Your childhood is safe – Jumanji 2 trailer thoughts
Your childhood is safe! Another day results in another reboot that has fans fearing for their favourite franchise. In this instance it isn’t even out yet but the trailer for Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle has got people worried.
For those of you who haven’t seen it I suggest that you do before reading the rest of this article as I am about to spoil it. So the “twist” with this version of Jumanji is that it is a video game and that the heroes take on avatars including The Rock, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Karen Gillan. Personally I like this as a concept; the high school students fit various stock characters (self obsessed pretty girl, introvert girl, shy guy and jock) but then are switched when they take on the different personas in the game. So this may sound cheesy but then the original is also cheesy albeit in a different way.
However a change in tone isn’t necessarily bad. For example I love Sonic Satam (aka the second Sonic cartoon) for its darker tone and message but by the same token I like the goofy, knockabout style of recent CGI incarnation Sonic Boom. What worries me is the disproportionate reaction; a reboot or remake does not take away an original. The reboot of the Ghostbusters did not take away my love of the toys, cartoon, Game Boy game or the original films. Personally I thought it was okay, neither brilliant nor was it the terrible abomination some made it out to be. If you don’t like the remake or reboot that’s fine. On principle I don’t want to watch the Robocop remake because that’s personal to me. But I know that this is totally subjective and it’s more to do with the fact I would be unable to switch off.
This isn’t exclusive to reboots. I found a similar frustrating experience when watching Die Hard 4.0 (aka Live Free or Die Hard). Essentially it felt like a cover version of the previous entries in the franchise. I can’t say it was a bad film (the villain Timothy Olyphant has a brilliant moment debunking an action cliché) but the frustration comes when you know something better exists. But here is the thing, people still make jokes about Die Hard being a Christmas film, Jumanji will still be a great film and Ghostbusters is still going to mainly tap into the original and the cartoon (even Ghostbusters 2 doesn’t get that much attention outside of “it’s not as bad as you think” arguments).
I would argue a lot of the time it’s less to do with the film itself and more to do with the memories of the time. I remember playing my Game Boy, writing ‘Robocop’ on the side of my supersoaker and coming up with stories I wrote on bits of paper after watching cartoons. More importantly if you don’t want reboots, remakes or inferior sequels the simple solution is not watching them. On top of that go outside your comfort zone; find new films, support indie creators or go to special screenings at local independent cinemas.
I’m not saying reject Hollywood completely, if there is something mainstream you want to see that’s fine and there is nothing wrong with enjoying it. But just know the odds are the thing you enjoy might well be something ruining someone else’s “childhood”. In short; your memories should be a positive thing. Instead of moaning about the inferior version, show them the better version and explain why it’s better!
RIP Barry Norman. For Americans there were Siskel and Ebert. For British people (who could stay up late enough/record it) there was Film (Insert date). While others have since filled the chair (Jonathon Ross, Claudia Winkleman et al), Barry Norman was similar to Siskel and Ebert in that he had a real presence. You may not have always agreed with his opinions but they were delivered in a straightforward, unfussy way. Most importantly you could tell like the best critics that he loved films and was passionate talking about them. Don’t get me wrong there are great critics out there (I have talked about them in a previous article) but he was one of the best. RIP Barry Norman, hope they’re showing something good up there!