The World of Remakes, Sequels, Re-branding etc.

So in the last couple of weeks I’ve been to see three films that, on paper are all very different, but all share one common trait.  They all fall under the shroud that covers Hollywood, commonly identified as unoriginal content; specifically based on old franchises.

As three existing franchises trying to re-brand/reboot/expand/sequel themselves, Jurassic World, Mr Holmes and Terminator Genisys all manage to achieve very different outcomes… and not necessarily for the best.

So let’s start with Jurassic World; fourteen years after the rather disappointing Jurassic Park 3 Colin Trevorrow (don’t recognize the name? I didn’t either) has been charged with once again, creating a dinosaur based theme park (despite the last attempt being a HUGE success…[facepalm]).  But all is well in Jurassic World; the park has been introducing new species for years and is now a well established theme park where dinosaurs are now once again, a thing of the past and so to keep kids entertained, they make an even more dangerous and crazy dinosaur to peak their interest which breaks out and does the usual Jurassic Park esque thing, maiming customers etc… a little like another certain theme park at the moment which probably wasn’t the best of timing.

But you know what, it does it well. It’s nothing overly new and groundbreaking but the characters are solid (most of them anyway) it has nods to the previous film in a nice nostalgia way and the spectacle at the end, whilst probably super unrealistic, is a good watch.  My only real and big problem for the movie is that it left some plot for a sequel that, and do be honest, do we really need?  Maybe if it got away from the theme park (no not Mr T-Rex Godzilla-ering through New York after someone told him he was gonna have to “Get on that plane fool!”) and explored the rest of the world and possibilities behind dinosaurs being integrated into society.  Imagine James Bond trying to break into a facility guarded by Velociraptors?  Not that WOULD be sweet!

I’ll leave you with that thought and move onto Mr Holmes which explores what life as the worlds number one detective would be like once you’ve retired, and it’s not as dull as it sounds.  With multiple timelines crossing over themselves and Ian McKellen and his make-up team acting through his various ages with surprising elegance; this film really does do a good job of telling a story already told a hundred times and still keeps you interested.  The big surprise out of this was that it was directed by Bill Condon, the same Bill Condon that was lumped (I can’t imagine he volunteered) with directing the last two parts of the Twilight Saga.

This film also explores what a Holmes prodigy would be like in the form of his house keeper’s son, who admires and idols Holmes to the point where the usually obnoxious Homes is the one with the manners.

Unlike Jurassic World, Mr Holmes doesn’t set up a sequel, (if they made one it will be terrible) which I like, a closed ending to an enjoyable exploration of a beloved character.

Finally, after my initial thoughts towards Terminator Genisys were very, VERY skeptical, after the previous two films being rather good I took a gamble and hoped, a lot, that it would be good.

Good is not the word I was left thinking afterwards.  In fact the best I can do is say it was fun if you don’t actually think about any of the stuff going on.

What starts out rather promising, with battles in the future, time travel, reliving scenes from The Terminator from a different angle and seeing our femme fatale being the one doing the rescuing; all was looking good.  Then what seemed to happen was that the writers, happy with the work so far, ate a whole bag of Haribo Starmix each and finished the script on a sugar high.

With action scenes being about as grounded as an alpaca in space, monologues and dialogue scenes awkwardly shuffled through, a self aware Skynet that we never feel threatened by (oooh, it can close CERTAIN doors…), a terrible casting choice and a ridiculous ending that simply ignores any and all mantras that the previous installments set up, (don’t even get me started on their marketing campaign or what in the world they’ve done to the theories of time travel that the previous worked by).  It, well, was rather a disappointment once, as I said, I started to actually think about it and stop hoping it would get better if I willed it to be.

And yet, out of all three of these films, it had the most material to work with, a different element of the franchise we hadn’t seen before, fine actors and actresses (save one), a (in my opinion) brilliant director and a writing crew who love the franchise, so what went wrong?  I mean really, come on guys.  It’s films like this that make me feel bad for those that do get the reboot treatment and are shunned before they’re even out of the door.

And yet, in me writing this review and watching the film, they’ve got my money and publicity about the film, so in their eyes it’s time to green-light Terminator Countdown… (get it, because they couldn’t spell Genisys….AHAHAHA!) [falls off chair]

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