james debate
james debate

Wednesday 13 May 2009

It seems to be the 'in' thing to do now, rebooting an old, much loved but probably stale franchise in the hopes of revitalizing it. Pioneered by the likes of Batman and James Bond, the list now includes the likes of The Hulk, Star Trek, a recently green-lit Predator reboot and even videogames and tv shows.

Now, to celebrate the release of one of the year's most highly anticipated films, and one of the finest reboots of all time, Star Trek, we present our list of the best and worst franchise reboots of all time, across all media, and we also discuss franchises that are in bad need of a good reboot.

The Best

Star Trek
star trek reboot abramsWe may as well begin with the very reason we are here today. Star Trek has always been pretty unpopular and heavily stigmatized. Worse still it seemed completely dead in recent years, following the complete flop of the most recent film Nemesis, and the most recent tv series Enterprise. A comeback seemed very unlikely, but that was before Geek Deity JJ Abrams produced and directed this piece of awesomeness. Not only did Abrams resurrect the dead franchise, he actually made it 'cool' and likable by everyone, truly an impressive accomplishment.

Batman Begins
batman begins rebootAfter all the hubub around the Dark Knight, which was a great great movie, it is easy to forget just how excellent Batman Begins was. This reboot of the Batman franchise was VERY necessary after the awful suckiness of recent films, culminating in the badly sculpted turd that was Batman & Robin. Nolan came along and went back to basics, the story of how Batman became Batman, and the result was pure excellence.

James Bond: Casino Royale
casino royale james bond rebootOk so Quantum of Solace was just 'ok', but the movie that came before it, Casino Royale, was simply brilliant. One of the best ever Bond movies, and a great movie in itself, this is the film that was brave enough to cast aside all the pitfalls that Bond had become associated with, being camp and goofy with crazy gadgets, and turned Bond into a real character. For the first time, we get to see how Bond goes from hotshot secret agent to the hardened 'blunt instrument' of which Fleming's original novels spoke.

Street Fighter IV
street fighter iv 4 rebootBreaking away from movies for a second now we have Street Fighter IV. Following a decline in sales and relevance since the glory days, and diverging down the ill advised path of an ever expanding roster of characters who are all roughly the same, Street Fighter was definitely in need of new life. This reboot took the game back a few steps, essentially recreating Street Fighter II, the most iconic entry in the series, and featured a nearly identical cast list. The result may not have been perfect, was certainly a bit overrated, but nevertheless was still classic arcadey fun.

The Worst

Superman Returns
superman returns rebootBilled as a reboot, with a new cast any everything, this film was really just a sequel, and a pretty uninspired and woeful one at that. All this despite the excellent casting of Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor... man how did it all go so wrong.

Street Fighter: the Legend of Chun-Li
street fighter legend of chun-li rebootI bet everyone forgot this ever happened right? Wishful thinking I'm afraid. After the laughably bad Street Fighter movie of the 90s with Jean Claude Van Damme, this more serious and gritty take should have been great... sadly it was just a woeful, woeful piece of crap that was so bad it wasn't even funny, therefore making it even worse than the earlier version... ugh, maybe Street Fighter just wasn't supposed to be a movie. This is so bad i'm afraid to even list it on this website, for fear of the google bots seeing this movie, associating my website with it and then filing the website under 'crap'.

Sonic the Hedgehog
sonic the hedgehog reboot xbox 360Another one that's not a real reboot, though it was certainly billed that way, with the 'back to basics' title. This took the ailing videogame franchise to new levels of blowfulness. It was just badly made, and clearly hadn't been tested for longer than five minutes. Better best forgotten.

And Finally, here are some franchises that we feel are in Need of a Reboot

Sonic the Hedgehog
A REAL reboot please. One of the most beloved and iconic videogames characters of all time has been floundering for far too long in a mire of awful 3d gameplay, far too big and annoyingly cheesy a character list, and a complete lack in production value. Let's just start again alright? Sonic, just sonic by himself, running through a series of colorful and entertaining levels in a 2D perspective at high speed. SCREW the other characters, SCREW the melodramatic Final Fantasy reject storylines, and all associated adventure hubs, and SCREW the third dimension.

Jurassic Park
The first Jurassic Park was a classic, the second less so, the third was pretty rubbish, and then there was talk of a fourth installment with (and I am not bullshitting you) dinosaurs armed with laser guns, which mercifully was canned and will never see the light of day. But I seriously doubt this franchise will stay dead forever, and I think the way to go is not another sequel, let's face it there's really not a whole lot else you can do with this story, but rather a complete reboot. With today's technology you know it would be absolutely epic, and far better than some half assed sequel.

In hindsight, it's easy to dismiss this as teen horror schlock, but let us not do this film a disservice. Though the genre became something of a tired cliché, this was the film that started it all off, and was also a million miles better than all the other imitators. It's easy enough to have a guy in a mask run around killing hot chicks, but it's much harder to imbue the proceedings with the level of tongue in cheek wit and entertainment that this film did. That is why all the imitations sucked so much, let's get back to the one that started it all off and show them how it's done.

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