When Hollywood decides to churn out yet another remake of an old movie, it shows that they’re desperately running out of ideas. The worst part is the fact that the remakes almost always turn out to be worse than the original films
To prove this point, here’s a list of what I think are the 5 worst movie remakes ever made. An important thing to remember is that all the movies on this list are remakes of films that made an impact on popular culture, regardless of what you thought of them. At some point in history, Hollywood decided to take those movies and just vomit all over them.
The movies I’m talking about are among the worst I’ve seen in all my years as a film enthusiast (yes, I’m a film enthusiast too), so brace yourself, as we delve into the dark, empty space that is Hollywood’s soul (it’s empty because it doesn’t exist).
#5 – RoboCop (2014)
As I’ve mentioned before, the original RoboCop was an absolute classic, but when they made this new version, they absolutely ruined it. I’ll admit that they were being ambitious, but they did everything the wrong way.
First of all, they toned down the violence, and all the focus seems to be on pointless drama that isn’t really engaging at all. By contrast, the original RoboCop was ultra-violent, and used this violence to prove a point.
Second, they seem to have completely missed the point of the original. The original RoboCop was an intelligent indictment of the “greed is good” mentality that had come to pervade American culture in the 1980’s, juggling several important themes such as privatization, corruption, and identity. The new RoboCop, meanwhile, was just a mindless sci-fi action flick with no heart or soul whatsoever.
I must wonder if director José Padilha ever watched the original RoboCop, or even understood the themes present in that film. While the new RoboCop sucks, it only gets the #5 spot because I expected it to be a typical Hollywood film anyway.
#4 – Conan the Barbarian (2011)
Remember that awesome movie that stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as a badass warrior? Conan the Barbarian was so good, it made Arnold Schwarzenegger a worldwide action star. However, someone apparently thought it was a good idea to make a remake that had none of the appeal of the original.
If the original Conan the Barbarian made heroic fantasy look awesome, then the new version made it look horrible. The characters are all stock (some of them look like they came from an even more mediocre version of The Scorpion King), and the plot lacks any shred of inspiration.
The only thing this film had going for it was its special effects, but even then, it all seems shallow. I think the producers were trying to cash in on the 3D craze, as though they wanted you to view the film’s violent action scenes. Why would I want to see the fight scenes in a setting that could cause eye strain? 3D or no, it was all very pointless.
#3 – The Karate Kid (2010)
I have to admit that I wasn’t a serious fan of the original Karate Kid, but I do recognize that it still earned its place in the hearts and minds of the people who actually enjoyed it. Besides, I prefer the original 1984 version to the awful 2010 version.
Personally, I think this was just a way for Will Smith’s son to promote himself, and let’s face it, he’s not a good actor. The film itself was nothing more than a product of committee thinking, and I could tell from a mile away that nothing about this movie felt right at all.
Aside from it being longer than the original, it also seems to be more shallow than the original. Every character, even the one played by Jackie Chan, was literally ripped straight from the stereotype catalogue. Also, this might come across at nitpicking, but what led the producers to think it was a idea to set the movie in China?
The plot was just ridiculous. If the main character’s family wanted to move away from Detroit, I would think that they’d want to move to another part of America rather than moving to China, which would be more expensive and impractical.
Nothing about this awful movie made sense at all, but if this is #3, there are two that are much worse.
#2 – Godzilla (1998)
The original Godzilla is widely recognized as one of the greatest movies of all time. It single-handedly gave birth to what we now know as the “monster movie” genre, and it was a strong tale of nuclear devastation. Put Godzilla in the hands of a hack like Roland Emmerich, and watch it morph into little more than a stereotypical monster movie.
Roland Emmerich clearly had no idea how relevant Godzilla was to its native Japanese audience back in the 1950’s. The original Godzilla was a film that reflected upon the nuclear devastation experienced by Japan at the climax of World War II.
The American version, on the other hand, ignored all that, gave Godzilla more of a Jurassic Park-style design, and added useless characters, all while ignoring everything that made the original Godzilla film clever. You may as well watch Independence Day or The Day After Tomorrow, both of which are unintelligent, Amerocentric disaster films made by Roland Emmerich.
#1 – Planet of the Apes (2001)
The original Planet of the Apes still remains as one of the most iconic movies of the 1960’s, and it was a genuinely imaginative sci-fi concept. However, in 2001, Tim Burton unleashed his version onto the world, and it was an abomination.
In addition to being the worst film remake of all-time, it’s also one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. It’s Planet of the Apes in name only. After that, everything about it was wrong. The only thing about it that’s worst mentioning is that the ape make-up had advanced significantly, but what worth is that when the rest of the film is garbage?
The plot of this version was nothing but a putrid mess. They turned it into a typical sci-fi action movie with no thought whatsoever. What’s even worse is that this was made by Tim Burton, the same guy who made Beetlejuice, and changed the way we saw Batman back in the 80’s. In the 21st century, however, the years weren’t exactly kind to his career.
There was no heart or soul in this remake at all, and the whole film was just utterly unwatchable, and that’s why it deserves the #1 spot on this list of the worst film remakes ever made.