If you’ve been on this blog, there’s a chance that you’ve seen my tagline: Loving Originality. Well, I realized that it’s a pretty general statement, so I figured I’d explain what I mean by it.
Today, so many big budget movies are released. But a lot of times, it’s difficult to differentiate between any of them. There is a popular idea that The Rock is the same in every one of his movies these days (those three pictures are from three different movies). That’s because he always seems to star in action movies where he’s the hero. This is just one small thing that shows a lack of original ideas that are being made into popular movies.
There are so many movies that come out these days that don’t show the audience anything new. It’s why we get so many reboots, remakes, and sequels that just aren’t any good. But the problem is that those make money. If they didn’t make money, then studios wouldn’t keep greenlighting them.
Now this isn’t to say that every remake, reboot, or sequel is terrible and shouldn’t happen. But I want to be shown something that I haven’t seen before. In the last year alone, I have seen a great movie come out of each one of these categories. I’ve talked about it on this blog before, but the remake of IT was extremely well done. The entire rebooted Planet of the Apes trilogy has been much better than anyone could have expected, largely thanks to Andy Serkis as Caesar. Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Infinity War have both been commercial and critical hits.
IT did a good job of staying faithful to the original story and source material, but at the same time, it was different. It showed us something new by making use of the new technology and the special effects and lighting and camera work were all original. But most importantly, Pennywise himself was different from the original IT. He had his own interpretation that was different and new.
War for the Planet of the Apes held so much tension throughout the whole movie. It even adds a large amount of character depth to the type of character you wouldn’t think would be able to have depth: an ape. And that’s what makes it unique and original. It brings something new and different to a well-known franchise. Each movie in this new trilogy brought something exciting and unexpected.
Ragnarok and Infinity War took characters that audiences already know very well and put them in new circumstances that we’ve never seen them in before. That’s the perfect way to do a sequel. We already know the characters, so now change the environment around them and make it interesting.
So it’s really not the fact that a movie is a remake, reboot, or sequel that makes it bad.
Instead, it’s when a movie like this is made and it’s very poorly done, or just overall unneeded. Justice League is a sequel to a couple of movies that almost no one liked. And it falls prey to some big problems. It cares more about spectacle than story.
The Mummy (2017) was very poorly received. This is a reboot of a franchise that was only ever mediocre in the first place. It brings in star power with Tom Cruise, but not much else beyond that. And that’s part of the problem. People don’t flock to see certain movie stars the way they used to. The onscreen product actually has to be good for it to work.
Murder on the Orient Express is a remake that banked on star power and direction. But those didn’t work out the way the filmmakers intended. This isn’t a terrible movie, by any means, but it’s certainly very bland. Even if you haven’t seen the original and don’t know the ending, when the case is solved, it’s really not as satisfying as you’d hope.
These sets of movies show that remakes, reboots, and sequels can be done very well, but also very poorly. I chose these types of movies to demonstrate my point because they make up a large chunk of the movies coming out these days. But let’s, as audiences, reward movies that are original. Let’s see movies about topics we’ve never seen before. Let’s show filmmakers that we want to see something new, and not just the same kinds of things that we’ve seen over and over again.
Let’s love originality.