It’s all about remakes in Hollywood right now. At one point, a memo went round that said: “Hey, do you know what would be better than coming up with new ideas? Recycling old ones!” And then another went around saying “Yeah, I guess. But isn’t that a bit lazy?” And then a third one came back that said: “You’re fired”. But, hey, it isn’t all bad. If it weren’t for the current trend towards re-imagining existing properties, we wouldn’t have gotten the new Batman trilogy. Or…uh…well. No, that’s about it. There have been some truly questionable remakes. Let’s take a look at some of the worst!
Just as Godzilla is the king of all monsters, 1998’s Godzilla might just be the king of all bad remakes. We’re not saying it isn’t fun—any movie with Jean Reno doing the world’s most intentionally terrible Elvis impersonation has something going for it—but it’s pretty freaking lazy. Godzilla is like a schmorgazbord of all the worst 90s movies clichés all mixed together: the wily scientist that no-one’s willing to listen to, the stern mustachioed general refusing to hear logic, the tenacious female reporter who’ll do anything to get her scoop and the final shot (a remaining Godzilla egg beginning to hatch in the tunnels beneath New York) that suggests it ain’t over yet.
Poor old Brandon Routh. He had it all. Good looks, charisma, acting chops. The guy seemed poised to make the move from being a promising but basically unknown young actor to becoming an A-list superstar. But Brandon’s career wasn’t the only thing left feeling deflated following Bryan Singers’s stodgy, underwhelming Superman Returns. Comic book fans everywhere thought the 19-year wait since Superman IV: The Quest For Peace was long enough to knock together something basically serviceable. Instead, we get a film that, for all its flashiness and big budget effects, was defined by a lack of being super in any way.
The Day The Earth Stood Still
Now, kudos to whoever was in charge of casting for this one. A dead-eyed alien incapable of understanding or feeling human emotion is the role Keanu Reeves was born to play. It’s just a shame no other aspect of the movie lives up to this masterstroke. Making Gort (the strange, humanoid robot that Keanu's character arrives with) a lifeless CGI creation took away much of what made him seem real and intimidating in the original. The film’s dialogue, plot, and pacing are also all stunted by a similar lack of inspiration. But, hey, at least the film helped launch Jaden Smith’s career. We can all be thankful for that. Right?
Gus Van Sant’s psycho sets the gold standard when it comes to remaking a movie for absolutely no reason. It matches the Hitchcock classic shot for shot. Pretty much they only thing they changed was making it in color. Oh, and giving the starring role to Vince Vaughn, a man about as well known for being scary as Al Pacino is for being softly spoken. This film is the equivalent of taking a painting by Van Gogh and attempting to copy it in crayon.
Planet Of The Apes
Even the stellar makeup effects couldn't save Tim Burton's remake of this 1960's classic from being a dull, confusing dirge of a movie. As with so many other questionable remakes, what it had in style it lacked in charm, and that’s something you can't replicate, no matter how big you make the budget. To mis-quote Charlton Heston: "You maniacs! You made it shoddy and boring! Damn you! Damn you all to hell!”
What remake do you wish hadn't been made?