Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Best Reboot Or Remake Of 2022 - Looper Staff Picks

Reboots and remakes typically feel like a pretty bad idea (see: Gus Van Sant's "Psycho," the "Sex and the City" reboot "...And Just Like That," and the list goes on, endlessly, ceaselessly into the past). That hasn't stopped anyone in the entertainment industry, though; Hollywood never saw a good idea it didn't feel compelled to iterate ad nauseum. Every single year, a cold batch of dependable IP is revived, while original projects languish so that audiences can be reintroduced to, say, a new band of teens battling Gossip Girl or Hilary Duff doing the same thing Ted Mosby already did.

Not every reboot or remake is a shameless cash grab, though. Some, dare we suggest, even have a scrap of artistic merit. These few projects over the last year gave us, the humble staff over at Looper, some hope. Sometimes, a property should get a second bite at the apple. From Michael Bay's latest to a new series that may or may not even really be a reboot, here are our favorite reboots and remakes that came out in 2022.

Caitlin Albers - AmbuLAnce

I didn't discover that "AmbuLAnce" was a remake until months after I saw it in the theater. "Ambulancen" is a 2005 Danish film, to which the 2022 American version is almost identical plotwise. Let me start off by saying I'm a huge Jake Gyllenhaal fan, and I think he's one of the most underrated actors working right now. This guy absolutely shines in "AmbuLAnce," proving Gyllenhaal needs to be given more villain roles. I laughed at loud at his performance several times because he was just so convincing as bank robber Danny. 

This is a Michael Bay film through and through, so if the director is not your cup of tea, you will hate this movie. I enjoy a little Bayhem in my life, and "AmbuLAnce" is one of his best — full stop. A non-stop action flick led perfectly by Gyllenhaal and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (more roles for this guy, please). You really are never sure how it's going to end up. It's a fairly tense two hours and 16 minutes — the very definition of a popcorn movie.

"AmbuLAnce" also feels really dumb while you're watching it, but it's one of those things that you can completely ignore because it's just so fun. It's like "Bullet Train" — impossibly ridiculous, but just a damn good time at the movies. If you want to watch some hot people create mayhem throughout Los Angeles, check out "AmbuLAnce" and thank me later. Or don't; I don't care.

Nina Starner - Reboot

Let me stop you right there. "But Nina," I can hear you saying. "Nina, you ridiculous, extremely short person. 'Reboot' isn't a reboot! You can't pick that as the best reboot of 2022!" Well, sucks to suck, because I was allowed to do just that!

I've loved Rachel Bloom since her time on "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend," a show that deserved much more praise than it ever got, so I was thrilled to see her pop up on Hulu's new comedy "Reboot." Sure, my optimism lessened a little when I saw it was from one of the creators of "Modern Family," a show I initially liked until it turned into a vehicle for a lesson of the week, but luckily, I was wrong. "Reboot" is a dirty, messed-up, weird, extraordinarily funny show about what it means to make a gritty reboot (see: "Bel-Air") out of a family-friendly sitcom.

Bloom is perfect as Hannah, who embarks on this project to spite her estranged father Gordon (Paul Reiser, who's having a career renaissance as of late) and assembles the show's original cast to reprise their roles. Luckily for Hannah, they all need work — Judy Greer's Bree is divorcing a duke, Keegan-Michael Key's Reed isn't booking the prestigious roles he wants, Johnny Knoxville's Clay needs to work so he doesn't get lost in a bottle of whiskey, and Calum Worthy's Zack is, uh, just happy to be there. Throw in a recurring role from Alyah Chanelle Scott — who's also phenomenal on "Sex Lives of College Girls" — and an on-screen writer's room full of "that guy" actors and you're set. (There's also a dash of Eliza Coupe for good measure.) "Reboot" is just as acerbic and biting as "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" ever was, and the only thing I'm mad about is that I came up with the idea to put Judy Greer and Keegan-Michael Key in a romantic comedy like, eight years ago, and these people stole my idea.

Kieran Fisher - Hellraiser

It seems that every major horror movie from the 1980s has been rebooted at this point, so it was only a matter of time until "Hellraiser" received a modern makeover. That said, unlike "A Nightmare on Elm Street," "Hellraiser" is one horror franchise that actually needed a reboot. There's no denying that Clive Barker's original, based on his "The Hellbound Heart" novella, is a genre classic. The sequels, on the other hand, went off the rails long before the franchise had the chance to realize its full potential.

It remains to be seen if David Bruckner's reboot will launch a series of films that maximize the potential of this demonic lore, but it laid some sturdy foundations to build upon. Like the original, 2022's "Hellraiser" involves a mystical puzzle box that summons demons with a sadomasochistic streak. The chief demon, known as The Hell Priest (played by Jamie Clayton), has pins in its head and enjoys unleashing legendary suffering. The hallmarks of a good "Hellraiser" movie are there; gruesome violence, unique monsters, flawed humans, etc. At the same time, every reboot should bring new ideas to the table, and Bruckner's movie does that and then some.

This isn't a soulless copycat of what came before. Bruckner's effort — which was penned by Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski from a story by David S. Goyer — is an ambitious reimagining that introduces plenty of concepts to the "Hellraiser" lore, including a Lament Configuration with six different functions. In the past, the puzzle box focused on one function, but this one undergoes several iterations and offers a range of "gifts" to those who learn to wield its powers. However, one of the best things about the movie is the way in which it serves as a metaphor for addiction; Odessa A'Zion is terrific as Riley, the protagonist who must overcome some complex personal demons while taking the fight to some very literal ones. The ending teases a dark universe of hidden wonders too, and it's only right that these filmmakers get an opportunity to explore it further.

Pauli Poisuo - The Batman

I have a theory that "The Batman" isn't called that because the marketing people refused to get down from the tree unless the title differentiates itself from Tim Burton's "Batman." Instead, it's because this is the Platonic ideal of Batman.

Sure, Christian Bale's Growly Gym Crusader is cool, but even when a guy with an even worse intonation breaks his back, there's no question that he's going to shrug it off. Ben Affleck's Martha Batman is efficient, but he's constantly fighting against and alongside people who are so far above his power level that the shockwave of them punching Doomsday should reduce him into bat-goo from a mile away.

Robert Pattinson's (the) Batman is cut from a different cloth. Sure, he's badass, but still inexperienced enough that you just know he's keeping a tally of how many times he's accidentally stepped on his cape during a fight. He's a decent enough detective that the police allow him to anonymously mess around on crime scenes while wearing ... that. Yet, he misses enough stuff that the Riddler (Paul Dano) is genuinely surprised when the hero can't fully figure out his endgame. In other words, this Bruce Wayne has gear, training, and a little game, but he still has a lot to learn. He might be far from the kind of Batman who can defeat invulnerable aliens with enough prep time, but he still does his level best to save at least some small part of the day.

And that's the whole point of Batman, really. The character's so popular that there's always going to be pressure to make him the main man in whatever cinematic universe he occupies. Despite this, he doesn't really work as a god-tier character. He's invariably at his best when the writers remember that he's just a regular dude who might have a bunch of training and resources, but who ultimately relies on grit, wit, and determination. That, friends, is the essence of Pattinson's Batman in Matt Reeves' "The Batman." Long may they preside over Gotham City, and may neither man ever be forced to work on a "Black Adam" sequel.

Aahil Dayani - Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers

A good reboot or remake shouldn't retread or repeat — it has to be different enough to warrant its existence but also respectful toward what came before. Enter "Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers" — not just the best reboot of 2022, but maybe one of the best flicks of the year? Prior to 2022 I had no idea what a Chip nor a Dale was, but now? I'm the biggest fan of the two adorable sleuthing chipmunks.

A reboot of the classic Disney duo, "Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers" subverts all expectations by bringing the property back with a unique meta twist. A play on "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," the Disney+ exclusive transports the animated characters to our cynical live-action world. Positioning Chip (voiced by John Mulaney) and Dale (voiced by Andy Samberg) as two washed-up actors, the movie forces the two to team up after a fallout to help save their fellow animated characters.

Each decision this iteration of "Rescue Rangers" makes is in service of being as meta and self-referential as possible, which shouldn't be surprising considering it's spearheaded by The Lonely Island. "Rescue Rangers" acknowledges that it's a product of nostalgia, forced to masquerade as a "legacy sequel." With an insane knack for self-awareness, "Rescue Rangers" becomes a playground for The Lonely Island to comment on modern Hollywood's creative bankruptcy, the exploitation of nostalgia, and the value derived from pop culture references masquerading as jokes.

Beyond just being a hilarious romp, "Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers" is a class act in pulling at your heartstrings by reminding us jaded viewers how powerful friendship can be. It's classic Disney ... with a meta twist. I'm now convinced The Lonely Island should be given the keys to the kingdom. Sorry, Bob Iger.

Tom Meisfjord - Pinocchio. The Disney one.

So it was a Tuesday night and I was hanging out at my place when I realized that I was hungry for some cold ham. I left my room to go to the kitchen, because all of my cold ham was in the fridge.

As I made my way through the living room, I noticed that my roommate Jeff was watching something peculiar on the TV. There was Tom Hanks, but not normal Tom Hanks. Weird Tom Hanks, with his train conductor mustache from "The Polar Express" and a wig made out of oiled labradoodle. There was a very lifelike CGI realization of the classic Disney version of Pinocchio, who had somehow dug his way so far into the uncanny valley that he'd tunneled to the other side of the world and become unsettling in two hemispheres. There was a gag about Chris Pine that made me stop and wonder "is Chris Pine a big enough deal that we're all going to laugh and laugh at this in another fifty years?" It was unsettling. I felt seasick. I was so distracted that I forgot I was on my way to get some cold ham from the refrigerator.

Next thing I know, there was this loud crashing sound. Some teenager had crashed his 1974 Buick Skylark through the wall of my kitchen, driving the fridge through the drywall and basically trashing all of my cold ham. Everyone was fine, but if I had been standing there when it happened, I wouldn't be here today to tell you about Tom Hanks and his grease-based gray clown wig. Disney's "Pinocchio" remake wasn't a good movie, but it saved my life, and I respect it for that.

Russell Murray - All Quiet on the Western Front

When I was younger, I remember walking out of the theater after having seen "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" on a particularly inauspicious date with my former partner and their father. In between casually snarking at the cast's diversity, he offered the film some praise for being "realistic" in its depiction of warfare. I found it puzzling then, and continued to find it so when I heard similar praise heaped upon it throughout the years. I'm not sure I understood why I found it so puzzling until I saw Edward Berger's 2022 remake of "All Quiet on the Western Front."

"Rogue One" is not unlike many American war films — there's honor, a clear mission, altruistic goals, and heroic sacrifice. There are no such things in Berger's film. Adapted from the 1928 novel by German foot-soldier Erich Maria Remarque, "All Quiet..." tells the story of a group of young boys who enthusiastically enlist in the German military during World War I. They, too, dream of honor, purpose, skill, and sacrifice.

The war of "All Quiet" is not a thing of logic or meaning, however. It is a thing of tragedy, ego, indignity, and chaos. After two previous and lauded American adaptions, Berger is the first German filmmaker to tell this story. The result is something uniquely humble, devoid of the stoic pride that often corrodes even the most well meaning American efforts into something eerily close to propaganda.

This isn't to say the film is merely an exercise in misery, compulsory viewing to induce guilt in its audience. Berger fights like hell for moments of light throughout, each solider painted with the most vibrant of emotions and inner lives. Scenes like Paul reading Kat a letter from his wife or Franz absconding with a troupe of traveling French women stick to me with more pain than any gruesome skirmish. It is a horrifying film, yes, but it is also astonishingly loving. To accomplish such heart in a war film without kneeling to myths of heroism is the true masterstroke of "All Quiet on the Western Front."

Kim Bell - Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock

For a group of dance-crazed muppets, the Fraggles have always been a weirdly stressed out bunch, and intentionally so. Like so many Jim Henson gems of the late '80s and early '90s, "Fraggle Rock" understood that children live in and respond to the same reality as adults. And I, like so many kids of the late '80s and early '90s, was drawn to that understanding. I may not have known that then, but I knew that these characters got me (and all of my imaginary friends, who were also fans).

In "Fraggle Rock's" Season 2 premiere, a sullen and lethargic Wembley says, "I feel weird ... it's like being lonely but you don't want to talk to anybody ... hungry but you don't want to eat." Without ever naming Wembley's affliction, the episode tackles its topic with a humor and straightforwardness that — in relief of the saccharine tone of later kids' programming — feels almost shocking.

Three-and-a-half decades later, "Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock" is understanding, and helping, a new generation, while giving me and my (probably real?) fellow millennials a whole new appreciation for the show's emotional depth. Like its predecessor, John Tartaglia's reboot uses its muppet-microcosm to explore complex, hyper-relevant themes — some of which haven't changed, and some of which very much have. From toxic masculinity and consent to helplessness and anxiety to self acceptance or being trapped in a (literal) echo chamber, the series refuses to soften its felt-dealt blows. But unlike so many shows whose commentary offers critique without solution, "Back to the Rock" is about bettering, not bemoaning, the society it reflects. It embraces the tragicomic nature of humanity, but ensures the Fraggles learn from, through, and about their mistakes, emotions, and each other, just as they always did. And yet —

In 2022, the notion that awareness and empathy might be more effective than cynicism and hate — or that what we call "optimism" might just be pragmatism, and a thing we're all capable of trying — seems utterly rebellious, even badass. "Back to the Rock" isn't, in other words, the reboot we deserve, but it feels like the reboot we actually need.

Nick Staniforth - Wednesday

If you'd had told me in the final moments of the last season of "Stranger Things" that an "Addams Family" reboot/spin-off with only one family member as the focus would've become the second most watched Netflix shows, I'd have scoffed. Loudly. And yet, Jenna Ortega rocked up at Nevermore Academy with a face like thunder and a cold perspective, becoming one of 2022's best surprises. Taking an iconic member of The Addams Family and sending her out on her own to solve murders might have been a risk, but one that the Tim Burton-produced series still managed handle pretty well.

While fans might have had issues with some of the cast (Wednesday's parents in particular), Ortega's interpretation of the beloved character is undeniable. Making sure not to blink during scenes and being delightfully deadpan with every character she encounters, she was almost as good if not better than Christina Ricci (Ricci also appears in the series as a new character.) Add in the surprise perks of Gwendoline Christie as Nevermore's head Larissa Weems and Fred Armisen's refreshing Uncle Fester, and the world of "Wednesday" gradually becomes one worth sticking around in. 

With a second season already confirmed, Ortega might be responsible for turning a hump day into anything but. If we're truly coming close to saying goodbye to Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), Ortega carrying the torch as Netflix's flagship crowd-pleaser wouldn't be that surprising.