For the Love of God, Please Don’t Reboot Revenge of the Nerds

You might have already seen plenty of articles on how Seth MacFarlane of Family Guy fame is actively trying to reboot Revenge of the Nerds, and you might have even seen that a lot of people are in support of this. Not only that, but the two lead roles are going to be race-swapped as the idea is to bring in Keith and Kenny Lucas, the comedic twins that were seen in the 21 Jump Street reboot. While the casting isn’t a problem, the idea that this movie could even hold up to the original is a huge problem since like it or not, a lot of people are bound to say that it won’t for several reasons. To start with, Revenge of the Nerds was a product of its time, and as horrible as that might sound to some people it’s the absolute truth. This movie did deal with a few issues that were meant to be funny and taken as jokes but over the years have somehow risen up to offend people despite the fact that the movie was filmed decades ago in a very different time. Nowadays college campuses are far different than they used to be and consensual sex appears to be something that can shift from consensual to rape the moment that someone decides that they didn’t have as good of a time as they thought. Call that cynical, call it misinformed, but those that want to claim that Lewis raped Betty in this movie are usually those that are a little too uptight and can’t take a movie for what it is. Of course rape is wrong, and of course having sex with someone under false pretenses isn’t acceptable, but for God’s sake, it was a movie.

Those griping about past movies and the things that were ‘wrong’ with them ironically fail to note the movies of today and how wrong some of the content is, and yet will brush it off as ‘ironic’ or ‘symbolic’. Well, how about this? Betty was the symbol of Lewis’s lust and ironically her desire for a moment of passion led her to the one person that would finally treat her the way she deserved. Oh yes, people would gladly argue with this, but maybe if we pull out movies such as American History X, Basic Instinct, and even cite Game of Thrones people might realize that as disturbing as they think this scene with Betty and Louis was, it’s really nothing compared to what’s been seen in the modern era. And to think, that’s just ONE scene that people have taken an issue with, and likely the most disturbing in the whole movie. But to think about the rest of it being rebooted is kind of difficult since when we talk about movies now diversity is one huge issue that everyone wants to see, and if you really look at it, there was diversity in the Tri-Lambs fraternity, even if people will point out that it appears to suffer from tokenism since there was only one black man and only one Asian man in the fraternity. Plus, the fact that everyone in the fraternity, well, almost everyone, played a sex-obsessed male that was willing to perv out and do whatever it took to have their needs satisfied is another mark that people use against this movie.

But whether folks like it or not, rebooting this movie and updating it to current standards would do one of two things. It would create a truly watered-down version of the original that would likely fail to take hold with a lot of people since it would essentially become a tongue in cheek type of humor that wouldn’t dare cross certain lines for fear of what people might think, or it would open the hypocrisy gates wide and let people have fun while risking a date with cancel culture. There are other options that would be likely to occur obviously, but the whole idea behind Revenge of the Nerds is that it was very much a movie of the times and was something that many people feel was used to identify a shift in society that has been ongoing for years now. Think of it, the term ‘nerd’ is no longer as derogatory as it used to be in the time of our parents and grandparents. As a matter of fact, the term ‘nerd’ only dates back to the 50s as it was a creature in a Dr. Seuss book. The term picked up speed obviously throughout the years, but as of now, it’s something that people are proud of rather than a social stigma that identifies a person as being less than desirable. Whether one wants to call that appropriation or not, a lot of us are nerds in our own way, and we’re proud of it. That’s one more reason why this reboot is kind of a bad idea, there’s little to no real punch left to the whole idea of being a nerd since it’s far more acceptable than it used to be.

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