What? Hollywood is
ruining remaking another Asian film?!
Look who’s not happy about this recent development:
I’m not a fan of remakes, whether by Hollywood or Asia because there’s so much room for creativity in this world, why “borrow” a complete work only to end up ruining it?
Think My Sassy Girl or iL Mare–two of my favorite Korean films. As expected, Hollywood ruined them. No matter how I liked the tandem of Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock, they just couldn’t bring the same subtlety to The Lake House that Jun Ji-hyun and Lee Jung-jae did in iL Mare. And don’t get me started on that tree that literally grew on the screen. It was hideous and caused me sleepless nights. No kidding.
When I read that Martin Scorsese has picked up Infernal Affairs, I knew it was going to be doomed. Nevermind if it was “the” Scorsese or that it starred Leonardo di Caprio, Matt Damon and Jack Nicholson but most people I talked to agreed that The Departed did not get the very core at the center of Infernal Affairs: the concept of eternal hell in Buddhism. Scorsese instead turned it into a slam-bang action film that totally lost the original concept, “great” acting notwithstanding. Why call it a remake then if you’re going to destroy the very essence of it? Why just make your own film? I’m sure Scorsese is capable of that.
Here are just some Asian films that have been remade by Hollywood:
- Japan: Ringu (The Ring), Ju On (The Grudge), Shall We Dansu (Shall We Dance),The Seven Samurai (The Magnificent Seven), Rashomon (The Outrage), Nankyoku Monogatari (Eight Below), Dark Water, Chakushin Ari (One Missed Call), Godzilla
- Hong Kong: Infernal Affairs (The Departed), Jan Gui (The Eye)
- South Korea: My Sassy Girl, iL Mare (The Lake House), A Tale of Two Sisters (The Uninvited)
- Thailand: Shutter
This article talks about the best and worst remakes.
According to this article, it’s not just an issue of running out of fresh ideas in Hollywood. There’s also an economic side to it.
But to be fair, it’s not just Hollywood that’s remaking films but Asian neighbors too. South Korea has remade Hong Kong’s A Better Tomorrow, for example. And China is remaking Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
Now back to Death Note. I just hope they don’t pick Justin Bieber to play L.