Johnny To’s Breaking News isn’t a great movie, but it’s a pretty damn good one. There’s a great unbroken shot at the beginning that shows a cops and robbers shootout, and a pretty good assault on a tenement building in which Hong Kong cops, eager for an image rehab after the film’s earlier events, are equipped with Aliens-style helmet cams. At one point during that sequence, a couple of the bad guys take a family hostage and…cook dinner with them.
How much of that will make it into Newsmakers, the Russian remake of To’s movie? Judging by the trailer now hosted by Twitch, the basic structure is the same. Though I’d hope the remake either tries to top the big single-shot shootout or changes that construction altogether. What’s the point in replicating the same awesome single take someone else has already made?
This, by the way, beat the rumored Joel Schumacher remake into production. I don’t know if that project is even still alive and kicking.
Keep an eye on the Watch This Now column, where I’ll revisit To’s original Breaking News in the next couple days.
Behind every great book adaptation is a forgettable first try. — By Ryan Covey