The topic of Remakes, specifically in Hollywood, is a tricky subject to discuss, mainly because I have to be careful not to tar them all with the same brush. I have strong opinions about certain kinds of remakes, but before I explain myself, I am going to state from the offset that I don’t believe all remakes to be guilty of this – by this, I mean studios making remakes knowing that the name will draw people in, capitalizing on the success of the original, all in an attempt to make an ‘easy’ cash grab. There are some remakes of course, where you can walk away feeling that justice has been done for the original – Scarface for example, is a fantastic remake. It doesn’t feel like a cheap rehashing or reimagining of the original, there was actual pride taken in the creation, which the viewer can absolutely feel. A remake doesn’t have to be on a grand, critically acclaimed stage either; The Parent Trap is definitely another example of a remake that is every bit as fun, yet able to stand on its own two feet as the original Hayley Mills film adaptation did.
So, to clarify, remakes don’t deserve to all be criticized and slated, as obviously there are some that are even more popular than the original. My issue with the topic of remakes are the more recent ones that we are seeing, the ones that are so basic and cosmetic that it is embarrassing that it was even made in the first place. There are so many of these types of remakes that it is going to be hard to limit myself, but I will name a few. Firstly, the 2017 remake of The Mummy (1999), which is already a remake!!!! What was the point of this film I’d love to know? This film screams CASH GRAB, and you only need to know that this remake was intended to rejuvenate the ‘Dark Universe’ to realize this. What was the ‘Dark Universe’ going to consist of? More remakes… The lack of original thought here is just so clear. We can’t come up with new ideas, so we are going to remake already classic/cult films so we can try and profit off the name. The Mummy 1999 is a great watch, and a brilliant remake, clearly done with a focus on creating a film that will be enjoyable and worth making, not for profit. The 2017 remake crashed and burned, so at least we don’t have to suffer through any more unnecessary remakes on that front.
I am going to save the Disney live action remakes for a whole other post or something, because there is so much to be said about those, however, the other aspect of remakes that it so unfortunate is the ‘all female remakes’. Before you say anything, being dismissive of the female remakes I have seen has nothing to with the fact that they are all female actors, but everything to do with the fact that there is no need for them, and that they serve no purpose in the discussion around having more prominent female led movies in Hollywood. Why is it, that when considering how to be more female inclusive, the best that studios can come up with is to offer the leftovers of already established franchises and films? The Ghostbusters remake, 2016, offered nothing newly interesting or captivating – neither did Ocean’s 8, 2018. Is this really all there is for including more women actresses, just hand me downs? I, and judging by the box-office taking and reviews, everyone else, want to see clever, original, entertaining and impactful films being made, that were actually created with women in mind, rather than substituting them in for already known male characters. I am of course on board with having women placed in strong roles of leadership in films, but I want it to be done for the right reasons, to create meaningful work that speaks to many, not just for the sake of profit, which unfortunately is so blindingly obvious when you look at what audiences have been given so far. Fix up, Hollywood!