Why We Need More Movies Like “Dredd” and Less Origin Movie Reboots.
I started thinking about this before but it really hit home when my wife declared to me from the other room that “Hey! Did you know they are going to make a Fantastic Four Reboot?” It happened when I heard the news about the new spiderman movie… I felt it again when I saw the obviously reboot telling of Superman’s boyhood when I watched a trailer for Man of Steel. I felt a repulsion… (not a cool one like Tony Stark’s repulsors either…) “reboots” just about send a shiver of bile up my throat anymore. Not because they are all bad either. I eventually saw “The Amazing Spider-man” and really, I didn’t hate it as much as I thought I would. Who didn’t like Batman Begins? (And if you didn’t? Well you wouldn’t have had The Dark Knight without it.) So I don’t think that reboots are always bad movies. I didn’t think we should see a reboot of “Hulk” but I actually do prefer “The Incredible Hulk” to its predecessor. So, for the record, the movies themselves can often be a good idea but… here’s the problem as I see it, if we keep throwing it out every five years? What are we going to end up with?
Listen, I’m going to be 35 in March and I’ve already seen two versions of Batman (three if you count the Adam West Movie). I’ve seen them do a soft reboot on the X-men. I’ve seen at least two versions of the Hulk, three if you think that the Hulk in “Avengers” was a reboot, and four if you include the made for TV movies with Bixby. See where I’m going with this? Now I’ll even grant that recasts have to happen, but… do we always have to start over? Why do I have to see a retelling of the origin every 10 years? That doesn’t make any sense! When I look on IMDB when I’m 60 will I find 8 Spider-man movies where half of them retread the origin story? (will Ben Parker have to die 3 times?) Will I see 9 Superman movies with 3 reboots?
Now let me tell you about the best re-intro movie that I’ve seen in a good long time. Dredd. Why? What was so awesome about it?! It was a good story, plain and simple. OK, maybe this only works with Dredd, but we don’t worry so much about origins with him. We get a quick narration over the beginning of the movie to explain the setting and then boom, we meet Dredd as the action unfolds. The movie is not bogged down in another way to explain how and why a spider bite turns Peter Parker into Spider-man. In fact, the story could have been any futuristic cop story it didn’t have to be Dredd, but the fact that it was made it that much cooler.
So stop telling us how it started, get on with it. The Avengers was a good movie whether you saw all the individual Marvel Character movies leading up to it or not! It didn’t matter that we may not know all of the back-stories. The audience was smart enough to get over the fact that there might be gaps and they enjoyed it anyhow. If you spend the time to tell a good story then you won’t need to bog us down in needing to know all of that back-story.
While I agree… we NEED a better Doctor Doom. I don’t know if retelling the story is the best answer. If I had any say in a new Fantastic Four Movie? I’d start in a world that already has the Fantastic Four… where they are in the midst of a ticker tape parade style celebrity moment and the action hits. The plot would start and we’d figure things out along the way, and if we needed to go into the origin AGAIN? I’d prefer to reveal the origin story quickly via flash back.
I think that’s where “All New X-men” (a Marvel Comic Book Title that has brought the original first class of X-men into the present to meet themselves in what seems to be a drastically changed reality) is likely doing it right. They have decades of material, they couldn’t possibly get that all in. So they have to give us the cliff notes version and reveal a little more as time goes along. Good storytelling wouldn’t necessarily show us the entire plot at the beginning anyhow. Unless you WANT these movies to remain predictable and formulaic? ME? I’m ready for new stories, not the ones I’ve already seen. (But go ahead and Reboot “Reboot”… cuz let’s face it, that would just be funny)
edited now with 75% less ellipses!