Movies – Why a “Wrath of Khan” Remake Is a Bad Idea

I won’t lie. I’m not a fan of J.J. Abrams, as in, I actively dislike, if not outright despise, almost everything he’s been involved with. “Lost” was terrible, “Alias” was worse, “Cloverfield” had a plot problem so glaring I’m stunned it wasn’t fixed, and “Star Trek” was just “Star Wars” with the names swapped out (nothing against “Star Wars”; I just like it better when it’s called “Star Wars”). He’s not a visually dynamic or interesting director, he doesn’t write good scripts, as far as I can tell he just does what he’s told by studios and has had exceptional luck. I’m sure he’s a nice guy in person, but I’m just not a fan. And no, telling me “Lost” gets better will not magically convert me, because just from the plot summaries I can tell it doesn’t, so don’t waste your time or mine.

Also, “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” is one of my single favorite movies ever. It’s not perfect, just great. So it’s kind of a sign of my restraint that this entry isn’t just an all-caps rant. And to be fair nothing’s on the table yet, but I’d be surprised if Paramount didn’t want a de-facto remake of “Khan”; it’s their style.

It’s a bad idea for any number of reasons:

1) “Wrath of Khan” is, in the end, very much the hero entering middle age and facing doubts about his life. So, yeah, tonally, it wouldn’t fit. Unless this movie’s coming out twenty years from now, but I doubt Paramount plans their tentpoles that far ahead these days.

2) The entire idea of this reboot is to, well, reboot. My feelings about “Star Trek: The Motion Picture: The Sequel” aside, the reality is, the franchise isn’t catering to the fans anymore and it needs to stop pretending that it’s doing so. Paramount never gave a shit about them in the intervening thirty years, so why throw us sops now? Just terminate the relationship, Paramount. Dump us. You haven’t cared for years. You know we’ll still go, just be honest.

3) It would probably underperform financially and almost certainly tank critically. “Star Trek”, for all of its flaws, at least had the virtue of being entertaining, and that earned it a surprising amount of goodwill. Tackling a movie written and directed by an Oscar-winning screenwriter, on the other hand, is just begging to get smacked down.

4) There are better remake targets. If Kurtzman and Orci can’t just make some shit up, let’s revisit and update some of the Cold War scenarios from the original series. Those could make for some interesting movies, and actually could benefit from a remake.

But “Khan?” No.

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