6 Superb Sequels to Reboots

Chris Tilly
Movies Batman
Movies Batman Sci-Fi DC

With Jurassic World: Forbidden Kingdom receiving positive reviews and grossing a fortune at the global box office, we’re taking a look back at the best sequels to reboots. Including TV shows that successfully made the leap to celluloid. Speaking of which…

22 Jump Street

The movie reboot of 21 Jump Street surprised everyone by being pretty great. In choosing to gently mock the original concept — of cops going undercover at a high school — the film struck comedy gold, with Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill making a hilarious crimefighting duo, and original stars Johnny Depp and Peter DeLuise bringing the house down with cameos at the end. Expectations were therefore pretty high for the sequel, which found the pair indulging in Spring Break to take down a drug ring. It didn’t quite match the original for laughs, but was still one of the funniest films of 2014, thanks to that dynamic central duo, a scene-stealing turn from Jillian Bell, and a fantastic end-credits sequence revolving around a bunch of fictional sequels.

Ocean’s Thirteen

Matt Damon, George Clooney and Brad Pitt in Ocean's Thirteen.

Ocean’s Eleven was a pretty perfect reboot, replacing the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. with George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon. Giving them a superior storyline. And having Steven Soderbergh direct with icy cool panache and style. Ocean’s Twelve was not great, being an almighty smug-fest that reached a series low when Julia Roberts’ character posed as Julia Roberts. But the franchise got back on track with Ocean’s Thirteen, which pitted the crew against Al Pacino’s wily Willy Bank. As scripted by Billions creators Brian Koppelman and David Levien, it’s maybe the smartest of the Ocean’s flicks, meaning Danny and co. went out on a high.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Matthew Vaughn did a great job rebooting the X-Men franchise by documenting various X-origins in First Class. Bryan Singer then wrestled back the reins for Days of Future Past, and while it might not be the best of the X-movies, it does feature some of the series’ best moments. The Sentinels make somewhat disappointing villains, but the time travel aspect allows screenwriter Simon Kinberg to have fun with the timeline, while having only cameoed in the last film, it’s a blast watching Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine share the screen with James McAvoy’s Professor X and Michael Fassbender’s Magneto. And it’s a lot better than the Apocalypse that followed.

Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol

The Mission: Impossible franchise started out sensational with Brian De Palma’s action-packed entry in 1996, and has pretty much gone from strength-to-strength ever since, with the likes of John Woo, J.J. Abrams and Christopher McQuarrie all making their mark from the director’s chair. But we’re picking Brad Bird’s Ghost Protocol as the best of the bunch. The film’s plot is filled with twists and turns that destroy the Kremlin, send a nuclear missile towards San Francisco, and leave IMF out in the cold. But the highlight is unquestionably that incredible action sequence that kicks off atop Burj Khalifa, ends in a dust storm, and leaves the audience as breathless as the characters onscreen.

War for the Planet of the Apes

After the false start of Tim Burton’s 2001 effort, Planet of the Apes has managed to reboot right. Rise set things up in dramatic fashion as the search for an Alzheimer’s cure disease results in the release of a catastrophic virus that kills much of humanity while at the same time making apes intelligent. Dawn expanded the mythology in intelligent, heartbreaking fashion, the battle between man and ape kicking off proper. And best of the bunch War documented the terrible fallout from that conflict, with Caesar and his good apes doing battle with a rogue military faction and their bad apes. Though as ever with this franchise, it isn’t that simple, your sympathies switching throughout the movie as it builds towards a conclusion that’s as filled with tragedy as it is hope.

The Dark Knight

Heath Ledger's Joker messing with Christian Bale's Batman.

Batman Begins was a terrific reboot, but also little more than a curtain-raiser for the main event, namely The Dark Knight. Christopher Nolan’s superhero opus managed to be thrilling, terrifying and thought-provoking all at once, tackling the ‘War on Terror’ via a comic book flick, and managing to be hugely entertaining in the process. The carefully choreographed action was spectacular, while Wally Pfister’s cinematography helped make it the best looking superhero movie yet. But the main reason it’s an all-timer is Heath Ledger’s Joker. Mixing comedy and horror, it’s hard to watch his unhinged take on the character, yet you can’t look away from the genius onscreen. His performance won Ledger a posthumous Oscar, and makes The Dark Knight not just the best sequel to a reboot, but also the greatest superhero movie of all-time.

Chris Tilly
FANDOM Managing Editor in the UK. At this point my life is a combination of 1980s horror movies, Crystal Palace football matches, and episodes of I'm Alan Partridge. The first series. When he was in the travel tavern. Not the one after.
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