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10 Arnold Schwarzenegger Movies That Need to Be Remade

Columbia Pictures/Tristar

For fans of the 1990 original, the new remake of ‘Total Recall‘ starring Colin Farrell seems very unnecessary. The original is not only a classic action film but it’s also one of the few good films in Arnold Schwarzengger’s long and painful career.

Sure the “Governator” has made his mark in movie history by bringing us memorable performances in ‘Predator’ and the ‘Terminator’ films. But the public’s very fickle memory conveniently forgets a very important fact: for every good film, there are at least five that stink out loud.

Instead of remaking the classics, why not take a second stab at the turkeys? Many of these films have strong premises that could benefit from better writing, directing and casting. Check out 10 Ah-nuld movies that should be rebooted below.

1. ‘Commando’ (1985)

This ultra-’80s action film is basically what everyone pictures a typical Schwarzenegger film to be in their head. Even people who have never seen one of his films probably imagine it looks just like ‘Commando.’ Some evil dudes with vague South America backgrounds (they come from “Val Verde,” a fictional country also referenced in ‘Predator’ and ‘Die Hard 2′) kidnap the daughter of a former Black Ops soldier played by you-know-who. Naturally he goes on a shooting and killing spree to get her back safe. It would be ridiculously easy to remake this one in one for modern-day audiences: less cheesy one-liners, more Liam Neeson.

2. ‘The Running Man’ (1987)

This futuristic piece of action fiction is one of the slightly better films from Schwarzenegger’s catalog, which is like being the least rotten apple in the barrel. It puts Schwarzenegger in the role of an innocent man accused of a hideous crime he didn’t commit who is forced to fight for his freedom by participating as a contestant in a deadly reality game show.

It seems more appropriate to do a remake of this film now since TV is filled with all sorts of sordid reality competitions that humiliate morons for our amusement. (In a way, we’re not that far off from ‘The Running Man.’) Take ‘The Hunger Games’ approach and give a gritty, realistic edge to Stephen King’s tale. As for who should step into the late Richard Dawson‘s shoes in the role of slick, homicidal host Damon Killian? Regis Philbin, of course.

3. ‘Eraser’ (1996)

Pairing Schwarzenegger with some kind of unlikely partner like a classroom full of kids in ‘Kindergarten Cop’ or kid-sized adult Danny DeVito in ‘Twins’ is a staple of the man’s career. ‘Eraser’ is one of the few films that tried to do this with a completely straight face by pairing Schwarzenegger with Vanessa Williams as a star witness being hunted by some people because she knows too much. Anyone with a modicum of imagination could easily picture the likes of Jason Statham or Bruce Willis in the special agent role with just about any female pop sensation trying to make a move into movies in the Williams role. (Rihanna perhaps? ‘Battleship’ wasn’t exactly a slam dunk. She could use a second try at movie stardom.)

4. ‘Red Heat’ (1988)

The Soviet Union may have fallen and removed another enemy from the roster of “Ah-nuld” film villains, but there must be a way to bring back this Schwarzenegger buddy cop schlock. Once again, the film tries to stick Schwarzenegger with a completely opposite partner in the form of Jim Belushi as a smart-aleck Chicago cop. This remake would make sense now or 50 years from now. Hollywood will never run out of comedians who are willing to do action films that are way out of their league but attempt to provide them a spotlight as the comic relief in an otherwise serious film. Pair Arnold with Ben Stiller, and get ready to count the box office receipts.

5. ‘The 6th Day’ (2000)

This late attempt for Schwarzenegger to regain one more shot at sci-fi action glory had a promising story, but the execution failed miserably and it has been sitting on the bottom of the Wal-Mart DVD discount bin since it left theaters. Too bad, since the film has an interesting plot about a massive cloning conspiracy. Where it falters is in allowing Schwarzenegger to play two different roles when he can barely handle one. There are a ton of higher-grade action actors (Chris Evans, for instance) who could turn this otherwise fine story into something more watchable.

6. ‘Junior’ (1994)

This may be one of the most bizarre choices not just for an action star but a star of any genre. Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito team up again in this comedy from Ivan Reitman about a fertility experiment in which Schwarzenegger is impregnated with a child. That means we’re treated to 120 minutes of jokes about Arnold having sensitive nipples and hormonally imbalanced mood swings. It’s actually more of an action film for the audience — it takes an iron will to survive watching it. The remake, however, has Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis’ names all over it.

7. ‘End of Days’ (1999)

Oddly, this is Schwarzenegger’s only supernatural thriller. But with half of the world thinking that the changeover to the year 2000 would bring the end of the world, it made sense to put him in an action film where he has to go toe-to-toe with Satan. This mess of a movie could certainly use a new lick of paint and some polish, perhaps by giving it to one of the folks behind the ‘Paranormal Activity’ movies who know something about unholy evil in horror.

8. ‘Last Action Hero’ (1993)

Attempting a remake of this notorious bomb might sound like career suicide. Schwarzenegger’s career had pretty much taken on a life of its own and doing a movie that made fun of his insanely famous status as an action movie star who spouted catchphrases and opened fire at the drop of a hat seemed like a smart move. Unfortunately, it tanked at the box office and became one of the most critically reviled films of the decade. Still, over the years the film’s satire of action movie tropes has developed something of a cult following. Imagine if Arnold reprised the role of Jack Slater and used the sequel as an opportunity to poke fun at his transition from acting to politics. Think ‘Tropic Thunder’ with a political slant.

9. ‘Red Sonja’ (1985)

‘Conan the Barbarian’ might have helped make Schwarzenegger a star but another director’s attempt to capitalize on that groundbreaking success was fraught with more peril than one of Conan’s epic quests. This lame attempt to make some more money off of Schwarzenegger’s name and success was met with a heavy thud as it landed in the theaters. Robert Rodriguez attempted a remake a few years back that would have starred Rose McGowan, but it fizzled. A strong Red Sonja movie would help us to forget last ‘Conan the Barbarian’ flick.

10. ‘Hercules in New York’ (1969)

Of course, every great movie star has to come from humble beginnings and they don’t get any humbler than this famous clunker. Schwarzenegger’s first feature film role was in this “comedy” about the famed mythological strongman being sent to New York City where hilarity is supposed to ensue. This movie is so bad that Adam Sandler’s production team could do a remake of it as a vehicle for Kevin James in the title role and it’s sure to at least be 10 times better.

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