When a reboot is announced, many moviegoers decry Hollywood of being unoriginal and out of ideas. Why return to a well that’s been played out when you could just try something new? But that viewpoint is somewhat limited. Every once in a while, filmmakers can take old material and put a refreshing new spin on it, generating interest in a once fading brand. Here are Screen Rant’s 5 great reboots that were better than the original movies.
Mad Max: Fury Road
George Miller’s Mad Max franchise always scored well with the critics, but 2015’s Fury Road was on a whole other level. The reboot was one of the best reviewed films of the year and was seen as a game changer for the way action movies should be made. It was also nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. That’s quite an achievement for what was once thought of as an R-rated niche flick and not much else. In addition, it had an impressive run at the box office, paving the way for more sequels set in the post-apocalyptic wasteland.
Lots of viewers love Sylvester Stallone, but there weren’t too many fans of the action legend’s take on Judge Dredd. Critically panned and a flop financially, the comic book adaptation killed a franchise before it truly began. It took years for someone to try to revive it, and in 2012, Dredd came out. The reboot was seen as an innovative use of 3D and a film that did supreme justice to the source material. Karl Urban won many people over with his dedicated performance, which included never removing the helmet. While Dredd was a critical smash, it bombed at the box office, meaning the sequel is a no-go.
Getting a bunch of smooth criminals together to rob casinos is a great premise, but the 1960 version of Ocean’s Eleven didn’t strike a chord with moviegoers, who found it to be disappointing and boring. Over 50 years later, Steven Soderbergh assembled a team of Hollywood A-listers to try it again, and the results were much more successful. Critics praised the remake for being slick, breezy entertainment, and audiences basked in the chemistry between the stars. The response to Ocean’s Eleven warranted the release of two sequels, creating a trilogy of capers that the original could only dream of.
The original Star Trek TV series is one for the ages, but the first Trek movie left a lot to be desired. Its sequels were marked improvements, but the brand truly didn’t get a new lease on life until J.J. Abrams’ 2009 reboot. Though some were upset by its reliance on action set pieces instead of heady sci-fi, Star Trek brought in a whole new generation of fans while honoring the property’s storied history in an effort to please all. The film even earned a Best Picture nod from the Producer’s Guild of America, a claim that not many popular blockbusters can make.
The Incredible Hulk
While only a marginal step up from Ang Lee’s 2003 take, the MCU canon reboot did prove to be a greater success. Taking the criticisms of the first film to heart, The Incredible Hulk ramped up the action sequences to give fans some smashing set pieces, and Edward Norton delivered a typically great performance as the lead. Box office wise, the film only earned slightly more than the ’03 version, but it earns points for being a solid hit and not killing interest in the character. For all intents and purposes, the green giant was fully integrated into the shared universe, and nobody was complaining.