Out with the new and in with the old

"Dolittle" the latest Hollywood remake to promise big box results but be missing a crucial element

Rex+Harrison+played+the+original+title+character+in+%22Doctor+Dolittle%22+in+1967.

Raider Times photo / Courtesy of Getty Images

Rex Harrison played the original title character in "Doctor Dolittle" in 1967.

Naomi Baker, Raider Times staff

Over the past few years, remakes have become the trend in Hollywood. Modern iterations of classics such as “Cinderella” and, even more recently, “Doctor Dolittle,” have graced the big screen. These movies often prove successful for the company producing them with big box office results, but is the rise of remakes good or bad for the movie industry?

Recently we sat down in the theater to watch “Dolittle”. It was a pleasant and overall enjoyable movie, yet it felt like something was missing. 

Behind the million-dollar special effects and the star-studded cast was a surprising lack of originality. While the movie production itself certainly was not inferior in quality to the original, the story was, in a word, average.

This is an issue that many remakes fall victim to. The actors can be amazing, the cinematography stunning, but they all seem to lack the magic that originally pulled us into the story. The novelty that comes from seeing your favorite characters in a new light wears off quickly, leaving the audience wishing that it had just watched the original.

These remakes can essentially be categorized as un-original cash grabs for studios, and while there is a lot of effort going into these movies, they are definitely missing something.

The actors can be amazing, the cinematography stunning, but they all seem to lack the magic that originally pulled us into the story.”

While it is easy to point out the flaws that many of these remakes have, there are some true benefits to this movie-making approach. A remake is a way to introduce a classic story to a whole new generation of viewers. Stories like “Ghostbusters”, “Aladdin”, and “Pete’s Dragon” generate buzz for the originals while also passing the story along, ensuring their longevity.

Remakes also create a lot of profit for movie studios allowing them to invest in smaller, more creative projects. Plus, most of the time, these remakes have high production values, with many talented artisans working on them. Despite the many downsides of remakes, you can not argue that there are not more than a few benefits to them.

So are remakes the downfall of the movie industry or the best new trend? That’s up to you to decide. No matter what your stance is on these types of movies, there’s no doubt that there will be more coming out within the year. From “Dolittle” to “West Side Story”, remakes are here to stay.

–Jan. 16, 2020–