These Reboots And Remakes From The 2010s Weren’t Worth The Price Of Admission
Reboots and remakes of classic films became “all the rage” in the 2010s. No movie or franchise was safe, and not all of those that were released improved on the original. Some, like Fantastic Four, were downright awful. But which ones were the worst of the worst? You may have been excited about seeing The Mummy when it came out in 2017, but there’s no way you were still smiling when the credits rolled. These are the reboots and remakes from the 2010s that deserve to be forgotten.
Child’s Play Missed The Mark
In 1988, Child’s Play was released in theaters and turned Chucky into a horror icon. Sequel after sequel was made until the entire franchise was rebooted in 2019. The new movie reimagined the villain as having rogue artificial intelligence instead of being possessed.
Critics were kind to the remake, giving it a warm 63 percent fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes. Horror fans turned away though, leading to a final box office haul of $29 million. While this remake wasn’t worth it, a TV series from Chucky’s original creator is being developed for the SyFy Channel.
Fantastic Four Was Anti-Climactic
Boasting an abysmal nine percent rotten score on Rotten Tomatoes, the Fantastic Four franchise reboot from 2015 never stood a chance. Directed by Josh Trank, the film took a slower approach to the origin story that included a rushed third act stuffed full of budget-busting special effects.
The film was so bad that Trank later disowned it, claiming studio interference ruined his original vision. Whatever the truth is, the reality of what audiences were forced to watch can’t be changed.
The Transporter Refueled Sprung A Gas Leak
The original Transporter trilogy starred Jason Statham as Frank Martin, a man who will transport any cargo for a cost, without asking any questions. The movies were loved by audiences, so Europa Corp decided to cash in with The Transporter Refueled in 2015.
Ed Skrein replaced Jason Statham as Frank Martin, and the plot involved the character’s dad and a bank robbery. Its release proved the franchise had run out of gas, with critics giving it a 16 percent rotten score on Rotten Tomatoes.
The Mummy Should Have Stayed In The Past
On paper, The Mummy franchise reboot from 2017 starring Tom Cruise was a can’t-fail proposition. Universal planned to use the massive summer tentpole to launch their “Dark Universe” of intertwined monster movies. When the movie came out, it was clear the franchise should have stayed in the past.
The Mummy earned $80 million in the United States while costing a reported $125 million to make. Critics weren’t kind either, with Aly Caviness from the Midwest Film Journal writing, “Absolute garbage from beginning to end.”
Total Recall Wasn’t Funny
Total Recall came out in 2012, was directed by Len Wiseman and starred Colin Farrell. A remake of the Arnold Schwarzenegger cult classic, the strong man wasn’t the only thing missing. So was a sense of humor.
The original Total Recall was rated-R and came at a point in the muscle man’s career that was more self-aware than others. Colin Farrell’s reboot was watered down with a PG-13 rating and was weighed down with an over-serious tone that turned audiences off.
Power Rangers Wasn’t Kid Friendly
Any kid growing up in the ’90s probably watched Power Rangers. The silly television show took teenagers with attitude, gave them special powers, and had them fight kaiju like creatures with their zords.
In 2017, Lionsgate brought the franchise to the big screen hoping to use nostalgia to drive revenue. The new take on the old classic was darker and lacked the childish humor from the original show. Critics were lukewarm, giving it a 51 percent rotten score on Rotten Tomatoes, but audiences were less kind, ensuring a sequel won’t be made.
The Amazing Spider-Man Was More Of The Same
After Spider-Man 3 was met with a negative reaction by fans in 2007, Sony decided to reboot the whole franchise. Andrew Garfield became the new Peter Parker and The Amazing Spider-Man came out in 2012. Despite being a near carbon copy of Tobey Mcguire’s first Spider-Man, it was hit, so a sequel was made.
The Amazing Spider-Man came out in 2014 and featured a plot over-stuffed with villains and lacking originality. The reaction was so bad, that Sony cut a deal with Disney to take over creative control of the superhero.
Man Of Steel Melted
The Detective Comics Extended Universe (DCEU) officially kicked off with Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel in 2013. The film told the origin story of Superman and was a flawed hit. While it wasn’t the worst reboot of all-time, one decision Superman makes at the end left audiences shaking their heads.
In the comics, Superman refuses to take a life. At the end of Man of Steel, he’s forced to end Zod’s life to save humanity. The shocking moment ensured the movie would live in infamy in the history of superhero filmmaking.
Ghostbusters Was Too Forward Thinking
The 2016 reboot of Ghostbusters was doomed to fail from the start. When it was first announced the franchise was being rebooted with four women in the lead roles, “fanboys” revolted. Once that happened, it didn’t matter how good the movie actually was.
Critics gave Ghostbusters high marks, with one writing, “Ghostbusters may not be a film for the ages, but it’s definitely deserving of a thumbs up…maybe even a million of them.” Unfortunately, fandom turned its back on a movie that didn’t deserve the hate.
Does Anyone Remember Conan The Barbarian?
Before Jason Momoa was turning heads as Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones and Arthur Curry in Aquaman, he played Conan The Barbarian. The remake of the 1982 classic came out in 2011, although we’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who remembers it.
Conan the Barbarian came and went with a 25 percent rotten score on Rotten Tomatoes, with one critic simply writing, “Rent the original instead.” Momoa blamed the failure of the film on the script.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Lost The Magic
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was the most successful independent film of all-time when it came out. Kids loved it although critics didn’t, two massive sequels were made, and an endless number of toys were sold. The same probably won’t be said for the 2014 reboot.
Unlike the original movie, which boasted two highly entertaining sequels, 2014’s sequel, Out of the Shadows was a box-office flop, forcing the studio to take one of its most lucrative franchises back to the drawing board.
Annie Was All Talk
The idea behind the remake of Annie from 2014 was a good one. The filmmakers wanted to take a classic musical and re-invigorate with a more diverse cast. With that in mind, they set out by casting Jamie Foxx as Will Stack and Quvenzhané Wallis as Annie.
The only problem was the musical felt less like song and dance and more like unsubtle grandstanding. Film critic David Jenkins put the blame on Will Gluck, the director, “Gluck, who appears to have never seen a musical film in his life, shoots dance numbers with staid limpidity and zero sense of rhythm, and edits them in a way so as all the performers are barely visible.”
Ben-Hur Was An Epic Disaster
Originally released in 1959, Ben-Hur is considered a cinematic masterpiece and one of the greatest movies ever made. It only makes sense that Hollywood decided to remake it in 2016 then, right? Wrong, the expensive and flashy remake failed to make an impression and audiences stayed away.
Kevin Maher of Times was one of its harshest critics, “What’s wrong with the new Ben-Hur? How long have you got? This is a textbook case, step by agonizing step, of how not to make a big-budget blockbuster.”
Arthur Lacked Heart
The original Arthur from 1981 was a critically lauded comedy that won Jon Gielgud an Academy Award. The 2011 remake starring Russell Brand in the title role was seen by critics and audiences as an unnecessary and crass cash-in.
Sukhdev Sandhu of the Daily Telegraph wrote, “The biggest sin is that Arthur, who was such a soulful, delightful, oddly life-affirming character when played by Dudley Moore, is here merely a boring drunk. Where’s the fun in that?
Oldboy Was Pointless
Oldboy was always an obvious choice to get the remake treatment. Starring Josh Brolin, directed by Spike Lee, and released in 2013, it was the first time the foreign classic was made for an American audience.
Made for a modest $30 million, Oldboy was only able to reel in $2 million in the United States. Add in the other $2 million it made overseas and you have one of the biggest bombs of the year. Now we know why The Guardian wrote, “This Oldboy is another pointless remake, and I couldn’t swallow it.”
Poltergeist Didn’t Bring Fresh Scares
Another remake of a horror classic, Poltergeist came out with barely a fright in 2015. Advertised as a horror film for the whole family, director Gil Kenan watered down the terror of the original, leaving audiences wondering if anything was still lurking around the corner.
When theatergoers were polled by CinemaScore as they were leaving the theater, they gave it an average grade of C+. If there was any good news for the studio behind it, the movie did manage to turn on a slight profit thanks to its small budget.
Carrie Lacked A Pulse
Some movies are better left alone. Carrie, based on the Stephen King novel and originally released in 1976 is one of those movies. Not only is it remembered as a classic scary movie, but it is also one of the few films of the genre to garner Academy Awards.
The remake came out in 2013 and starred Chloe Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore. Peter Bradshaw, a critic for The Guardian wrote, “The result is efficient, but only tentatively updated to the digital age of cyberbullying and social media, and it is strangely pointless.”
Red Dawn Couldn’t Overcome The Past
Red Dawn sat on a shelf for years until the remake was finally released in 2012. Featuring a star-studded cast led by Chris Hemsworth, this should have been a fun update on an ’80s cult classic.
Instead, Red Dawn lacked the self-awareness of the original and failed to be entertaining. Peter Bradshaw wrote, “This has to be the year’s most pointless remake: a boring and badly acted reboot of John Milius’s gung-ho red-scare actioner from 1984.”
RoboCop Was Better Than It Could Have Been… Which Isn’t Saying Much
Part of the joy of the original RoboCop is how it satires modern society. As tends to happen with remakes, though, the 2014 update took itself too seriously. It was drenched in black and blues with stylish camera work and lifeless actors.
Richard Roeper, one of the country’s most respected film critics wrote that RoboCop was a “cynical, boring, PG-13 retread.” If you haven’t seen this one, you can skip it and watch the Peter Weller original instead.
The Lion King Was More Of The Same
The Lion King remake from Disney in 2019 took the charming cartoon characters and turned them into photo-realistic animals in Africa. The results, while undeniably stunning, were also unnecessarily emotionless. As for the dancing animals… How about walking and singing instead?
Take away the visual wonder and the movie played out as a scene for scene recreation of the 1994 classic. When trying to figure what the point to all it was, we just have to look at the box office numbers. The Lion King made $543 million in the United States and over $1 billion worldwide.
Alex Cross Wasn’t Convincing
The low 11% that this film was rated on Rotten Tomatoes probably has to do with the fact that its leading character had big shoes to fill. This action-packed mystery film revolves around a detective who must hold tight to his morals while facing a prestigious hired killer.
In the original films, Morgan Freeman played the protagonist, which makes sense considered his characters are often wise and authoritative. However, throw in the hilarious Tyler Perry, who often controls just about every aspect of his own films, and you have a lead that’s hard to completely buy.
Hellboy Wasn’t As Thrilling
Fans of Strangers Things may be surprised to discover that Elle’s lovable father-figure also played the lead in Hellboy in 2019. That’s both because it’s hard to distinguish who the actor is behind all of that makeup, and because the movie more or less went unnoticed.
That may have something to do with the fact that the original Hellboy was released only 15 years prior and was well-received by viewers, earning an 81% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. This weaker version made half as much as its original did at the box office, which says a lot when you factor in inflation.
A Nightmare On Elm Street Wasn’t The Same
It’s difficult to replace a horror villain when the original was such a success. That’s exactly what they tried to do with the 2010 Nightmare On Elm Street. However, we can’t blame the low ratings entirely on the fact that there was a new lead.
More than likely the thing that left this remake unsuccessful was the failed attempt to fix something that wasn’t broken. Rather the leaving the classic the way it was, this adaptation put in a new, and very unsettling, twist that didn’t sit well with audiences.
Hitman: Agent 47 Lacked Story
Considering the fact that this movie scored a disastrous 9% on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s a miracle that it managed to bring in $82 million at the box office. One critic for the New York Times called the film “dumb as dirt and just as generic.”
The problem is that the action film attempted to carve a story out of characters from a videogame. That resulted in a lot of go-to cliches, like the damsel in distress and the untouchable agent who, for whatever reason, wants to help her.
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit Played In Safe
With a well-established cast including Chris Pine, Kevin Costner, and Keira Knightly, you would think that this thriller would be epic. The story revolves around a CIA agent who becomes aware of Russia’s plan to destroy the US economy.
In this day and age, that plot is as fascinating as ever, which is why it raked in $135 million at the box office. Unfortunately, the film received mixed reviews from critics to match its 55% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. This could have been improved if the film had dared to push the envelope like audiences expected it would.
Tomb Raider Was Dull
Tomb Raider was one of the most successful films on this list in terms of profit, raking in $275 million at the box office. However, victory isn’t only measured in dollar signs. When it comes to ratings, this flick only received 52% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The issue may have been best articulated by a critic for Empire who wrote, “for an adventure film, it’s disconcertingly dull.” While the movie does many things right, it simply feels like a step-down from the action-packed story Angelina Jolie headed back in the day.
Dredd Flew Under The Radar
Considering the fact that Sylvester Stallone played the original Judge Dredd back in 1995, it’s impressive that this movie received any positive reviews from critics. “Judging” by the positive reviews, Karl Urban lived up to the character, as did the overall film.
So why did it just barely break even in terms of budget, earning only $41 million at the box office? That can only be explained by marketing. Unlike many other comic strip-inspired stories and sci-fi thrillers, this one came and went without so much as a thump.
Death Wish Was Weak
Death Wish stars Bruce Willis in this 2018 action drama about a man who takes matters into his own hands after his family is impacted by a home invasion. This version seemed shameless in its lack of depth.
Where the tale could have at least considered morality and consequences, it stays in the past where those sorts of ideas were thrown out the window for the sake of entertainment. It’s no wonder the film has 18% on Rotten Tomatoes and only made $49 million at the box office.
Fame Fell Flat
This film technically came out in 2009, but it was such an epic failure of a remake that we thought it deserved to make it to this list. The original film was a classic, if for no other reason than it fit perfectly into its era: the wild and whacky eighties.
The filmmakers took the charming original and remodeled it into a flat version void of the emotional vigor in the first one. According to critics, this cutesy version would have done better on the Disney channel than on the big screen.
Footloose Is Forgettable
The original Footloose was a perky tale about teens who bring the joy of dance back to a jaded small town. It’s a classic that didn’t need to be touched. However, that didn’t stop filmmakers from trying to remake the movie (and failing).
The problem is that the original had just the right amount of everything: cheesiness, depth, fun, and struggle. This one relied too heavily on a cute cast and ultimately turned a classic into another, nearly identical, dance flick of the 2000s.
Point Break Was Too Serious
If ever there was a film that begged the Joker-posed question, “Why so serious?” it was the 2015 version of Point Break. The original came out in the nineties, which was a magical time when films could be both cheesy and wonderful.
Similar to a cult classic, the original Point Break was famed not for being revolutionary, but for being charismatic. The enjoyable flick went dark in this version full of daredevils and drama (not the fun kind). Despite raking in $133 million at the box office, it has an 11% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Clash Of The Titans Didn’t Live Up To Expectations
Clash of the Titans takes mythological characters Perseus (the son of Zeus) and Hades and pivots them against one another in an epic battle of good versus evil. The tale takes the oldest story in the book and throws in Liam Neeson and a whole lot of CGI. What could go wrong?
Naturally, the box office exploded, garnering almost $500 million! Despite its impressive earning, the movie has a low 27% on Rotten Tomatoes. The take-home? The film was all hype with little improvement from the 1980s original, and even less charm.
Beauty And The Beast Was Unimpressive
The live-action Beauty and the Beast received a whopping $1.2 billion at the box office, making it by far the most successful film on this list. That isn’t surprising considering the fact it’s one of the most beloved Disney stories of all time.
However, many were disappointed by Emma Watson’s modest singing voice and the less soulful feel. It seemed to some that filmmakers relied heavily on the movie’s beautiful and artificial aesthetic, leaving the performance less impressive than the 1991 version. To be fair, many consider the cartoon near perfection, so it was bound to disappoint.
Mowgli: Legend Of The Jungle Was Too Harsh
Between the incredible cast (including Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale, and Benedict Cumberbatch), and the special effects, this movie seemed like a shoo-in for success. While audiences were expected a realistic take on The Jungle Book, viewers still were shocked at the violent turn this film took.
Far from the fun-loving, jazzy cartoon we know and love, this dark spin on the tale left many movie-goers unsettled. The film proves to be unenjoyable, and nearly unwatchable, without humor and music to cushion the fall.
Aladdin Couldn’t Beat The Original
The passing of Robin Williams was hard enough without the replacement of one of his most lovable characters. While critics appreciated Will Smith’s charisma as the genie, it still left viewers hungry for the cartoon we’re familiar with.
The Bollywood flair of the film put a unique twist on the classic, but it was a weak attempt at distracting from the obvious fact that the movie didn’t need remaking in the first place. Rather than feeling like a necessary step in the right direction, it felt like an unnecessary step in no direction, leaving the highly profitable film with a mere 57% on Rotten Tomatoes.