Everything old is new again in the cinema for 2015. Throughout my life-long dedication of movie going, I have not come across a particular year that it seems hardly a week will pass by that a planned remake, sequel or reboot (as the Hollywood suits like to call them) is unleashed across the silver screen.
‘Taken 3’ starts the ball rolling but Liam Neeson reprising his ex-CIA operative action man Bryan Mills, supposedly for the final time, is only the tip of the iceberg. Unbelievably other than multiple obvious blockbusters such as the latest James Bond spy adventure, there are more than a few sequels and remakes due that may either fall into the unnecessary basket, a box office cash-in or, ‘Really, there is a remake of that?’
The definition of a reboot in movie terms is either a classic or acknowledged cult favourite being changed for a modern audience or given negative acknowledgement to the original to start again to gain a new generation of fans. Thing is, the older fans know the original which is usually the best and give no support. This year Peter Pan is being resurrected with Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard, Snoopy returns in a Peanuts comic strip animated feature, well loved Rudyard Kipling tale Jungle Book will get a high profile Disney revival and Terminator Genysis, which by all accounts uses elements of James Cameron’s origins taking assassin cyborgs to the current society. Can’t wait.
The most surprising reboot is a new National Lampoons Vacation movie that will focus on son of Clark, young Randy Griswald all grown up taking his own family on a misadventure to amusement park Wally World where his father, played by Chevy Chase reprising his role here, took him in the 1983 original. Aussie Chris Hemsworth is also in the cast so it will sure gain interest.
It’s almost ridiculous when it comes to sequels throughout 2015, I have a hard time thinking they may all be hits or actually good movies but full admiration goes to some of the titles and the changes made to formula in order to tweak the storyline. Jurassic World is such a premise where according to the thrilling trailer, dinosaurs return to wreak havoc in a water park resembling sea world. Unlike the similar Jaws 3, this looks as if it could be fantastic in 3D.
With too many to name, other sequels due that will excite many include Fast & Furious 7 (featuring the late Paul Walker who died during production), Ted 2 (sex crazed teddy bear and best mate Mark Wahlberg continue obscenities), Paranormal Activity 5 (found footage home security camera ghost horror, this time in 3D), Magic Mike 2 (or XXL for obvious reasons) or Avengers 2: Age of Ultron and Mission Impossible 5.
A sequel of a reboot is even being released, Friday the 13th Part 2 brings hockey masked madman Jason Voorhees back, it is a character even fans don’t need to see returning. Star Wars Episode 7 will no doubt be the most globally anticipated sequel of them all. When the teaser trailer was released online, talk cranked up about the images which mixed classic Star Wars with new unknown characters. Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher return in their respective roles of Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia so there’s some priceless casting for the purists. Set a decade after events of Return of the Jedi, it will be unavoidable to not hear about it come late 2015 before the blanket December release, again I can’t wait.
Best Marigold Hotel, Hot Tub Time Machine and Pitch Perfect all receive a second coming this year due to quality box office success as does Paul Blart Mall Cop. Head-scratching to think that Blart 2 will gain any real audience, but after huge core success in the home video market it seems Sony thought the 2009 would-be comedy deserved a sequel.
Most remakes set for 2015 are eye-opening in my opinion having me either confused or hesitant to sit down and view. From personal favourite Point Break (now with extreme sport bank robbing enthusiasts), Poltergeist (one of the great ghost films) and Day of the Triffids (absolute classic 1950’s paranoia sci-fi) that will have enhanced environmental themes, I’ll see them with an open mind but a locked memory.
One of the biggest Australian iconic characters returns in what we are told is a reboot but to me looks like an updated remake of The Road Warrior Mad Max 2. Raw excitement and awesome apocalyptic dusty car chases seem to occupy Mad Max Fury Road. This is Part 4 but unfortunately does not follow on from Beyond Thunderdome and stars British actor as Max Rockatansky. I’m ok with that because he is a magnificent method actor and bald co-star Charlize Theron looks equal to his aggressiveness so bring it on.
Believe it or not, there are more relics being revisited I simply don’t have space to list in 2015. Adding to a few I have not mentioned is an unlikely Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon sequel, Alvin & the Chipmunks 4 and inevitable hit, the Hunger Games finale Mockingjay Part 2, just to name a few.
Really, as a cinema obsessed individual, I am certainly OK with returning to old favourites but it also gets me more excited to see a film I know absolutely nothing about or a story so unique I can’t look away. On the other hand, if there was a Highlander reboot, I’ll be first in line.
Shane A. Bassett