Entertainment Movies

Wednesday 25 April 2018

Leave those kids alone!

We can't move in the multiplex these days for modern updates of our favourite '80s movies. Nothing is sacred anymore, so this week Doug Whelan decided to pre-empt the Hollywood machine for the next round of remakes ...

Doug Whelan

Back to the Future

An untouchable classic, but when you think about it, there's a lot of fun to be had here. This time, 2015 teenager Marty McFly is whisked back in time to 1985 in a time machine (a Toyota Prius) built by his friend Emmett Brown (college-age genius – nothing to see here). All manner of fish-out-of-water shenanigans ensue.

Where Robert Zemeckis's original poked fun at '50s sensibilities, this one would pot-shot the '80s we remember all too well: fashion, music, the Cold War and a distinct lack of internet would all get a rinse.

And rather than Chuck Berry, Marty McFly would unleash Skrillex on the school dance using his smartphone, which Doc helped him recharge while juicing up the Flux Capacitor in the Prius.

Would it work? Weirdly, yes

The Goonies

In our remake, a group of kids discover local pirate legend One-Eyed Willy online and set out to find his 'rich stuff' for themselves. But is carefree adventure what it once was?

It was easy for '80s kids, as the notion of staying in all day Saturday was unthinkable. Now with consoles, laptops, tablets and every other electronic comfort at your fingertips, leaving the house might be a bit of a drag. Do kids play outside these days?

Would it work? Not a hope

The Terminator

With Terminator 5 allegedly on the way, a remake is not on the cards. If it were though, the hunt for Sarah Connor would be quite different as the Terminator (The Rock, inevitably) wouldn't have to look very hard: this time he'd have Twitter, Facebook and friends to help, or maybe even just Skynet's version of 'find my iPhone'. We jest, but when you think about it, a Terminator movie set in the privacy-free 2010s could actually have an interesting message alongside the traditional sci-fi scares.

Would it work? Maybe


Festive horror-comedy Gremlins remains a classic because of its satirical edge and dark heart. Remember Phoebe Cates's Christmas Eve story? Heavy stuff. If and when the remake comes along, expect CGI beasties wreaking vanilla-flavoured havoc on small-town America. It will be a satire-free zone (no Disney pot-shots, for one thing) and we'd bet it won't even be Christmas.

Would it work? No it would not

The Breakfast Club

Now we're talking. The Breakfast Club taught us a lot growing up, because everyone was able to identify with at least one of the mismatched misbehavers. There's scope for a respectable remake here, because while time, music and fashion have moved on, growing up is just as hard and those stereotypes still exist.

Would it work? Absolutely

Top Gun

1980s military movies like Top Gun had a dual purpose: box office bonanzas that urged US audiences to trust and admire their armed forces. And in this post-War on Terror (sic), post-WikiLeaks world, that might be a good shout. Then again, these days Top Gun is known more for its gay metaphors. So why not take a risk and make Top Gun a movie about an actual gay fighter pilot trying to prove himself in that macho world? The reason, of course, is that it wouldn't sell, but they say Hollywood is out of ideas? Have that for free, lads.

Would it work? Yes and no

Young Guns

We were going to confine our pitches to movies actually set in the '80s, but a remake of Young Guns is just too much fun. As the original was a vehicle for the Brat Pack (Sutherland, Sheen, Estevez et al), so this big-budget Western would bring together the under-30s A-List. Robert Pattinson would lead the group of outlaws, Daniel Radcliffe the bespectacled, waistcoated, conscientious one, while Zac Efron, Shia LaBeouf and, to everyone's horror, Justin Bieber as Billy the Kid make up the rest of the gang. And wouldn't you know it, Bieber steals the show.

Would it work? Why not

Irish Independent

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