Some movie remakes are good, some are bad, and others are downright ugly:
This list picks out five of the worst movie remakes, showcasing how lazy a creative team of directors, screenwriters, cast and crew can really be.
Fame – Kevin Tancharoen (2009)
Sometimes a movie is a moment in time. A snapshot of trends inside a decade, like a time capsule, caught on film.
Movies like that should never be remade:
And this is the case for the remake of “Fame”, an iconic 80s movie that was dragged into the year 2009, with nothing new to say.
The result is just another forgettable teen talent movie.
With an estimated budget of $18 million, the movie grossed a remarkable $77 million.
Rated 5.1 on IMDB.
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Conan the Barbarian – Marcus Nispel (2011)
There are movies that define genres, arriving before others and setting benchmarks to beat.
This happened back in 1982 when the first “Conan the Barbarian” hit the big screen. It was “Jason and The Argonauts” x10, with brutality, and cruelty, and it was epic and fresh.
Fast forward to 2011 and the remake directed by Marcus Nispel. A movie that’s made as if the first question during the production meeting was “what can we take from other movies?”
Jason Momoa deserved better than rehashed ideas and a checklist-made movie:
And the character Conan deserved something brutal, like what Carl Urban got with the spectacular “Dredd” remake.
With an estimated budget of $90 million, the movie grossed $63 million worldwide.
Rated 5.2 on IMDB.
The Wicker Man – Neil Labute (2006)
Why, why, why, Nicolas Cage!?!!
Unfortunately, when you touch a movie like 1963’s “The Wicker Man”, which possibly founded the genre of folk horror, you cannot then ignore that genre in the remake.
A child is missing on an island in the Hebrides. But when policeman Edward Malus lands on the shores, he discovers a mysterious community that becomes more and more creepy.
That’s the premise of the original, the 2006 remake instead focuses on Cage, the hunt for clues, while sidelining the community and setting.
Putting Cage on a pedestal makes sense – but not at the cost of what “The Wicker Man” should be about:
With an estimated budget of around $40 million, the movie grossed $38 million worldwide.
Rated 3.7 on IMDB.
Swept Away – Guy Ritchie (2002)
No one probably knows this movie despite it starring Madonna and being directed by Guy Ritchie. A director of cult movies like “Snatch”, “Layer Cake”, and “Sherlock Holmes”. Each of which has a distinct style and fandom:
(So why “Swept Away” ended up like it did is anyone’s guess?)
In all honestly, this movie isn’t just bad, it’s a manual of how to fail at doing a remake – it even won 5 Razzie Awards.
(And amazingly it has very little to do with the movie it was remaking – “Swept Away”, directed by Lina Wertmüller in 1974).
With a budget of around $10 million, the movie only grossed $1 million worldwide. Talk about a flop.
Rated 3.6 on IMDB.
City Of Angels – Brad Silberling (1998)
From the beautiful original movie directed by Wim Wenders, “Wings of Desire”, the remake loses the philosophical spirit, the visceral connection with the city and period.
(The original “Wings of Desire” was made in 1987 and set in Berlin, Germany).
The original is a painful and poetic look at the human condition from the perspective of an angel.
Whereas the 1998 remake by Brad Silberling is packed with childish sentiment, completely mixing the angel’s perspective as if human – and missing the point of the original.
With an estimated budget of $55 million, Brad Silberling’s movie grossed approximately $198 million worldwide:
The power of Meg Ryan.
Rated 6.7 on IMDB.
(“City of Angels” is definitely a pet peeve of mine, as many others actually like this remake).