Top 10 Worst American Remakes of Foreign Movies

Script written by Niki Neptune. Some things are just better when they're not made in the USA. In this video, WatchMojo.com counts down our picks for the top 10 worst American remakes of foreign movies. For this list, we're taking a look at foreign films that underwent an American remix and didn't quite stand up to the original. In these cases, the charm and appeal of the original, not to mention some of the creativity, ends up being lost in translation. Special thanks to our users Emily Carlstrom, Germano Pontes, gretchenvila and nneptune for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
Credits
Tags
Comments

You must login to access this feature

Transcript
Script written by Niki Neptune.

Top 10 Worst American Remakes of Foreign Movies


Some things are just better when they’re not made in the USA. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 worst American remakes of foreign movies.

For this list, we’re taking a look at foreign films that underwent an American remix and didn’t quite stand up to the original. In these cases, the charm and appeal of the original, not to mention some of the creativity, ends up being lost in translation.

#10: “Bangkok Dangerous” (2008)

Based on a 1999 Thai movie of the same name, this American installment may’ve had the same directors as the original in the Pang Brothers, but that’s where the similarities end. Starring Nicolas Cage as a hard-worn assassin named Joe, this retread strips its protagonist of the deafness and muteness that originally made the character so unique and informed his motivations. Instead, we’re treated to Nic Cage running around in Bangkok, brooding and shooting everyone. The film was not considered a success.

#9: “Taxi” (2004)

Queen Latifah as a taxi driver? Sure. Jimmy Fallon as an undercover cop? Alright. Gisele Bündchen as a sexy bank robber? Um… Okay. But even if we yield all those points, this remake of the massively successful French franchise is still problematic. Paralleling Luc Besson’s 1998 version, Latifah’s a newly-minted cabbie with professional racing aspirations, Fallon’s a bumbling detective; but that’s where the fun ends. Through an American filter, “Taxi”’s a mess with impossible stunts, clichéd jokes and the obligatory laughing-gas scene. However, it did succeed at the box-office.

#8: “City of Angels” (1998)

On its own, “City of Angels” is not terrible. But as a loosely reworked version of Wim Wenders’ 1987 masterpiece “Wings of Desire,” it’s a betrayal. Both follow angels who observe humans and end up falling for one; however from there, the U.S. retread diverts into a soppy romance between Nic Cage and Meg Ryan. Whereas the Franco-German original teams with interesting side-stories and supporting characters, and allows viewers to discover the film’s sentiment for themselves, “City of Angels” basically bangs the audience over the head with emotion.

#7: “The Tourist” (2010)

The takeaway from this remake and the 2005 original is that good plastic surgery saves lives and rekindles romances. Starring A-list actors Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp, this remake of a French thriller should’ve been a box-office smash. Instead, it was a confusing mash-up with no clear plot. Unlike the original, the film lacks the charm and chemistry of its leading actors and takes itself too seriously. However, despite derision from critics and audiences, the film was nominated for three Golden Globes; however, they were in the comedy category.

#6: “One Missed Call” (2008)

A handful of Japanese horror movies have survived American remakes and flourished; this is not one of them. Hailed as the worst-reviewed film of 2008, “One Missed Call” was cited for its vanilla performances, clichéd scares, and for ripping off horror classics like “Scream,” “The Ring” and “The Grudge.” While 2003’s original Japanese version was also criticized for similarities to those films, the American remake takes it to the next level. This redo is like a slap in the face to the J-horror genre.

#5: “Dinner for Schmucks” (2010)

With both Paul Rudd and Steve Carell headlining, we thought this would be a ridiculously funny remake of the original French comedy. What we got instead was a clunky film that was overwhelmingly just “meh.” The charm and wit, and most importantly, the likeability of the main characters didn’t translate to the American incarnation. With cheap slapstick, lots of awkwardness and only a few funny moments sprinkled throughout, it’s a slice of soggy white bread when audiences were expecting a nice, crusty baguette.

#4: “Get Carter” (2000)

Fans were excited to see Sylvester Stallone reemerge from near obscurity to star in this remake of the 1971 British classic about a mob enforcer who’s investigating his brother’s death. But their excitement probably stopped there. The original version, starring Michael Caine, was decidedly gritty and dark. And, sure, the 2000 U.S. remake did attempt to touch on the seediness and violence of the original; but it got lost in its attempt to be “cool,” which just ended up looking corny.

#3: “Death at a Funeral” (2010)

It was cool that Peter Dinklage reprised the role he played in the 2007 British original. But other than that, there doesn’t seem to be any compelling reason for this film to’ve been remade. “Death at a Funeral” follows a family as they navigate a catastrophic memorial service full of farce and family secrets, slapstick and shenanigans. And, as you can imagine, both are in supremely poor taste. While neither film was necessarily Oscar-worthy, the remake’s clumsy writing and lackluster acting ensure it falls short of its source material.

#2: “The Wicker Man” (2006)

Audiences were probably too shocked by the utter preposterousness of the Nicolas Cage version of this film to realize it was a remake of a 1973 British classic starring Christopher Lee. While the original was well received, the remake of this story about a mysterious group of pagans was a dumpster fire of ridiculous. Aside from Cage’s frantic and awkward performance, there’s not much to recommend in the remake. Other than that part where he punches a lady in a bear suit and the bees. The many, many bees.

Before we rip on our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “Solaris” (2002)
- “The Grudge” (2004)
- “The Eye” (2008)
- “Dark Water” (2005)
- “The Vanishing” (1993)

#1: “Godzilla” (1998)

The 1954 Japanese original spawned an international phenomenon, a slew of entertaining sequels and practically an entire genre. So, it makes sense that almost 50-years later, Hollywood would decide to barf on that legacy with a really poor remake of the iconic film. What could’ve been an opportunity to showcase new advances in special-effects just wound up being an excuse to watch Matthew Broderick wear a beret for over two-hours. With a drastic redesign of the titular monster, next-to-no plot and iffy acting, “Godzilla” gives all remakes a bad name.

Do you agree with our list? What do you think is the worst American movie remake? For more entertaining Top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
Download

You must register to a corporate account to download. Please login

Related Videos

+ see more

More Top 10