Thursday, 10 September 2015

Hollywood Babble On & On #1250: Deserving Better Than A Remake?

Here's a great video about Remakes from Good Bad Flicks (h/t Nate Winchester):

Which is a good segue to today's topic, which is the news that MMA fighter Ronda Rousey will star in a "re-imagining" of the 1989 Patrick Swayze vehicle Roadhouse for MGM.

When I heard the news my first thought was that she should beat up her agent.


Because if she's serious about a movie career would remaking a movie that marked the death knell of the 80s action movie golden age that started with The Terminator.

You see, by 1989 Hollywood was worried that action movies about cops, soldiers, and secret agents were passé and tried to reinvent any occupation that might throw a punch as some sort of ninja-combat master.

Which is how we ended up with a movie about a ninja-bouncer taking on a small town gangster whose whole operation looked like it came from a rejected script from the A-Team.

The film fizzled at the box-office, but gained a cult following on home-video and cable by those who watch cheesy movies to enjoy them ironically. It also marked the beginning of the end of mainstream street-level action movies that went on to become more and more dominated by special effects and eventually superheroes.

This has given MGM the delusion that the general audience is hungry for more Roadhouse, ignoring that they already had a 2006 sequel that came and went on DVD without even the studio noticing.

I think shoving her into an over-priced un-imagining of a film that left most of the audience cold when was first released is a big mistake when it would be so easy to come up with a catchy original premise for her to star in, that would be hers and could mark the beginning of a new franchise.

She's young, attractive, and can kick ass with extreme prejudice. Coming up with starring vehicles she can call her own would be the easiest thing to whip up.

To show you how easy it is I will pull some out of my ass right here, right now:

THE LONG DROP: Rousey's a rookie detective sent to pick up a witness working in a half-completed skyscraper. The witness is the only one who knows where a fortune in laundered money is hidden. When she arrives the place is crawling with hired killers, gangsters, and thieves, all out to find the missing money, including her own partner.

Ass-kicking, rescuing, and dangling from great heights ensues.

There, you got everything you want to kick off a good two-fisted action franchise without the baggage and nonsense associated with a remake.

THE STARLET: This is more of an action comedy premise which would depend heavily on her comic talents. Rousey plays a seemingly harmless and slightly klutzy actress who is targeted by crooks either to be kidnapped for ransom or because she has or knows something they want. What the crooks don't know is that, despite appearances, she has a devastating punch and a knack for foiling their schemes even unintentionally.

Naturally, lots of slapstick insanity ensues.

See, two very different and lively original premises that are guaranteed to work better than remaking some old nonsense.

Plus, my premises are for sale. 

Cash up front please.


  1. Matt Whiskey10/9/15 2:17 pm

    Rousey comes from humble begins and dreams of stopping bad guys and serving her country in law enforcement. Her skills are undeniable, but she has a hard time controlling her temper. She washes out of the FBI or Secret Service after she hits somebody. She too volatile for law enforcement, but she's just what a shadowy secret government organization is looking for in a super spy. She'll need to learn to control her temper and take direction from her more experienced partner (man or woman - doesn't matter), but she'll get a chance to unleash the beast on the scum that would threaten 'Merica.

  2. Call it THE HOT HEAD and you've got a franchise.

    See Hollywood, it's freakin' easy!

  3. I dunno D... "the Long Drop" sounds like a remake of Die Hard...

    Or you know that's what Hollywood would do to it.

  4. Any action film set in a comparatively enclosed space sounds like a sequel/remake of Die Hard. It set the standard for the sub-genre. Same way any cop-based action pic with the slightest element of mystery is basically a rehash of Dirty Harry.

  5. Sadly, Haywire followed your prescription and it tanked. And it's really quite good, so that wasn't the problem.

    1. Haywire was sold as just another "American spy hunted by other American spies" movie which had been hashed over at least a dozen times since the first Bourne movie. Which made it look practically like a remake.

    2. Rainforest Giant19/9/15 12:29 pm

      Gina Carano is far more feminine that Rousey. Rousey has the blocky face that just screams 'Test'. She always had a round face and she's been involved in Olympic level martial arts since she was a girl but her brow ridge and jaw are getting way too pronounced. All pro athletes dope and fighting has been the dirtiest business since before Queen Victoria was born so I am not expecting anything different but who in the hell is going to be her boyfriend in this? He'd have to be the most masculine man since John Wayne. That's Rousey's main problem in movies. She looks too masculine.

      About the Bourne movies if 'Hawkeye' can replace Matt Damon then Damon's agent and career stink. I think Renner made a better Bourne anyway. How many movies can we make about the CIA rogue agent? The world may never know.

  6. To paraphrase Dr. Johnson - a woman's fighting is like a dog's walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all.

    1. Rainforest Giant19/9/15 12:19 pm

      You're right. That doesn't stop me from enjoying a good action movie with a female protagonist but it needs to give me some hook to hang my disbelief on. I've been involved in too many fights, assaults, and uses of force and practiced and taught martial arts too long to blithely accept a woman hammering on men two hundred pounds a foot taller, and with a couple extra feet of reach.

      Don't get me wrong. I like action but it has to look good. An example of an action movie that was just barely able to keep it's star from looking like a bad Italian gladiator movie was Tim Burton's Batman. Keaton looked awful obviously not an action guy. Want to see somebody sell action? Look at Steve McQueen or Jimmy Stewart. Not who you would expect to do physical but they could.

    2. For me to watch it they would have to cast a babe instead of the world's largest dwarf.