I really despise remakes and/or reboots. I have never really caught on to this sick, pathetic attempt at gaining “new audiences” with fresh takes on the source material when in reality it is just some yahoo, talent-deprived director that walks into a studio executive office and says “Hey, you know that film that came out a while ago with a really original story with a lot of great and memorable cinematic elements? WELL I CAN MAKE IT BETTER!” And, by better, they mean lazier and shittier. Most remakes are half-assed attempts to flaunt the artisan equivalent of one-upmanship which really strips away any memorable flavors or commentaries the original contained. Here is my list of the Top 5 Remakes that Missed The Point of the Original.
5. “Godzilla” (Roland Emmerich, 1998)
The behemoth that is spoken only in whispers among the frightened citizens of Japan: Gojira! That scream alone is enough to make you shit a brick. The destruction alone this monstrous entity creates is grounds enough to nuke it back to the hole it came from. The original “Gojira” films were pretty basic: monster shows up, bad English-dubbing ensues, Japanese try to kill the creature, creature dies, BANZAI! “Gojira” is the equivalent of a big, mindless bully; yet, oddly enough, Emmerich misses the most basic of plot elements imaginable with his terrible remake where every single American is depicted as a bumbling, selfish idiot and we are actually meant to feel sorry for the creature that is destroying the world? Do you feel sorry for kicking a back-alley mugger in the nuts? Didn’t think so.
4. “Star Trek” (J.J. Abrams, 2007)
I put this one pretty low on the list because it is one of my guilty pleasures. However, I would feel dirty if I did not point out the obvious fact that this new “Star Trek” film completely misses the point of its original source material. “Star Trek” is supposed to be about a group of diverse astronauts exploring the universe to make first contact with new species and develop terms of peace. In this new film, we get a group of GQ models that are on a revenge vendetta because Spock’s home world of Vulcan gets blown up real good. This is supposed to be about a simple trek through space, not a war in space. Get your space-shit together, Abrams.
3. “Punisher: War Zone” (Lexi Alexander, 2008)
I am officially going on record by saying that not a single one of these Punisher movies has ever gotten it right. Yet, somehow, despite Lundgren and Jane, this one is by far the worst remake ever. This one completely misses the point of what the Punisher is supposed to be. The movie completely glosses over how Frank Castle becomes the Punisher in an attempt to keep the big ball o’ action rolling. Seriously, the flash-backs and exposition lasts about 10 seconds a piece. New audiences not familiar with the source material or previous films are going to be completely left in the dark. The villains for the movie are also lacking; they need to be ruthless killers and psychopaths, not fucking cartoon characters. Alexander empties a clip and misses the target completely with “Punisher: War Zone.”
2. “The Time Machine” (Simon Wells, 2002)
I saw this movie when I was twelve and got the physical shit scared out of me. I read the book and saw the 1960’s version of the film in university and got the psychological shit scared out of me. This poses the biggest problem I have with the Guy Pearce version; “The Time Machine” is supposed to be a social commentary on how we as human beings are destined to destroy ourselves because of our curiosity. It also presents an interesting topic on scientific advancement and hierarchical structures. This new film presents a boring action film with a villain(?) that needs to be a stopped, a time traveler with a really selfish agenda and a giant “fuck technological advancement” message at the very end. Geez, you figured the great grandson of the guy who wrote the book would have had more respect for the source material.
1. “Planet of the Apes” (Tim Burton, 2001)
Hold me back, man. Where do I even start with this shit-tornado? Burton completely misses every single point that the original “Plant of the Apes” film was trying to make. The original film by Franklin J. Schaffner can be construed as a commentary on the Cold War and the threat of mutually assured destruction due to nuclear war. The film also presents a commentary on how humans can be perceived as the primitive creatures when brought down to our basic instincts. The Tim Burton “Monkey Wars” version throws all that shit out the window by presenting a trip through Marky Mark’s bizarre expressions when trying to understand the other actors’ dialogue through horrible monkey make-up and backwards time travel mechanics. Also, the ending has collectively made every single viewer of the film give out a collective cry of “Ha ha ha, wait… WHAT?”