With reboots like Michael Fassbender’s “MacBeth” recently out with some of the big book adaptions of 2016, it got us thinking about some of the worst film remakes in recent history. Here are some of the most poorly chosen, poorly executed films to get rebooted in the worst ways possible, not including the many Halloween-related reboots that just pissed us off. Yeah, we’re talking to you, Rob Zombie. These are not to be confused with the best reboots Hollywood could come up with, obviously.
The remake of the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock film was a bold move, since everybody new giving a modern look to one of the most classic horror films was a waste of time. Using Vince Vaughn was smart in his pre-buddy comedy days, but the film fell light years from its original with a whopping 37 percent from Rotten Tomatoes. But we did enjoy Anne Heche very much in this.
The Karate Kid (2010)
Just before Jaden Smith went off the rails, he offered up an unnecessary remake to the 1984 classic alongside none other than Jackie Chan. Though the movie didn’t get crushed too badly in the reviews, it was a quiet and predictable remake of something that was already great. The entire Smith family was involved, so it’s hard to imagine the coming-of-age comedy being dull, but it was.
Planet of the Apes (2001)
Compared to one of the greatest film reboots and overall greatest trilogies currently closing out its run — “War for the Planet of the Apes” is set for 2017 — Mark Wahlberg’s 2001 one-off remake was a big disappointment. After nearly ruining the 1968 Charlton Heston gem with cheesy costuming and a storyline that played out a lot worse than its set design.
Charlie & The Chocolate Factory (2005)
We all love Johnny Depp, sure, but this is one of his dark Burton remakes we could do without (see “Dark Shadows for further analysis). Actually, don’t see it, as that Tim Burton remake, along with “Alice in Wonderland,” the above “Apes” movie and this Willy Wonka rendition left us incredibly disappointed and wanting more. And by more, we’re referring to less boredom, better casting and some sense of wild imagination that Burton seemed to lose in his reboots. And don’t get us started on “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” as this list of worst reboots could nearly be directed at Burton alone, a director we actually do like.
Maybe it was Puff Daddy’s fault, or maybe it was the overall lackluster of a premature CGI attempt at giving us an intimidating monster with a decent storyline. Unlike 2013’s Bryan Cranston-led reboot, this late ’90s remake of the 1954 original setup was painfully orchestrated with one of the most hilariously rotten reviews from Rotten Tomatoes. Lacking in heart, action and cast (thanks for trying, Matthews Broderick), we feel Hollywood could have saved $120 million and just ordered up another theme park ride to someone who cared.
Total Recall (2012)
Nobody tops an action film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, nobody. The 2012 remake may have been smart enough to cast Colin Farrell, along with a couple of hotties Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, but that sexy threesome, along with Bryan Cranston, is no match for the Governator. Whether its Americanized blockbuster design, overdone action sequences and overall explosive tone, the film takes attention away from a solid story, losing its charm and turning it into yet another passable action anecdote.
The Wolfman (2010)
Personally, I wanted this movie to be great, and unfortunately even with the help of acting greats Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt and Benicia del Toro, they still couldn’t manage a decent outcome. Though the film was more deserving of a remake than most of these (nearly 70 years since its 1941 original), the modern take on a classic took away its soul when it opted for modernizing it the only way people seem to know how: lack of suspense, overuse of effects, drowned-out story. This one had us howling for our money back in one of 2010’s biggest disappointments.
The Wicker Man (2006)
It’s hard to imagine Nic Cage doing anything less than perfection, but the remake of the 1973 film was an addition to Nicolas Cage’s worst movie hairstyles and an add to the loss column for the worst films of Nicolas Cage. A surprising result from director Neil LaBute, the shock factor in 2006 was nowhere to be found, taking the cult following away and giving boredom and over-acting new, scarier definitions. It’s one of those so bad they’re good movies you have to watch for a solid laugh at failed attempts.
Death at a Funeral (2010)
The speedy, Americanized, black comedy (actually just all African-American, save for James Marsden) remake to an already-great 2007 dysfunctional family film also came from Neil LaBute, the guy we just trashed above for thinking Nic Cage could remake a classic. Though the cast is chock full of great comedians like Chris Rock and Tracy Morgan, it was essentially took the wit and charm of the British original and quickly shoved it down the toilet the way your mother did when your pet goldfish died. It was a swift, quiet flush, but it happened. Though the movie wasn’t an entire bore, it was completely unnecessary. I even interviewed LaBute about the movie before it came out, and all I wanted to do was ask about his great indie films instead of the obvious flop on the horizon.
Conan the Barbarian (2011)
You knew what this was before you saw it. Jason Momoa trying desperately to reinvent a 1982 mythology that both could not and did want to be remade. Another Arnold Schwarzenegger action film failed to be restored, we seemed to have missed all the greatness of the original with overdone action filled in by hollowed-out characters. We told you: You can’t remake a classic Arnold. Now do you believe us?