Red Dawn (2012)
In Red Dawn‘s defence, the original 1980s film wasn’t exactly a thrill. John Millus’ 1984 pic was the definition of US projection and anti-communist rhetoric that littered the Cold War era. The 2012 remake opts for an anti-DPRK trope this time, and if it’s bewildering as its original pic, from a political perspective, from a film point of view, it’s a lazy rendition with shallow acting and absurd effects.
Around the World in 80 Days (2004)
Everyone loves Jackie Chan on the screen, but this wasn’t quite it. Originally released in 1956, Around the World in 80 Days, the epic adventure based on the novel of the same name by Jules Verne, ended up winning five Academy Awards, including the award for Best Picture. The plot follows Phileas Fogg making a bet that he can get around the world in 80 days. But while Steve Coogan plays Fogg in the 2004 remake, this pic tries to take from the perspective of his valet, played by Jackie Chan. It failed to followed the original line of the original pic, and a Razzies nomination for Worst Remake and a Stinkers Award for Most Unwelcome Remake was its consequence.
Total Recall (2012)
In 1990, it seemed like filmgoers couldn’t get enough of Arnold Schwarzenegger on Total Recall. Perhaps a remake was inevitable in the future. Except, by the time it came about 22 years later, with Colin Farrell, filmgoers certainly got more than enough. The 2012 remake possessed some great action sequences, but it was nowhere near as fun or as memorable as its original. It didn’t even mention Mars.
Point Break (2015)
The 1991 film Point Break is by no means your workaday crime thriller. In this pic, Keanu Reeves plays an undercover FBI agent who has to investigate and infiltrate a group of bank robbers — who also happen to be great surfers. Soon after this pic dropped, it made its way into becoming something of a cult favourite, and it was one of those films whereby its elements shouldn’t have worked, but they did. But sometimes, it’s hard to pull off that trick twice, as Ericson Core found out in 2015. There are some great action scenes, but other than that, the remake simply shows how its original is an exception of brilliance, not a norm.
Some things are better left alone; and some things are better left alone after two tries. Oddly enough, the 1959 version of Ben-Hur was a remake of in itself. But it became an undisputed classic, winning 11 Academy Awards. Then came another version in 2016, spearheaded by Timur Bekmambetov, and asides from being a box office flop and a weak story imitation, this is one of those remakes in which its cinematography is actually far less appealing than its older original, despite the presence of better technology.
The Hustle (2019)
Chris Addison helms this remake of the 1988 film, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, which in itself was a remake of 1964’s Bedtime Story. But despite possessing a fun duo in Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson, and some light-heartedness, The Hustle doesn’t quite work, not least due to an underwhelming lack of chemistry with its pair. The fact that this 2019 pic’s best quality might be its forgettability tells its own story.
What Women Want (2019)
Taraji P. Henson stars as Ali Davis in this gender-swapped remake of the Nancy Meyers’ 2000 hit What Women Want. But not only does this Adam Shankman remake fail to match the humour of the original pic, this
film is both cheap and shallow, and its attempt at being unorthodox and different is undermined by what seemed like a desperation to cling onto pop culture lingo in its shtick. Did we mention the thorough lack of humour?
Swept Away (2002)
Perhaps the best description of this movie is by Mick LaSalle for SF Gift. ‘The movie is not just a weak effort, but a big, fat mistake’. Swept Away isn’t Guy Ritchie’s only remake rodeo, but it’s probably his least appealing. There are times when a Hollywood remake of a foreign can cause hiccups, sometimes flailing the story to tailor it to the original film. And Guy Ritchie’s rendition of Italian filmmaker Lina Wertmüller’s pic from the 1970s was one of those times.
Robin Hood (2018)
Some things you just don’t touch anymore. Sometimes, there are movies that get so many remakes, you lose track of whether there was ever an original, and your exasperation with them is obvious. And the Robin Hood story has gotten far too many, some of which have been underwhelming. As such, it would take a really bad version to be the worst Robin Hood pic out there, but the 2018 rendition definitely has its hat in the ring for it. Slow, incoherent, and sometimes just absurd, it made us like Taron Egerton a little less.
Ron Pearlman’s Hellboy of the mid-2000s, as well as its sequel, was deemed to be an unorthodoxly brilliant rendition of the Dark Horse comics character. Its display of comic superhero character with some form of darkness was as good as it gets, and this Guillermo del Toro pic was a welcome storm in what was then a superhero teacup. But superhero pics have come a long way since then, and when the 2019 Hellboy, a David Harbour-led remake of the first film, was being touted, cynics saw it as little more than a desperate ploy to compete with Marvel on the market, and as a move that would backfire. In simple terms, they were right.