Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Sequels, Remakes and Reboots... The good, the bad & the ugly.

This post is part of Kid in the Front Row’s blogathon.  You can find the original post here.

Re-telling stories is nothing new.  Before stories could be recorded permanently, they had to be passed down from generation to generation, in order to survive.  This oral tradition still survives in many parts of the world and incorporates acting and song as well as speech.  It’s a really fascinating area to look into… but not much to do with Hollywood’s version!  The universal motivation here is, of course cold, hard cash.  And why not!  You see a good film or make a good film and of course you’d love to repeat that success.  You can almost hear the studio bosses shouting “AGAIN, AGAIN!” like deranged Teletubbies… So why does lightning hardly ever strike in the same place twice?

Some people buy into the theory that “there are no new ideas, only new ways of making them felt”.   I really hope this isn’t true… because if some of this lot are what comes out of that, then we might be screwed…


I have fewer problems with sequels than the other 2 categories so let’s start here.  If I watch a good film, with memorable characters and a good script then of course, I want to love it all over again.  You get all excited at the thought of it and some live up to your expectations.  But some don’t. 

The Good

Terminator 2

So much cooler than the original.  It has an engaging bad guy and, if you watch it when you’re 12, it makes a lasting impression.

Iron Man

I liked Iron Man 2.  It had enough of the stuff I liked about the first one, plus it had the volume turned up to 11.  What more do you want from a superhero sequel?

The Dark Knight

These 3 categories are so incestuous!  The sequel to the reboot… you keeping up?  This film is, of course, awesome. Bigger and better than the previous one and manages to stand alone as a completely engaging addition to the Batman story.

I’m not going to talk about Toy Story in this post because they deserve one all to themselves.  Needless to say, I love them all.

The Bad


It pains me to say this, it really does.  I have a soft spot for all the Jaws sequels.  I’m just weak that way.  They are terrible though.  The original is one of my favourite films.  In fact, it should be one of everybody’s favourite films.  As funny as they are, they can’t be mentioned in the same breath as the original.

Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde

I really enjoy the first Legally Blonde film.  It’s got a great central character that goes on one of those ‘journey’ things we hear so much about. (I hate that word so much!) The sequel comes along and Reese Witherspoon has signed up so we can all rest easy right?  Nope.  The first film never happened.  Elle is the same as she was at the start of the first film.  It’s just bad.

Oceans 12

Another sequel to a reboot!  I can’t even bring myself… you all know why it’s rubbish.

The Ugly

Sex and the City 2

The first was bad.  (Does it count as a reboot if it comes from TV?)  The second is just offensive.  My full review is here if you can be bothered. 


I might show myself up a little bit here.  I haven’t seen all of the original films that these remakes have come from but that’s ok right?  Right?!  I don’t really mind if they’re good compared to the source, as long as they’re good films in their own right.  And I think these are! 

The Good

The Departed

Remade from Infernal Affairs.  I watched this for the first time last week.  I really don’t know what took he so long.  It’s amazing.  The characters are complex and believable.  The film sucks you into its’ world, chews you up and spits you out.  It made me happy and sad and angry all at the same time.  And Jack Nicholson might actually be the devil.  And a little nugget for all you IMDb trivia fans, it is the Best Picture winner with the most uses of the word ‘fuck’ in all its’ forms… 237 don’tcha know.

Oceans 11

It’s fun, breezy, complicated enough to feel like a real film, and the cast are obviously having a great time. (Something that will come back to bite them in the ass in the sequel.)

Father of the Bride

A bit out of left field, I know, but I LOVE Father of the Bride.  I’m sure the 1950 original is great.  Spencer Tracy and Liz Taylor are a great reference but… Martin Short!

Brewster’s Millions

Yep, again, I know… I have a problem.  The original is from 1945.  I’m sure it’s great but…Richard Prior and John Candy!

The Bad


I’ve seen this one!  The Michael Caine version isn’t great.  I don’t love it anyway but it’s a damn sight better that Jude ‘smuggy’ Law’s effort.  Urgh, I feel mucky just thinking about it.


This is an interesting one for me.  Why doesn’t it work?  Answers on a postcard please.  It’s got to be the performances, or the set, or the lighting, or the colour right?  I don’t think so.  I think it’s the knowledge that it’s a cynical experiment that ruins it.  Something is just missing.  Creativity.

The Ugly


So terrible.  No excuse!


I know it's meant to be cancelled... please let it stay that way!  I can’t bear thinking about it.


It’s not going to be Wednesday much longer so I’m going to sum up reboots as quickly as possible. 
Sex and the City – BAD
Batman – GOOD
Karate Kid – BAD
Hulk – 1 BAD & 1 GOOD - The next one… fingers crossed!

To sum up… Good sequels, remakes and reboots are good. And bad ones?  Well, at least they’re fun to argue about!

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