I just saw a poster for the remake of the Magnificent 7. Really? They are remaking a classic western…
Fuck it. I can’t even act surprised. A long litany of excellent films being remade, with no real hope of usurping the original, and every chance of tanking.
A few do well…ok, I can only think of Star Trek right now. I suppose you could argue Star Wars Force Awakens is a remake, but I preferred the original. And yes, the original Magnificent 7 was a remake of the exceptional Seven Samurai, and it was an excellent remake for the genre.
Look at others; Bladerunner, Total Recall, Ben Hur. I mean Jesus they remade a multi-Oscar winner. Why!? Yes, I know, money. Yes, I know Ben Hur was the remake of a silent film version of Ben Hur.
I’m going to pick on The Karate Kid. The original is a classic 1980’s film. It beautifully encapsulates the Reaganomics society of the time; the idea of the lone individual being the means of resolving conflict, rather than the group/community (Witness is a good antidote). Faced with bullies, does Daniel (or his mother) attempt to engage the school in managing a serious issue, or does he decide the best way to face down oppression is to learn karate from some strange old guy that trucks him into cleaning cars? Seriously, only the 1980’s could get away with that kind of premise. It’s not the best acted or crafter film, but as pure 1980’s Republicanism it is a cultural gem (and I say that as a socialist – I really like the film).
The remake missed the point. Or at least, the premise of having a remake missed the point. I have never seen it. Now wait, I can see you asking how I can condemn a film I’ve not seen. I can’t. It might be quite enjoyable, but the truth is I refused to watch it on principle. The idea of the film is flawed, not its delivery.
I really wish people would explore bad films to remake, like the Star Wars prequel, or Howatd the Duck (I reckon the latter is a pretty good bet the way Marvel are going). Remake the stuff that should have been great but ultimately wasn’t. It would be nice if for once money was not the sole motivation, and some desire for artistic penance was the influence.
Remake the story by all means, but remaking the film is missing the point entirely.