Back in 2014 I wrote an article titled Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters is everything wrong with reboots. In it I argued that the idea behind rebooting the classic 1980s comedy was good in principle (it’s an easy enough premise to adapt and update) but the execution was horrible. Rather than take it in a new direction with original ideas, Feig and his team simply made the same movie again but with their brand of humour. They made constant references to the original movie, they boasted cameos from the original cast and even used the same theme song. It was an utterly pointless exercise and a wasted opportunity.
Today’s news of Warner Bros. rebooting The Matrix has brought about the complete opposite feeling.
Again, I will argue that remakes can be good. The Fly, The Thing and Rise of the Planet of the Apes show that there is room to release arguably better versions of their predecessors, so long as the people behind the camera have an original take on the established story. When Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver were tasked with remaking Planet of the Apes, they didn’t do what Tim Burton did and simply have a man land on an ‘unknown’ planet where simians outrank homo sapiens, and instead looked to the origins of The Planet of the Apes. David Cronenberg took a simple 1950s sci-fi flick and turned it into a masterful character-driven body horror.
Written for Flickering Myth. Read the full article here.