Even in an increasingly risk averse Hollywood, a reboot that doesn’t even change the lead actor is a new low
We live in an era in which original films are a rarity. Only one of them, Gravity, made it into the top ten highest grossing films of 2013. Studios have become very reluctant to risk money on new concepts, and as a result sequels, prequels, remakes, reboots and adaptations reign.
I genuinely thought we’d reached the nadir of this trend with the Amazing Spider Man. It was a soulless and unimaginative project, made to seem all the lamer by the fact it was released just five years after the final film in the series it was supposed to be rebooting. All of which seemed to justify the suspicion that this was a film made solely to prevent rights to Spiderman reverting from Sony to Marvel. However, rebooting the Terminator films seems like an even greater waste of time and money.
Which is not to say I don’t like the original Terminator films – I’d give the first two 5 stars without a second thought. But that’s precisely the problem. With such good source material, it is hard to see what the new films will add. Alan Taylor seems like a good director and the magnificent Emilia Clarke has been cast as Sarah Connor. But the originals had an excellent director and a formidable Sarah Connor. These decision as good as they are – don’t indicate that Terminator: Genesis be adding much value.
The first year economics student in me finds the idea of spending hundreds of millions of dollars to make a film with Arnie playing the T-800 when we already have two greats ones to be hideously inefficient. Why not just re-release the originals?
That’s a semi-serious suggestion on my part. We often see films reissued with the justification of some kind of technical change. For example, 3D of films we see or the Star Wars special editions that introduced me to the trilogy. And before videos and DVDs became popular, popular films would often have multiple runs.
So if Hollywood is not prepared to risk making more original films, why not save the massive expense of making generally inferior remakes/reboots and at say 10/15 year intervals re-release classic films.
Update (07/07/2015): I’ve now seen the film and actually I liked it and thought it justified its existence. You can read my review here.