Top 10 Terrible Action Movie Remakes

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Top 10 Terrible Action Movie Remakes

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nathan Sharp
Well that was completely unnecessary. For this list, we'll be looking at the most disappointing, unnecessary remakes of action films. Our countdown will include films such as “Death Race” (2008), “Robocop” (2014) and “Total Recall” (2012). We're being liberal with the term “action” here – including some movies categorized as thrillers or science-fiction that have a significant focus on action. However we're excluding reboots, such as “The Mummy” and “Conan the Barbarian.” Which action movie remake do YOU think is the worst all time? Let us know in the comments!

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Special thanks to our user Tristan Hartup for suggesting this idea!
Transcript
Script written by Nathan Sharp

Top 10 Worst Action Movie Remakes


Well that was completely unnecessary. For this list, we’ll be looking at the most disappointing, unnecessary remakes of action films. Our countdown will include films such as “Death Race” (2008), “Robocop” (2014) and “Total Recall” (2012). We’re being liberal with the term “action” here – including some movies categorized as thrillers or science-fiction that have a significant focus on action. However we’re excluding reboots, such as “The Mummy” and “Conan the Barbarian.” Which action movie remake do YOU think is the worst all time? Let us know in the comments!

#10: “Death Race” (2008)

Despite director Paul W.S. Anderson claiming it to be a prequel of sorts, a large majority consider “Death Race” to be a remake of the 1975 cult classic “Death Race 2000.” The movie stars a number of notable performers, including action star Jason Statham and acclaimed “Deadwood” alum Ian McShane. But despite the talent on hand, “Death Race” tends to fall flat more than it succeeds. This remake completely abandoned the goofy humor of the original and presented viewers with a loud action movie akin to “The Fast and the Furious.” It was fine for what it was, but it falls flat when compared to the original.

#9: “Brick Mansions” (2014)

“Brick Mansions” was Paul Walker’s second to last movie, and that’s about all that it’ll be remembered for. This is an American remake of a French movie called, “District 13,” which is well-known for its stellar parkour stunts. And while “Brick Mansions” tries to replicate its success, it often fails due to choppy editing that makes the stunts appear far more artificial and generic. The plot is also paper thin and the dialogue painfully cliché. If you want to see parkour done right, watch “District 13.” It’s exciting, well-filmed, and inventive. The remake is nothing but a generic action movie, and a poor one at that.

#8: “Oldboy” (2013)

“Oldboy” really should have worked. It was directed by Spike Lee, starred the usually-reliable Josh Brolin, and was a remake of an acclaimed Korean movie that was well-known for its violence and shocking plot twist. The ingredients were there, but “Oldboy” completely squandered its potential. It was a bland version of an otherwise unique and original film, and many critics agreed that its violence was gruesome simply for shock value and that it added nothing to the themes or mood of the movie. It was just another revenge flick, and had no reason for existing.

#7: “RoboCop” (2014)

“RoboCop” is the quintessential 80s movie: it’s corny, it’s over-the-top, and it’s terrifically violent. And it really should have stayed in the 80s. The 2014 remake certainly wasn’t a horrible movie, as it had numerous things going for it, including some convincing performances (especially from the always-terrific Gary Oldman), a thematic update for a new generation, and a slick sense of style. That said, it completely abandoned the satire of the original and significantly toned down the violence for mass market appeal. It was a teen-oriented action flick that lost much of what made “RoboCop” so unique and special.

#6: “Clash of the Titans” (2010)

Cash grab movies are bad enough. Cash grab movies with tacked-on 3D are even worse. Despite the talent on hand (including stars like Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes), all the performances are extremely hammy, and the script is so bad that it’s an insult to both Greek mythology and basic storytelling. And while the CGI was exceptional, the horrible 3D conversion extinguished any sense of excitement that the action scenes could muster. Greek mythology is rife with fantastic stories and “Clash of the Titans” could have been Hollywood’s next epic. Instead, it was just epically awful.

#5: “Total Recall” (2012)

The original “Total Recall” is a science fiction classic, full of interesting ideas, resplendent visuals, and Arnie himself hamming it up. On the other hand, the remake doesn’t do anything new, and relies solely on its admittedly beautiful visuals. In other words, it’s all style and no substance. The action is boring and clichéd, the characters are bland, and it takes itself far too seriously for its own good, which greatly upset the fans of the campy original. It’s nothing but a generic action movie in pretty clothing, but by 2012, audiences expected more!

#4: “Bangkok Dangerous” (2008)

The original “Bangkok Dangerous” was certainly no masterpiece, but it looks like “Citizen Kane” next to this. This remake stars Nicolas Cage and was released in 2008, at a time when Cage’s reputation was going downhill. And he did nothing to stymie that reputation here. The film was totally lambasted by critics, earning a 9% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 24 on Metacritic, with critics lamenting its slow pace, stale story, and awful performances - particularly that of Cage himself. Maybe remaking such a mediocre movie WASN’T a good idea?

#3: “Point Break” (2015)

Everyone knows that “Point Break” is a classic that shouldn’t be meddled with. Just ask Danny Butterman in “Hot Fuzz”! It featured some spectacular action sequences and an unforgettable climax. But the 2015 remake takes what worked in the original – the extreme sports angle – and eliminates basically everything else. It’s humorless, and largely bereft of story or character development. It’s basically nothing but overblown sequences of extreme sports, and plays like a big-budgeted highlight reel rather than a coherent movie. Just watch an extreme sports compilation and save yourself a few hours.

#2: “Red Dawn” (2012)

In 1984, Cold War tensions were still high, so it made sense that someone would make a movie about a Russian invasion and American patriotism. However, the Cold War was long over by 2012, so the minds behind this remake decided to replace the Russians with North Koreans. Yes, in this movie, North Korea’s military invades the United States, lands in Spokane, Washington, and battles a high school football team with machine guns. Ludicrous storyline aside, “Red Dawn” also foregoes any semblance of character development and features some awful acting and dialogue. No matter how you approach it, “Red Dawn” is a mess.

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“Death Wish” (2018)

“Ben-Hur” (2016)

“Gone in 60 Seconds” (2000)

“Get Carter” (2000)

#1: “Rollerball” (2002)

“Rollerball” is arguably one of the worst movies of the 2000s, let alone the worst remake of a notable action movie. The original “Rollerball” was both a highly intense sports/action movie hybrid and a relevant commentary on powerful corporations and individualism. As the chairman of Energy Corporation states, the game holds a “distinct social purpose.” The remake completely does away with any modicum of social commentary in favour of a loud, brash, frenetic spectacle that’s both poorly-constructed and entirely pointless. It might be a fun time if it was cut down to a four minute clip and paired with some rock music or something. But as a film, it’s an embarrassment.
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