Top 5 Best Remakes
Nothing splits a film crowd quite like the word ‘remake’. For many, rehashing everything that’s been remotely successful is not only sacrilege, it’s also a sad state of affairs which underlines the lack of originality in the industry nowadays. But just sometimes, Hollywood surprises us and gets it right.
To celebrate today’s release of The Magnificent Seven remake, we thought we’d give you a run-down of our favourite ever film remakes. Unfortunately no, The Wickerman didn’t make the cut… only just, though!
5) Heat (1995)
Not many Joes are aware that Michael Mann’s mid-90s crime classic was actually a remake of the director’s 1989 TV feature, L.A. Takedown. The basic synopsis is much the same with a cop (Al Pacino) and a criminal (Robert De Niro) realising they have more in common than maybe first meets the eye.
Of course, Mann’s second attempt had a bigger budget, genuine stars and a much tighter script than its television predecessor, which is probably why you’ve never heard of Takedown. Heat is packed full of quintessential camp action, one liners and juggernaut performances, and thus made it an obvious choice for our elite list.
4) Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Well, who saw this one coming?! With every other film in Hollywood seemingly now either a sequel or a remake, it’s hard to catch the paying punters off-guard in the cinema nowadays. But somehow, despite knowing roughly what to expect, George Miller’s fourth Mad Max, Fury Road, did just that!
The remake to the much loved Mel Gibson late-70s classic could have easily gone the way of other pointless remakes but instead delivered a full throttle perfectly bonkers road epic which, in our humble opinion, smashes the originals out of the park! It also gave us possibly the best character in cinema history with a red jump suit-wearing psycho rocking out on a flame-throwing guitar while chained to a speeding lorry and one million tons of booming amp.
3) The Thing (1982)
Another one many Joes might not realise is essentially a remake, John Carpenter’s classic sci-fi horror about a parasitic extra-terrestrial life-form was based on John W. Campbell Jr.’s Who Goes There?, a novella which was originally adapted in 1951 with the film, The Thing from Another World.
The Thing actually had a fairly lacklustre run in cinemas upon its release in 1982 but has since grown to be considered to be one of the best sci-fi and horror films ever made. Probably The Thing’s greatest achievement is the scares have lasted the test of time, and we’d argue it’s still one of the most terrifying films ever made despite its modest effects.
2) The Departed (2006)
Unless you’re into your Asian cinema, you might not be aware that Martin Scorsese’s 2006 The Departed was originally a trilogy called Infernal Affairs, a crime thriller set in Hong Kong. Much like The Departed, Infernal Affairs tells the story of a police officer who infiltrates a local gang, and a police officer secretly working for the same mob.
Featuring an outstanding cast with Leonardo Di Caprio, Matt Damon and Jack Nicholson all putting in some serious shifts, this is as an engrossing gangster drama you’re ever likely to see. With grit and twists as far as the eye can see, this is one of the best remakes ever made. While we think The Departed just shades it, we can’t recommend the Infernal Affairs enough too!
1) Scarface (1983)
Which leads us to our top spot, Brian De Palma’s 1983 Scarface. You probably all know the story by now; Al Pacino stars as Tony Montana, an exiled Cuban criminal who heads to Miami to work for drug lord Robert Loggia. Montana eventually rises to the top of Florida’s crime chain, taking Loggia’s mistress (Michelle Pfeiffer) in the process.
The 1983 Scarface came about following Pacino himself watching the original 1932 film of the same name. It’s alleged he then called his manager, producer Martin Bregman, saying he thought he could made a better one! Well, thank the Lord he did – the stylised and ultra-violent gangster epic is one of the Hollywood greats and tops our list for the greatest remakes ever made.