When I interviewed John Moore for The Omen remake, he seemed like a nice enough guy. I would probably be happy to knock back a beer with him. But when it comes to filmmaking, Moore is not a name that inspires confidence. It’s not that he’s a bad director – I would say he’s eminently competent – it’s that he makes movies devoid of imagination or originality. Mostly because they’re again and again remakes (or in the case of the upcoming Max Payne, video game adaptations). Behind Enemy Lines isn’t a remake, but it feels like a remake of a Reagan-era movie that would have been on regular rotation on HBO in 1986.
Now Moore is attached to yet another remake, this time of Capricorn One, the really odd conspiracy thriller from the 70s. There’s a lot I like about the original, including the fact that it features OJ Simpson, but what really tickles me is how unsuccessful it is. The film is obviously part of the wave of paranoid films that hit in the 70s, but it always feels to me like someone trying to cash in on that wave as opposed to being organically part of it. I guess if I was reviewing movies back then I would have been annoyed, but from my perspective in time it makes the film kind of delightful.
The original, directed by the equally just competent Peter Hyams, is about a faked Mars landing and the attempt to kill the astronauts who participated. If Moore’s The Omen remake is any indication, this sucker could be a shot for shot redo (original The Omen screenwriter David Seltzer received full WGA credit on the remake despite not working on it!). The script is by Peter Buchman, who I thought was headed for great things after scripting Soderbergh’s Che movies and Werner Herzog’s upcoming The Piano Tuner.