In defense of a "Raiders of the Lost Ark" reboot

I love reboots.

The first, and most obvious, reason is that it doesn’t really matter if the reboot stinks. I’m not sure there was a more exhilarating moment in my preteen life than the day I first saw the trailer for “The Empire Strikes Back.” Not even “The Phantom Menace” could stain that memory. I recently watched the first three Indiana Jones movies with my kids and, for me, it was as if “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” never happened. When we finally got around to the fourth movie, they didn’t perceive much of a difference in quality or entertainment value. And maybe there isn’t much. Actually, there’s probably a strong argument to be made that “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” was a more entertaining film than the “Temple of Doom.” Anyway, for a generation of young people, “Guardians of the Galaxy” is “Star Wars” (or as close as they’re going to get to it in the days of multiple blockbusters), which means Chris Pratt is Harrison Ford.

Second: reboots, remakes, sequels, and reimagined franchises are not only often technically superior to the originals, but they tend to bring a level of storytelling sophistication that outdoes them. It can be overdone done, no doubt. Watching the impenetrable “Prometheus,” a quasi-prequel reboot that exists in the same mess of a universe as the Alien films, felt like auditing a class on quantum physics. But Daniel Craig’s James Bond saved the franchise from the too comedic or too formulaic or too infantile and replaced it with a hard-edge that contemporary audiences can enjoy. “Skyfall” (featuring a glimpse into the origin story, no less) does not make “Goldfinger” any less enjoyable to watch.