Monday, January 30, 2012

Carnahan wants to remake Death Wish

If it wasn't for the 4 unnecessary sequels, there's a good chance that the Charles Bronson "classic" Death Wish would've gotten the remake treatment long ago. The thing is though A) it did twice in the same year, and B) is it still relevant in any way? Come what may, the ball is rolling: MGM and Paramount have tapped director Joe Carnahan to re-adapt the Brian Garfield novel/remake the Bronson film.

First off, regarding Joe Carnahan, he's of those guys who should've been barred from any film budgeted above $1M, simply because that's where he did his best work. Case in point: Kevin Smith - the closest he came to as passionate and fresh a vision as Clerks and Chasing Amy was last year's shoestringed Red State, otherwise he just sold out and cashed in. Carnahan's no-budget debut Narc was a gritty uncompromising kick in the guts, which is exactly the kind of treatment Death Wish needs to work, instead of giving it to a thumbsucking new director with Nic Cage in the lead (*shivers*). I haven't seen The Grey yet, so maybe Joe course-corrected himself, but for now I'll say YES to his nomination IF the budget is locked to a modest indie-like level.

Hello. My name is Inigo Mon-friggin-Toya...

BUT, back to point A, Jodie Foster's 2007 politely reviewed The Brave One is not only a remake but also an update of the story. Like Death Wish it centres on a passionate Liberal whose life is shattered when petty criminals kill her loved one, which pushes her to take the "Republican" stand of embracing the 2nd amendment, arms herself and becomes a fearsome vigilante. except this time the vigilante was a woman, to reflect the much more politically-correct times we live in as opposed to the chauvinistic mid-70s. The same year of our Lord 2007, another of Death Wish author Brian Garfield's novels was adapted as the Kevin Bacon thriller Death Sentence where a mild mannered white collar embarks on a violence escalation with the street gang that murdered his son. Sounds familiar? If those two aren't remakes in anything but name, than somebody please give Brett Ratner $200M for a Go-Bots movie!

Now THERE's a perfect Nic Cage vehicle!

As for the relevance, I know gun control is still a very touchy topic in the US and the yanks are increasingly happy about their right to bear arms, but here in Canada somebody carrying a gun that doesn't come with a badge and 18-months worth og government forms to fill is an oddity akin to quasi science-fiction. But more to the point, hasn't the vigilante/revenge flick been deconstructed -homourously or not- every possible way these past 5 years? Dave Lesewski would disagree, but then again he went and got himself into a body cast, didn't he? And speaking of which, there's the emulation factor to consider; do we really need a wave of night crawlers thinking it's ok to clean up the street by themselves with a Magnum .44 because that guy in that pretty realistic movie did it? And no, I'm not exaggerating, I was there when brainless idiots decided to Fast & Furious my formerly quiet little neighbourhood....


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