Courtesy of Tribune News Service

Opinion: Movie remakes are lazy, artistically bankrupt

When I saw the trailer for the upcoming "Lion King" remake, I couldn’t help but wonder what the point is. The original movie won’t be improved upon in any meaningful way, and this hollow CGI cash-grab will never supplant the 1994 version in the public consciousness. The only reason this movie is being made is because it gives Disney a chance to rake in money without having to put in the effort of actually coming up with a creative story. 

This isn’t art, it’s commercial diarrhea. 

Over the past few years, we’ve seen a huge push for more and more remakes coming out of Hollywood. Some of these remakes have been well-received, while others have been largely panned. Whether acclaimed or reviled, all of these remakes are similar in that they’re entirely unnecessary and pointless. 

No remake has ever been better than the original, and no remake has ever actually been needed. The movies that are chosen for remaking are still great years later and have stood the test of time. 

This recent obsession with remaking classic movies also comes at a real cost. 

The time, money and manpower dedicated to creating a pointless CGI version of the "Lion King" could have been dedicated to crafting new and original stories. Instead of merely updating the animation style of the old film, audiences could have been treated to something unique. 

The problem with this compulsive remaking is that it allows for the film industry to become complacent, to stop taking any sort of risk and to just rehash old successful films for quick and easy cash. 

Between the constant remakes and the endless deluge of trite superhero movies, Hollywood seems to be getting lazier and lazier. There are still plenty of great movies coming out, but more and more of the films coming out are either remakes or yet another Marvel/DC story. If you care about film, it’s hard not to groan at the lack of originality that seems to be everywhere. 

Who seriously wants more remakes? Even the remakes that have received praise, like 2016’s "Jungle Book," are largely irrelevant to the cultural zeitgeist. Whereas original Disney movies, like the original "Lion King" and "Toy Story,"  often had immediate and widespread cultural impact, the remakes disappear from public consciousness as soon as they end their theatrical runs. Everyone can quote the original "Lion King." Who’s fondly recalling the "Beauty and the Beast" remake? 

Remakes of movies never actually serve to advance the medium of film. At best, they are inane cash grabs that will be quickly forgotten. At worst, they are a malignant influence on the medium, encouraging the lazy recycling of old material instead of new stories. 

Instead of remaking "Back to the Future" and reviving a classic movie for a new generation, why not just make an entirely new story for the present generation to relate to? I realize that is a difficult task, but film is an art form, and good art is hard. The endless parade of remakes needs to end. 


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