An unnecessary remake



I do get why director Rod Lurie would want to remake Sam Peckinpah's Straw Dogs, it is an under seen, ugly but futilely exhilarating film experience that came out more than 40 years ago but is still remembered for how it pushed buttons back then (and still does today) However I suggest a slight pass on Lurie's film because it has nothing new to say and is just as ugly as the first one -without the artistic integrity or sheer balls of the original. The rape scene is tamed down, the characters much less focused and the cast -Kate Beckinsale?- slightly miscast. What made Peckinpah's original so great was how bold it was and the questions it was asking. What constitutes rape? Is the main heroine actually being raped or is she somewhat enjoying the feeling of being physically hurt by an ex? The audience was never really given any answers and had to figure it out on their own, whereas in this version Beckinsale's performance leads towards a more negative direction.




Peckinpah did not just tackle rape, he wanted to know what exactly it meant to be a "man" - masculinity was an incredible part of his classic. Does not defending yourself when the time needs be and just walking away make you a coward or just plain smart & mature? The Lurie version seems to be celebrating violence, whereas the Peckinpah version -although having its main hero played by Dustin Hoffman kicking ass- had you cheering for blood in a very ugly way. Did it really have to be like this? did Hoffman's character have any other choice but to take the law in his own hands? It's questions such as these that are missing in the remake but also a sort of freshness that made it incredible to watch Peckinpah's version for the first time. Lurie follows the story and doesn't change much of the structure, which is a real shame cause imitating Peckinpah is practically near impossible. Lurie should stick to doing his own stuff, such as the underseen but valuable Nothing But The Truth from just a few years ago.

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