Planet Of The Apes (2001)
Tim Burton’s first huge flop proved that just because we have more sophisticated moviemaking techniques at our disposal nowadays doesn’t mean that we can match the charm and humanity of old-school filmmaking. It’s a point that’s rammed home in this turgid redo, which attempts to set itself apart from the original film. The result is a total howler with a truly atrocious final ‘twist’.
The Fog (2005)
John Carpenter’s spooky original transcended its goofy premise thanks to its prime ‘80s horror cast, which united the likes of Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Atkins, Janet Leigh and Halloween ’s Nancy Kyes. The best thing this remake has going for it is that chap off Smallville , which is another way of saying it hasn’t got a hope in hell.
The Stepford Wives (2004)
Want to see a timely send up of modern day living and the depressing reality of suburbia? Go watch Desperate Housewives instead, which continues to do it so much better than this turgid rehash. Though it managed to land a baffling sturdy cast – Glenn Close, Christopher Walken, Nicole Kidman – Frank Oz’s redo is camp to the extreme, in a really bad way.
There’s updating, and then there’s defecating on the original. Can you guess which one this film opts for? Over to Roger Ebert for a spot-on assessment: “Why bother to remake Fame if you don't have clue about why the 1980 movie was special? Why take a touching experience and make it into a shallow exercise? Why begin with a R-rated look at plausible kids with real problems and tame it into a PG-rated after-school special?”
Wolfgang Petersen is meant to be remaking The Poseidon Adventure , but really he remakes Titanic . Big boat. Big destruction. Lots of screaming. And a storyline involving warring family members. Even the CGI isn’t all that. The one saving grace is that we get to see Fergie bite it.
Death At A Funeral (2010)
Remade just three years after its British forbear, Neil LaBute’s ensemble comedy is the definition of pointless. All it does is Americanises the original film. Small consolation that it’s now James Marsden as a clothes-phobic funeral attendee.
The Wolfman (2010)
Too many cooks spoil a broth. Too many interfering studio suits spoil a movie. That’s the problem with The Wolfman . Universal was so concerned about resurrecting one of its most recognisable monsters that they ended up pushing it in a million different directions. The movie ends up – fittingly – being an unruly beast that doesn’t know what its doing with itself. Even Anthony Hopkins is rubbish.
Russell Brand plays Russell Brand again, except this time in a remake of the beloved Dudley Moore classic. Using that irritating baby voice and cracking jokes that fall flatter than an X Factor auditionee, Brand ensures that sitting through Arthur is a test of endurance like no other. Helen Mirren, what were you thinking?
Around The World In 80 Days (2004)
Inventor Phileas Fogg (Steve Coogan) attempts to – you guessed it – get around the globe in 80 days. Helping him out is comedy valet Jackie Chan. Completely changing everything about the original novel and movie, Around The World earned a pittance at the box office and all but buried Coogan’s chances at a full-blown Hollywood career.
A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010)
Robert Englund is Freddy Krueger. There’s simply no getting around that fact. So man-handling Jackie Earle Haley into the role for this reboot was never going to work – even if the actor takes a good stab at the part. The problem with this new NOES lies mostly with the film’s tone, which is never anything less than funereal. Wes Craven’s original at least had a little fun with the premise. This Nightmare is positively miserable.