The 1980s and ‘90s were the epitome of the ‘Hollywood Blockbuster’ Some would also say that Hollywood peaked during the ‘80s and ‘90s and what has followed since then has been a sad attempt to recreate the same magic while the original IPs take the backseat and reboots mint billions at the box office. The movie business might be littered with reboots and franchises as of now which can also be seen in the Indian film industry with the likes of the Cop Universe or the LCU, but there are some reboots which actually manage to hit the right spot. Beloved classics have turned to money spinners and that’s the world we’re living in right now but that does not take away the merit of some actually good reboot films.
So, here is a look at some of the best film reboots from the ‘80s and the ‘90s –
1. The 1980s: Ghostbusters (2016)
Okay, hear me out! I understand the 2016 Female-led Ghostbusters film did not impress a lot of people but we cannot deny that it was actually fun! The original “Ghostbusters” from 1984 is a beloved classic that defined the comedy genre for a generation. When the decision was made to create a reboot in 2016, it was met with both excitement and scepticism. The reboot, featuring an all-female cast led by Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones, took the spirit of the original and gave it a contemporary twist. While it faced its share of criticism, it introduced a new generation to the paranormal-hunting antics of the Ghostbusters while offering a fresh take on the story, complete with updated special effects and a unique comedic tone.
2. The 1990s: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)
The Rock’s ‘Smoldering Intensity’ was enough to make this reboot a winner for me! “Jumanji,” originally released in 1995, was a family adventure film starring Robin Williams. It enchanted audiences with its magical board game that brought the jungle to life. In 2017, “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” emerged as a modern reboot with a video game twist. Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, and Jack Black took the reins in this action-packed and humour-filled adventure, creating a fresh narrative while paying homage to the late Robin Williams. The film’s clever approach to the concept of video games and body-swapping added a new layer of humour and excitement for both new and old fans.
3. The 1980s: Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
“Mad Max” was a post-apocalyptic film franchise that began in the late ‘70s and continued into the ‘80s, with Mel Gibson playing the titular role. In 2015, “Mad Max: Fury Road” reimagined the world of Max Rockatansky with Tom Hardy as the new Max. This reboot, directed by George Miller (the creator of the original series), retained the gritty, high-octane spirit of the originals while introducing a new generation to the wild, chaotic, and visually stunning world of “Mad Max.” The film was celebrated for its practical effects and daring stunts, earning critical acclaim and becoming a hit at the box office.
4. The 1990s: Jurassic World (2015)
“Jurassic Park,” directed by Steven Spielberg and released in 1993, was a groundbreaking film that brought dinosaurs back to life on the big screen. Over two decades later, “Jurassic World” reignited the franchise, transporting us to the fully operational dinosaur theme park on Isla Nublar. With a new cast led by Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, the film combined nostalgia with thrilling action and the awe-inspiring spectacle of prehistoric creatures. The film was a box office sensation and breathed new life into the Jurassic Park series. Too bad, the third entry in the Jurassic World franchise failed as a cohesive film even with the original cast returning!
5. The 1990s: IT (2017)
Stephen King’s “IT,” originally adapted into a TV miniseries in 1990, is a classic horror story featuring the terrifying clown, Pennywise. The 2017 film adaptation, directed by Andy Muschietti, brought the story to a new generation. Bill Skarsgård’s portrayal of Pennywise captivated audiences, and the film successfully captured the eerie and unsettling atmosphere of King’s novel. With its skilful blend of nostalgia and modern horror, “IT” was a critical and commercial hit, ensuring that the tale of the Losers’ Club and Pennywise continued to haunt the nightmares of moviegoers.
There is a reason why we call blockbuster films from the ‘80s and ‘90s as ‘Classics’ They carry an essence which cannot be recreated no matter how many reboots are launched. However, the younger generation requires independent representation which these reboots bring. I hope with time reboots stop being pure cash grabs and put some value to their classic counterparts