Dir: Stephen Kay
Star: Sylvester Stallone, Miranda Richardson, Michael Caine, Alan Cumming
After writing the script for The Mod Squad, you’d think Kay would have had enough of pointless remakes; sadly, such was not the case. Instead, we get a film which, with surgical precision, removes everything worthwhile from its inspiration, replacing it with car-chases, fist-fights and all the traditional trappings of a Sylvester Stallone movie. For Newcastle, read Seattle – another rainy Northern port, so fair enough. And much of the plot is the same as the original, albeit with necessary updates e.g. the porn movie becomes a porn CD.
The problem is a combination of the script, which converts Carter from an anti-hero, into a guy who’s nice to women, kind to children, and probably fond of animals, and Stallone, whose delivery of the occasionally surviving classic lines destroys most of their impact. The supporting cast do their best, even if I suspect Caine was laughing up his sleeve half the time, and there are a couple of decent touches, such as a menacing scene in an elevator. It’s not enough. If you’d never seen the original, this could perhaps be acceptable, as an undemanding if equally unimpressive example of Stallone’s limited abilities; if you have, the ending in particular will have you screaming “Why? Why?” at the screen.