I get painted with the hypocrisy brush sometimes because I have a somewhat complicated view on the subject of remakes. I usually don’t care about remakes of old movies, but I do get annoyed by remakes of recent foreign films, if only because I feel like the original hasn’t had a chance to be seen by enough people (as opposed to something like Robocop, which everybody has seen, and if you haven’t seen it I’m not even sure why you’re visiting this particular site). But there’s a caveat even on that, and it’s that I think some foreign films could stand a little bit of punching up by soulless Hollywood types.
One of those was 13 Tzameti. It’s a movie in the Audition vein – stunningly boring at first, then lots of cool stuff. Except that 13 Tzameti followed the cool stuff with a really stupid finale that soured the whole thing for me. The French language film is about an underground Russian roulette club, and the Russian roulette scenes are among the most amazing and tense things I have ever seen on a screen. Everything else was sort of doo, though.
The thing is that a 13 Tzameti remake (to be called just 13) won’t improve on what was good in that film, so the only way I can see it being of any value is if it goes in a totally nutty direction of its own. And the news that Jason Statham and Mickey Rourke have signed on to the film indicate that is exactly what is happening.
And there’s more good news – original director Gela Babluani is directing this remake himself, so maybe the intensity could match the original. And he’s hired Sam Riley, a legit actor, for the lead role. But there’s also a down side: 50 Cent has signed on as well.
Still, when I weight it all out:
Jason Statham shooting himself (and/or others) in the head
Mickey Rourke shooting himself (and/or others) in the head
Original had a shitty ending and Hollywood will only want it to be shittier
I think I can throw my basic support behind this sucker.