In the latest news story to remind me why I sometimes detest Hollywood with a burning passion, Screen Gems’ remake of Gareth Evans’ Indonesian action classic, The Raid: Redemption is moving forward with plans to roll cameras in September, according to helmer Patrick Hughes.
Hughes just came off The Expendables 3, which is set to open this summer. He also directed the little-seen Ryan Kwanten vehicle Red Hill, so there’s not much to his resume yet. Still, Screen Gems seems as confident in their choice of director as they are confident in the wisdom of moving forward with an American remake of an absolutely flawless (not to mention very recent) foreign film.
Chris and Liam Hemsworth are reportedly being eyed for roles in the film, which just makes me angrier about this remake. For the life of me, I can’t understand why American movie studios feel the need to white-wash terrific flicks like The Raid: Redemption. The original film has plenty of fans in the United States, and it’s considered one of the best action movies in decades, so Screen Gems certainly can’t argue that it’s bringing American audiences into contact with a story they otherwise wouldn’t have much opportunity to see. And though Chris Hemsworth has demonstrated that he’s both dramatically and physically strong as an actor in films like Thor and Rush, his younger brother, known for a minor role in The Hunger Games and the bomb Paranoia, certainly has not.
Additionally, Evans is a bonafide genius at filming action sequences, and Hughes has shown no sign of any such talent thus far. It would be unfair to say he definitely doesn’t have it, but fans of the original are perhaps rightfully suspicious of claims that this remake of The Raid: Redemption will measure up to the original in any way.
Of the film, Hughes recently said, “If anything we’re looking to match the action, but also to have a really distinct take on it.” Good luck with that, sir.