Film remakes can sometimes pay tribute to the original while leaving their own lasting impression. Here are six films which did either justice or a huge disservice to the original’s legacy.
Hit: Star Wars
George Lucas risked a lot, but decided to bring back the Star Wars franchise with a prequel trilogy. In 1999, fanatics were introduced to Jar Jar Binks in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith were released in 2002 and 2005 respectively, with mixed reviews. Star Wars buffs are now counting down to Dec. 18 when The Force Awakens (with Chewie, Luke and Han Solo) begins 30 years after events in Return of the Jedi.
Miss: The Pink Panther
In the late 60s and ’70s, the late, great Peter Sellers embodied the imbecilic Inspector Clouseau perfectly. But in 2006, the French detective was resurrected in The Pink Panther starring Steve Martin. Although cashing in at the box office, critics generally slammed the film. It even received two Razzies nominations in 2006, including one for “Worst Remake or Rip-off.” In 2009, a Martin-led sequel barely broke even at the gate. Good riddance!
Hit: Mad Max: Fury Road
If critics and fans were hesitant about the third (and first Mel Gibson-less) instalment in this series, lead actors Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron ensured it lived up to the hype. Less than one month after its release, the widely-praised two-hour post-apocalyptic adventure smash is nearing $250 million at the box office. Rotten Tomatoes has the film with a “certified fresh” approval rating of 98 per cent while The Daily Telegraph‘s Robbie Collin deemed it an “eruption of craziness.” There’s plans for a sequel with the working title Mad Max: The Wasteland.
Although winning the People’s Choice Award in 2014 for Favourite Horror Film, the 2013 version of Carrie (based on the Stephen King novel) didn’t quite measure up to the 1976 original, directed by Brian DePalma and starring Sissy Spacek. “The first Carrie was horror,” RobertEbert.com contributor Matt Zoller Seitz wrote. “This is tragedy.”
Hit: Star Trek
William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy lead the cult sci-fi television series to the big screen in the 80s and early ’90s. From there, they passed the torch to Patrick Stewart and The Next Generation ensemble. In 2009 J.J. Abrams brought new life into the franchise with Chris Pine portraying Captain Kirk. While it was generally hailed, the ensuing Star Trek Into Darkness (with Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan) exceeded critical and eventually commercial expectations.
There was only one Alfred Hitchcock, so there should only be one version of the horror and suspense classics that he made. Right? WRONG. The 1960 film (and the shower scene) is seared into the minds of most. Fortunately, the 1998 remake with Anne Heche and Vince Vaughn earned two Razzies for Worst Director (Gus Van Sant), and was quickly forgotten about.