2015 was the year that a number of beloved movie franchises made their return after many years and, in some cases, decades away. But which were the movies that got fanboys pumped and the box office singing, and which ones made you wish you could wipe your memory of them?
Geek Crusade assesses the beloved movie franchises that came back in 2015, and gives you our verdict on which one won the day.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Not seen since: 2005
Has there ever been a more highly anticipated movie? The first direct sequel to a Star Wars movie since 1985, the movie didn’t just awaken the Force – it roused millions of fanboys (and girls) starved of their favourite characters, who are still flocking to the cinemas in droves. At last count, The Force Awakens has made almost US$700 million around the world, shattering one box-office record after another – and it’s only been out for a week.
Much has been written about how TFA rips off Star Wars: A New Hope, how Rey is a Mary Sue, how J.J. Abrams did nothing more than remix the original movie…but it doesn’t take away from the fact that TFA is a highly enjoyable movie that hits you directly in the feels. As Commando Geek Wong Jun Heng says – TFA was a very safe movie. But no one particularly cared.
And as we said in our movie review, after the trauma of the prequels, nobody wanted anything too original. And while we got all our favourites in Han, Luke and Leia back, we also got a new trio to root for: Rey, Finn and Poe Dameron. Once the original gang are fully out of the picture, they will carry the franchise forward for many years to come.
Not seen since: 2001
Now, just where have I seen it all before? A theme park on a faraway island with dinosaurs running amok, an eccentric billionaire behind it all, a leading man whose warnings about meddling with the laws of nature go unheard, two young (ish) kids in peril, a leading duo who come to the rescue…
It all amounts to a remake of Jurassic Park (1993), with new actors and bigger and better5 dinos. In all honesty, the movie would not work without
Star-Lord Chris Pratt, who brings a rugged charisma to proceedings. And while having him as the Dino Whisperer is eyebrow-raising, it somehow works – all the chills and scares and fun of the original are right there.
See our Jurassic World review
Mad Max: Fury Road
by Cinemaniac Diana Othman
Not seen since: 1985
What Fury Road has going for it that the other revivals don’t is actual narrative muscle and a new story that doesn’t feel recycled. While The Force Awakens and Jurassic World relies heavily on similar antics and tropes from past installments, Fury Road manages to be faithful to the original trilogy of road action movies, while still telling a compelling story with contemporary relevance.
For instance, female characters were once sidelined – portrayed as mere damsels in distress or caricatures of evil in the earlier Mad Max movies. But in Fury Road, they are just as tough, resourceful, and complex, particularly Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa. Ours is also an environmentally-conscious era so while gasoline or petrol was coveted by the characters in the 70’s and 80’s movies, water becomes the most precious commodity.
And let’s not forget the explosive action sequences that are 100 times madder and more exciting! Simply put, Fury Road gets with the times, which makes the other revivals look like they’re still stuck in the past.
See our Mad Max: Fury Road review
Not seen since: 2009
Yet another case of a beloved franchise trying desperately to recapture the old magic – and failing miserably. All that timey-wimey time travel stuff gave the producers the perfect excuse to wipe out the events of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) and Terminator: Salvation (2009), and start from scratch.
Despite the presence of the Governator and a (strangely subdued) Khaleesi in Emilia Clarke, everything just feels…flat. Sure, the John Connor twist (unnecessarily given away in the trailers) is intriguing. Sure, Ahnuld is still awesome, if not quite as physically imposing as before. And sure, the CGI is even more impressive than in T2.
But it all just feels like a re-gifted Christmas gift in shiny new packaging: once you tear away the glittery paper, the disappointment comes very, very quickly. Sorry, Khaleesi: you may kick ass in Game of Thrones, but you only whimpered here.
See our Terminator: Genisys review
VERDICT: Star Wars: The Force Awakens brought back all the good feels. But for originality, action and the boldness of its reimagining, Mad Max: Fury Road wins the battle of the beloved movie franchises hands down. Merry Christmas, y’all!