Do Reboots Work?

There has been A LOT of talk around the supposed reboot of Fantastic Four, out this week in Irish cinemas, with it being barely a decade since the last attempt at the comic-book adaptation, and only eight years since Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer. Some reviewers loved it, some reviewers hated it, but the original was universally panned and still brought in millions at the box office.

With the subsequent onslaught of popular comic book movies, Fox obviously felt that not making the most of the quartet would be like leaving money on the table, and hired ‘Chronicle’ director Josh Trank to bring the stretchy guy, the invisible lady, the fire-dude and the rock-man into a new(ish) generation of cinema-goers.

But do reboots ever truly work? Let’s have a look-see…

Reboot: Godzilla (1998) and Godzilla (2014)

Did It Work?: Despite the director of Independence Day being involved, the 98 reboot was a too kitschy to be enjoyed, while the 2014 go-around was a little too serious. Depending on who you ask, only the latter pulled it off, while others would say neither did.

DR. NO (1962)
Reboot: Casino Royale (2006)

Did It Work?: Some would argue that every new actor taking on Bond would signify a reboot of the series, but Daniel Craig was clearly starting the character from the very beginning, clearing our palette of Die Another Day’s awful special effects and Madonna theme-songs. Taking notes from the Bourne series, this was basically the Batman reboot (series got too campy, so course-corrected into something altogether more serious) but in a better suit.

Reboot: Planet Of The Apes (2001) and Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (2011)

Did it Work?: Tim Burton’s take absolutely DID NOT WORK, as his Mark Wahlberg starring blockbuster is considered to be the beginning of the end of his once-interesting career. The 2011 take was much better, and better yet, lead on to the even better Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes in 2014.

Reboot: Superman Returns (2006) and Man Of Steel (2013)

Did It Work?: Hindsight is a powerful thing. At the time, Superman Returns was viewed as being a little toothless and overly saccharine, but know we look back and see how great Brandon Routh was in the role, and can’t understand how it underperformed the way it did in the box office. Man Of Steel did much better financially, but viewers weren’t as kind on the finished product.

BATMAN (1989)
Reboot: Batman Begins (2005) and Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice (2016)

Did It Work?: When the first series ended with the hilariously bad Batman & Robin in 1997, Warner Bros waited a short 8 years (look at that, the exact same gap as the Fantastic Four turnaround!) before handing it over to Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale, and the rest, as they say, is history. Whether Zack Snyder can do it again with Ben Affleck next year, we’ll have to wait and see.

Reboot: The Sum Of All Fears (2002) and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014)

Did It Work?: While the movie itself wasn’t a reboot, there have been several attempts to reignite the box office potential of Jack Ryan. Back in the 90s he was played by Alec Baldwin in Red October and Harrison Ford in Patriot Games and Clear And Present Danger. Ben Affleck and Chris Pine both tried to go back to the start of Ryan’s story, and both were greeted with response of ‘Meh’ by audiences and critics alike.

Reboot: The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) & (2017)

Reboot: The closest comparison to the Fantastic Four reboot, the unfortunate thing about director Mark Webb’s duo of movies is that they stuck too closely to the formula of the original trilogy. It’s sad because Andrew Garfield was a spot-on choice for web-head, but he was surrounded by over-familiar plotting and poorly chosen villains. Here’s hoping the as-yet-untitled 2017 re-reboot doesn’t make the same mistakes.

Reboots: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), Halloween (2007), Friday The 13th (2009), A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010), The Wolfman (2010), Evil Dead (2013), Poltergeist (2015).

Did It Work? No. No. No. No. No. No. And no.

FANTASTIC FOUR is now showing in cinemas
Words – Rory Cashin