Oh, dear. I’ve just read news at Den of Geek that there are plans afoot to remake the 1995 Robin Williams film, Jumanji. Now I don’t especially like Jumanji and I have no strong feelings about the film being remade either way. But the sheer number of pointless remakes is becoming fatuous and shows a lack of creativity, let alone respect for the audience.
Total Recall has recently been remade and Robocop and Mad Max remakes are in the pipeline. What other 80’s classics will suffer the pointless rehash? and why are modern classics not considered ‘sacred’ like older films? Can you imagine the backlash over a remake of Casablanca, Gone With The Wind or The Godfather?
Currently, there are plans afoot to remake Flight of the Navigator, which holds a special place in my heart. This was the first movie that I saw at the cinema and it had quite an impact on me at the time. This was a colorful, joyful, family friendly movie about a small boy who wakes up 8 years into the future and befriends an alien ship that has downloaded star charts into his brain.
I don’t want this film to be remade, it’s not necessary. The original holds up really well and I don’t want to see Max, or his fantastic ship bastardised into some spurious copy of the original. What next? a remake of Back to the Future with Daniel Radcliffe and a Tesla Roadster? Why stop there, Jaws, ET, Blade Runner or Raging Bull could all suffer at the hands of a Hollywood hack.
I’m not totally opposed to remakes, take the recent ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’. This was an excellent movie, but it was ‘inspired’ by the original movies rather than a pointless rehash. The same can be said for John Carpenters ‘The Thing’, The Coen brothers remake of ‘True Grit’, Cronenbergs remake of ‘The Fly’ and Kaufmans remake of Invasion of the Bodysnatchers. All of these remakes offered radical takes on the original source material and were incorporating original concepts into their work.
In summation then, there are some films that should just be left alone to stand as masterpieces. Such examples include King Kong, Casablanca, Gone With The Wind, Star Wars, ET, Jaws, Pulp Fiction etc… Just because a film is from the 1980’s does not mean that it is not a masterwork that should be left to stand alone as a sentinel to it’s time. Classics like Ghostbusters, Robocop, Blade Runner, Die Hard, The Breakfast Club, Top Gun, Labyrinth and Back to the Future should not be revisited. Sure, some of the aforementioned are ‘kitsh’ classics, but that does not lessen their import or influence. All of these films are ‘of their time’ and their remakes would only serve to earn a quick buck.