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The 10 Most Unnecessary Movie Remakes of The 2010s

20 July 2017 | Features, Film Lists | by Dan Barnes

Ah, remakes. It’s a common mistake that remakes are something of a modern thing in Hollywood, but the truth is that they’ve been around for a very long time. Crazy as it may seem, some cinematic classics are actually remakes. Scarface, Ocean’s Eleven and The Departed, for example, are all remakes.

So, what did those remakes get right that most get wrong? Well, they actually had a reason to exist. Scarface and Ocean’s Eleven both saw potential in previous films that hadn’t fully reached it, and decided to try something different and create something better. The Departed is a remake of a foreign film, which is a great way of getting different stories seen by an audience who otherwise may never have watched them because they don’t watch subtitled movies.

There is no doubt that ‘remake culture’ has become far worse in recent years, however. With many major studios turning their attention towards recognisable brands in an effort to cash in, a large portion of mainstream movies these days are either remakes, reboots, re-imaginings, prequels, sequels, or some other kind of franchise production.

The difference now is that unlike before, studios don’t care if the remake actually has a point or not. They just go ahead and do it anyway, usually with disastrous results.

Remakes only make sense if they are doing something different than the original film, improving upon it, or creating an English-language version. Unless it falls under one of those three categories, it has little reason to exist. That definitely applies to all of the films on the below list.

Just to be clear, this list focuses strictly on films that can only be described as remakes. To avoid confusion, it doesn’t include movies that could be described as reboots or re-imaginings, such as the new Ghostbusters movie or the Amazing Spider-Man films. The movies listed are simply remakes of original properties, both in production and story.

 

10. Clash of the Titans (2010)

new-clash-titans-remake-21

The original Clash of the Titans is a classic. There are minor elements in it that don’t necessarily hold up very well, but for the most part the effects are impressive and the film still looks pretty solid. It’s a film that was clearly very well-made for the time, and a lot of effort had been put in to create something special.

The remake was the exact opposite. It was a sloppily put-together, cynical marketing scheme designed for the sole purpose of capitalising on a well-known title, with added 3D for some extra cash. Everything about the film feels lazy on every level, and it doesn’t help that they couldn’t even stay true to the source material, making several changes to the story itself.

It also has a terrible lead performance from Mr. Charisma himself Sam Worthington, who is not capable of helming his own movie, no matter how hard Hollywood tries. The CGI is terrible, and the 3D is some of the worst in history, making this film more likely to date before the original does.

The original still looks great, and the remake does not. The original is enjoyable, and the remake is not. The original feels like an actual piece of filmmaking, and the remake feels like a cynical cash-grab. If you want to watch Clash of the Titans in the future, you will undoubtedly pick out the original, making this remake wholly unnecessary.

 

9. Carrie (2013)

The genre that is most often butchered by ‘remake culture’ is horror. Horror movies have been recycled so many times over the years and in so many ways, that audiences actually don’t even know where to begin anymore. In 2013, we were treated to a remake of Carrie, the 1976 horror classic.

The story of Carrie is based on a novel by Stephen King. The man is the master of horror. He can truly write chilling and disturbing stories, which is something that the original was able to portray. The sexual elements of the original have been totally dumbed down in the remake, which is clearly trying to fit in with modern culture, at the expense of what made the original so special. The reason for this film’s failure can be bottled down to the fact that it lost sight of why the first film worked so well in the first place.

It also has no visual flair, either. Brian DePalma is a stylish director, so it comes as no surprise that the original had so much iconic imagery. The remake, being a cynical studio-designed production, has none of that. You can’t feel a creative touch anywhere in the new version.

Chloe Moretz and Julianne Moore really do try in this, but they have absolutely nothing interesting to work with. The edginess that the original film had is totally lost in the remake, and the film lacks anything that stands on its own. As with Clash of the Titans, if you’re going to watch Carrie, you’re not going to watch this one, so what’s the point?

 

8. The Magnificent Seven (2016)

The Magnificent Seven

Unlike the previous movies on this list, The Magnificent Seven remake isn’t a particularly atrocious film, but that doesn’t make it any more necessary.

The original Magnificent Seven is actually the perfect example of a remake that made sense at the time. It was technically a remake of Seven Samurai, but it took the basic idea and did something fresh with it, making it feel unique. The same can’t be said for the 2016 film.

The cast are okay, as you’d expect from them, but the character-building is not up-to-par. The bond between the characters was a key part of the original, and that same magic is absent here. It just doesn’t work as well.

The film looks decent enough, the action scenes are acceptable, and the performances are competent, but ultimately the film ends up being nothing more than just okay. So, although it might not be the worst remake ever made, was it needed? You’d still watch the original when presented with a choice, so why bother?

 

7. Robocop (2014)

robocop-2014-memory

Does anyone even remember this movie happened?

This is the main problem. It’s only been a few years, and this film has already been rendered pointless. When you think of Robocop, you think of the 1987 film, not this one.

This is another example of a remake that failed because it lost sight of why the original worked in the first place. For one thing, the violence is lacking here. A common theme these days is studios dumbing movies down to make them more family friendly, because that means they can get a lower age certificate and sell more tickets. The sad thing is that the violence in the original Robocop was such an integral part of it.

The original was edgy and proud. It was set in a really grim vision of Detroit, and used plenty of graphic violence, but the remake actually looks quite clean and… well, Hollywood-ized. The gore is all but gone, and the uniqueness of the original has evolved into a stereotypical, throwaway action blockbuster. That’s one of the main reasons that this version went unnoticed.

The film also focused far more on the guy in the suit as opposed to Robocop himself. Audiences were given a lot of time with the man and his family, as opposed to what they’d actually paid for.

Everything that made the original interesting was lost in this remake, a cliché-ridden summer blockbuster that could’ve literally been called anything else.

Part of the charm of Robocop was built around its eighties setting. There was no need for a remake in 2014.

 

6. Point Break (2015)

The original Point Break is cheesy and ridiculous, but that’s exactly why people love it. It’s a bonafide nineties action movie, and its proud of it. These days, people still put it on and enjoy it. It’s a fun thrill-ride and it’s never boring.

In 2015, audiences were given a remake that (yet again) failed to recognise why people loved the original so much. The new film took itself far too seriously, forgetting to have any fun whatsoever, with actors who were seriously lacking in charisma.

The characters in this film weren’t just surfers, either. They were now adrenaline junkies who did pretty much every stunt you could imagine, for no other reason than to create some cool images for the trailers. This isn’t what Point Break was about. The title literally refers to a surfing term.

Ultimately, this film’s main downfall was how seriously it took itself. It became incredibly boring to watch and it dragged. A remake of a film like Point Break should be anything but dull, and this is exactly why it failed.

 

 

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  • Abhishek

    Almost every remake is unnecessary IMO

  • Rudi

    The Carrie remake was a good one though. And when’s a remake unnecessary? Lots of people that are growing up now would otherwise never ever have seen one of the Carries. Perhaps they’ll be interested in the original after seeing the remake.

    • Dee Dee

      The Carrie remake was horrendous.

    • Terry Powell

      Psycho for one. The sad part there is I had a coworker who has never seen the original but watched the remake and hated it. Even if she goes back and watches it, she’ll lose the experience of seeing the film’s shocks for the first time.

  • Andrew David Boyle

    I am so glad that I never seen one of these movies.

  • feast for

    I like to think for example LEt me In while not superior than the original at least manages to make a nice simmetry in a country in the other side of the world while changing the vampire from ambiguously evil to downright evil, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo however while it’s a superior cinematography tells just the same story with no change and makes me wonder why do it at all?

    • Mortimer

      The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) isn’t remake; it’s another adaptation of the novel. How many times this needs to be said ?

      • Terek Brajan

        If you look at it that way, neither is Carrie and Ben Hur……But Swedish version is much better, especially Noomi Rapace as Salander……

        • Mortimer

          “But Swedish version is much better, especially Noomi Rapace as Salander”
          This is your opinion and I respect that but it isn’t consensus or some ultimate opinion. For me, both versions are equally good.
          And yeah, Ben Hur and Carrie are movie adaptations also, not remakes.

          • Terry Powell

            Disagree about Carrie. There were acenes in there that were definitely from the original film, not the book.

  • Allister Cooper

    Some of these were actually not that bad. True, many feel they are not needed, but one good thing about remakes is that it makes one aware of the original. Pulse was an example. Though the Japanese import was scarier, the remake was sleeker. And both were good in their own way.

  • Robert Colontonio

    I thought True Grit was an insult to the original. As great an actor as Jeff Bridges is the movie just did not cut it for me. To be honest they need to stop remaking movies because more often than not they are abominations.

    • bd

      While True Grit (2010) is indeed underwhelming — not just as a remake but also it’s one of the Coens’ middling (or lesser even) works — I don’t think it’s as unsavory as some of the others mentioned in this article, personally. In the ocean of forgettable to downright gross remakes that hit the screen in last decade or so, I’d say True Grit lands closer to the “just average” (still somewhat forgettable) spot on the scale. (At worst, just too safe and recycled.)

      But if the second part of your comment about wishing “they’d stop making movies” is referring to the Coens overall, I’m just gonna ignore that bit.

      • Robert Colontonio

        No i meant hollywood in general should stop with all the remakes. I like the Coen’s work,just didn’t like True Grit remake.

        • bd

          Ah okay haha. The second part of your comment followed so quickly that the context read as “the Coens” rather than “Hollywood”. Thanks for the clarification! 🙂

          But yes, remakes are getting out of hand. I don’t think I’d necessarily want them to stop being made altogether, because some remakes are really great and sometimes update or totally rehaul the source material with interesting liberties. Unfortunately, when Hollywood wants to do remakes, they crank the knob up to 11 and give us an under-cooked Thanksgiving feast that lasts 7 or 8 years. And usually they latch onto a prior decade as a focus — their wheel of fortune landed on “80s revival” back in 2010 and the remake numbers have literally just peaked in the last 8 months or so (hopefully peaked, anyway).

          • Terry Powell

            I liked True Grit okay, but it wasn’t as much fun as the remake. And for all those that claimed it was closer to the book, I’d suggest they read the book and watch the films again. Both were pretty close to the book, both made a couple of changes.

  • Dee Dee

    Can’t believe the remake of ‘Poltergeist’ didn’t make the list. I was so dissapointed. Sam Rockwell should be ashamed.

  • bd

    This is one of many recent articles here that covers many different films, of various styles, where the writer inexplicably decides not to mention the directors responsible for most of the entries (if not for all of them). This particular writer has even mentioned actors involved in certain films, which makes the unspecified directors even more baffling. When one of the primary artistically-intent roles — arguably *the* role — in the film’s production is left blank, there’s an issue and disconnect with the content of the article.

    In other words, the elaborations on each of these films (and those from all lists that commit this offense) mean significantly less to your audience if the person(s) responsible aren’t disclosed as well.

  • Il Verme Conquistatore

    Robocop works good. i liked it. unnecessary? maybe.. so what? fun is unnecessary

  • Deadly_Moogly

    Total Recall someone?

  • sadburbia

    Oldboy

  • Jeroen Ledderhof

    Let me In & Funny Games……

  • ray gudel

    Martyrs?

  • Jacob Kilgannon

    Personally I enjoyed the remake of The Magnificent Seven. Is it the original? Definitely not. That being said, I found it to be a very fun shoot-em up Western. Sure it won’t become a classic like the original, but it could have been so much worse.

    • Terry Powell

      Yeah, I liked it better than the reviewer. Is it as good as the original? No. But, as you say, it’s fun. That one thing most modern westerns, and especially western remakes lack. Before they make a western, I think they should be required to watch films like Silverado and Tombstone to understand what it’s like to watch a western that has violence but can still be fun.

  • Ted Wolf

    my adult daughter (who’s my best movie buff friend) came to the conclusion after watching a remake is that, why don’t they remake bad movies that had some good stories, and leave good movies alone. We realized the reason a movie gets remade is that the title has market value and the green light is being given to the title, not really to the idea of the remake.

    • Terry Powell

      And one funny thing is studios used to remake films yet would change the title, such as Satan Takes a Lady becoming the Maltese Falcon. A couple I love is Against All Odds and No Way Out, which were very different from the original films. And you’re right, all they care about is the title.

  • Carlos Cordero Madrigal

    What you call “the Original” Clash of Titans is actually a remake itself.