Hollywood has become an endless pit of reworked material either by completely remaking a well known film or continuing the story years after the original first came out. Remakes have gotten a lot more flack than reboots, mostly because fans expect to see a better version of something they already know and really liked. Dredging up blockbusters from the past has been very lucrative in the box office in many genres, especially in action films. As a somewhat dying genre many of action’s best stars came back to the big screen to reprise their most famous roles or the whole thing was simply redone, creating the best action movie remakes and reboots.
The story of Godzilla has been told again and again across movies and television but 1998’s Godzilla starring Matthew Broderick, Jean Reno and Hank Azaria was done pretty well with late ’90s technology. 2014’s remake of Godzilla was met with quite a bit of criticism, but it is all in all a good film. Like a true action movie it jumps right into the intensity and moves along quickly, and in a turn of events puts Godzilla on the side of the humans. And no one can deny that in the moment that Godzilla gets up and lumbers off after his epic battle with the MUTOs we are all cheering for The King of Monsters.
8. The Amazing Spider-Man
Tobey McGuire had a good run as the web-spinning superhero but by the third movie, the whole thing had turned into a joke and after a five year hiatus, Spider-Man was reworked. With Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker The Amazing Spider-Man was received very well by fans and critics even though many thought five years was too short of a time span for a reboot. While the first reboot went well by re-imagining the origin story and introducing Gwen Stacy, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 received the worst criticisms yet. Now Marvel is working alongside Sony Pictures to once again reboot the franchise for the third time.
7. Walking Tall
Based on a true story of a small-town man who takes over as sheriff to rid the town of crime and corruption, there was no one better to believably kick the crap out of sleezy crime lords than Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. His 2004 remake of the 1973 original proved he really is a wrestler who can act and provides all the best basics of an action movie from one liners, to extreme beat downs, and of course explosions.
6. Die Hard
Die Hard is in a specific group of action franchises that have continued to be idolized from when the action genre was at its peak. Bruce Willis first took his turn as John McClane in 1988 and reprised the role in 1990 and 1995 before bringing him back, as great as ever in 2007 with Live Free or Die Hard and again in 2013 with A Good Day to Die Hard. The ridiculousness of the stunts pulled off along with the endless gun fights and John McClane’s classic threats brought us all right back to the ’90s of action movie heyday.
5. Planet of the Apes
The 1968 original and its sequel still constitute as really good cinema but given the advancements in film making technology and the science-fiction plot, there was no doubt that someone was going to tackle this story again. 2001’s Planet of the Apes starring Mark Wahlberg took a twist on the timeline of the original story and while not everyone was a fan of that remake, it was a highly entertaining sci-fi action flick. It didn’t take long for another to be made, Rise of the Planet of the Apes in 2011 and again with a whole new take on the story this remake was arguably better than 2001’s, but with much less action.
Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman and Batman Returns starring Michael Keaton as the caped crusader are still loved by fans and considered cult classics regardless of the cheesiness. Things did get a little weird when Val Kilmer and then George Clooney became Bruce Wayne, but fans could not get enough when Christian Bale along with Christopher Nolan revamped the franchise in 2005. Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, began the endless resurrection of almost every superhero from both Marvel and DC Comics and also opened up a huge new fanbase of superhero followers. Breaking box office records and pulling in tons of money, Ben Affleck has huge shoes to fill as the latest actor to take on the iconic role.
Sylvester Stallone along with Arnold Schwarzenegger always come to mind when the quintessential action hero is thought of and after a odd comeback as Rocky in Rocky Balboa in 2006, Stallone brought back his other most iconic character, John Rambo. 20 years after his last turn as Rambo, Stallone was back and the results were surprisingly awesome. 2008’s Rambo may be the best of the series, but only for those who can handle it, as the extreme violence was not handled well by sensitive viewers of today, but for fans of the franchise it was everything a Rambo movie was supposed to be.
2. James Bond
Much like Christian Bale as Batman, Daniel Craig relaunched a whole new fanbase for the James Bond franchise when he took over with a license to kill in 2006’s Casino Royale. The following films, Quantum of Solace and Skyfall received some of the best critical acclaims of the long and storied franchise, making it one of the most successful reboots to date. What makes the success of this reboot even more impressive is the love fans had for other Bonds including Sean Connery, Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan and even that didn’t stop them from pouring praise on Craig.
1. Star Trek
Star Trek has seen many television series and many movies with Star Trek: The Motion Picture hitting the big screen in 1979. After Shatner had his theatrical run with the Enterprise, Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard took his turn and in 2009 the original crew was recreated with maybe the best reboot casting yet. With J.J. Abrams at the helm of the film and Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto at the helm of the Enterprise as Captain Kirk and Commander Spock, not only were Star Trek fans everywhere impressed, but a whole new generation was opened up to the amazing franchise that was previously passed off as “uncool” or “nerdy.” Hail the nerds then, because this franchise reboot was amazing.