Let’s start this off the best way. I loathe reboots, remakes, and the majority of prequels (i.e. The Phantom Menace Syndrome). Is there really nothing new under the sun? Is there no creativity left in the minds of our writers? No flash of inspiration or enlightenment in all this murky, mundane, reality television saturated swill?
The answer is yes. Somewhere hidden in the masses that live to see dollar signs by rebooting Fantastic Four after less than 10 years just to keep the potential money making rights in their greedy paws are those that strive to entertain us with an actual story and characters we desire to see more of. Dredd (2012) and the 2009 Star Trek are the only reboots I hold in high esteem. I’ll get to the love later, for now is the time for hate.
A film that debuts in theatres in, say 2002, has no business being revived as early as 2012. This nerd hardly finds it acceptable when a classic like 1933’s King Kong is invigorated with 2005’s technology, especially when the damn thing turns out to be the same batter chopped up and formed by the same cookie cutter from the first time around. Why would a studio make the exact same thing as before? Well, I assume it falls under “It made us money the first time; It will make us money again because the public has no taste.” Right there is the reason terrible movies, say those that rhyme with Fan Morphers directed by Bike-ale Ray, keep getting made. People pay to see them and will keep paying to see them (another example of a reboot within the same decade).
Overseas, films like the above mentioned make shitloads of money, especially in markets like China where the latest nonsensical American action film with all the stereotypes brings in the crowds (like the martial arts films of the 80’s in the United States). It’s good for a laugh, but those laughs cost money, and said money goes right back into the never ending cycle of “Let’s make another one of these carbon copies so the idiots will pay us even more of the hard earned money they don’t actually have!”
If we’re being honest, the whole cycle is really smart because like most parts of life, we’re looking at a double-edged sword. I just went off on these “filmmakers” for making me more of the same, but other hardcore fans will go off on other visionary filmmakers when they try to reboot a franchise by really mixing up the story, causing fanboys and girls to scream and shout until they’re blue in their costumed faces (disclaimer: I’m also one of those).
A prime example of such atrocities is the 2104 version of RoboCop. Just like the audiences drawn to see it, Joel Kinnamen’s Murphy is turned from a compelling man of few words and a lot of action into a mind-controlled walking ball of Meh. Potential was there for some real drama about coping with newly formed abilities, remaining a family man whilst also being heavily mechanized, and striving to discover why it feels like he’s not making his own decisions in life. Instead, we get force fed a ton of exposition synced up CGI stock footage and unused shots from Iron Man. As a die-hard fan of the 1980’s Robocop with all its gore, campiness, tongue in cheek dystopian future, and Murphy’s compelling search for his former life, I was greatly disappointed in this, as Mel Brooks would say, “Search for More Money!”
I know what you’re thinking…. how in the hell did I get suckered into reading one of Steve’s rants again and why does the title and picture of Charlie Hunnam’s chiseled handsomeness have literally NOTHING to do with all of this?!?
Fair question, I hope to answer it.
I believe a good, awe inspiring reboot is within our grasp, it goes by the name of King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. Purely speculation at this point, since all we have is one Comic-Con trailer and a handful of interviews, most of them stating SOA’s Charlie Hunnam’s desire to throw down with Superman and Captain Boomerang to see who would earn the role of a young, streetwise, bare-knuckle boxing Arthur.
At the helm of this new take on the classic Arthurian legend is none other than Guy Ritchie, the warp-minded storyteller who brought us a view of London’s criminal underbelly in Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, as well as the stylish, gritty version of Sherlock Holmes that portrays him crossing fists in Victorian era sewer based fight clubs and stalling World War One. Who better to tell us a story about noble King Arthur? Especially one who grows up without a silver spoon up his ass, working the streets of medieval England until he pulls Excalibur from its sedimentary resting place. Judging by the brief glimpses we get in the trailer, this film looks to be centered in gritty realism with a sprinkling of “Fuck-Dust,” the Guy Ritchie explanation for monsters and magic in his mythology. Much like the first season of Game of Thrones, whom this movie shares a good number of themes and actors, (Aiden Gillen, Michael McElhatton, etc), I believe audiences will be introduced to the real world of streetwise Arthur and progress into the mystical. Perhaps as the series goes on we can see Jax take down a dragon, but for now I’m satisfied with a prophecy here and a little Jude Law black magic there.
The cast has been quoted on multiple occasions, saying this movie will be what would happen if Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels had a drunken one-night stand with The Lord of the Rings and “that’s a movie they’d like to see.” I, for one, hope to the old gods and the new that it lives up to the hype.
With that, I’ll get to my conclusion and the real reason for all my anger-infused ranting. Hope, in my humble opinion, is one of the defining qualities of the nerd community. We all have franchises and fandoms that we hold dear to our hearts. In my case, its Firefly, Boondock Saints, Harry Potter, and the Dredd sequel I’m still fighting for. So, when announcements are made that films are coming from our beloved fantasies and actors are cast that make us go “WHAT THE FUCK!” (i.e. apologies to Heath Ledger and Ben Affleck) we can get fired up about it and condemn it, but we will never falter. We know that no studio slashed up little movie will ruin what we love about what we want to love, and we will always have hope that maybe, just maybe, those involved will do us and our favorite characters justice. Suicide Squad is a major disappointment to me, but I won’t let (rhymes with) Horner Mothers stop me from enjoying characters like The Joker and Captain Boomerang. I’m even game for more of what Jared Leto can do with the character when he is free to do what he does best and isn’t reduced to cutting room floor scraps. Does that make me a victim of those who only use these reboots and remakes to slip hard earned money from my wallet? Maybe. Will I one day not want to watch any more movies that comes out of a certain studio even if it features one of my favorite characters? Also maybe.
Will I ever stop being a nerd and loving whatever the damn hell I wish to love? Fuck no! Burn the canon, boil the story… you can’t take the nerd from me!