspiration. Even Rupert Wyatt, director of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, stated that Batman Begins had influence over his film. Batman Begins brought in two more sequels, a relaunch of Batman, retooling of the DC comic, and a cultural impact that can still be seen in film today. 

Batman Begins, Courtesy of Warner Bros.

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