The Worst Movie Remakes in Recent Memory

Story posted April 22, 2021 in Arts & Entertainment by Jimmy Lu.

Classic movies are filled with a certain type of wonder and amazement that made them such great films upon their release. Unfortunately, that wonder and amazement can’t always be replicated in the form of a remake.

In this listicle, Jimmy Lu takes a look at three of the worst remakes released.

Mulan (2020)

Out of all the Disney live action remakes, “Mulan” could be one of the worst. The film changed its plot significantly to its animated predecessor and it ended up being a complete mess.

In order to be more “culturally appropriate,” the production team decided to change the plot drastically, however, the movie suffered because of it. The writers added the element of “chi” but completely misunderstood the meaning of it.

By making her the “chosen one,” the character of Mulan was also butchered. What makes Mulan such an amazing character is because of her bravery, intelligence and humanity, and the live action film presented none of those elements.

Although the film did receive nominations for Best Visual Effect at the Oscars, the lack of diversity in the production team, cringeworthy to downright terrible acting, and the complete misunderstanding of what makes the animated movie such a success in the first place, makes “Mulan” one of the worst remakes of all time.

The Lion King (2019)

Another Disney live action remake that makes the list is “The Lion King” remake in 2019. The film did gross over one billion in the worldwide box office; however, it does feel like an exact copy of the original animated movie.

Disney doesn’t seem to know how to recapture the magic of its animated movies, and they’re not trying to stop either. It’s hard to breathe new life into a classic; some try to change it for the better, but most of them just end up being worse, and some try to do the exact same thing as its predecessor.

Director Jon Favreau chose to go with the latter, but unlike his remake of “The Jungle Book,” he did not revive the spirit of the original “The Lion King.” The voice cast, especially Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner and James Earl Jones did their best.

Beyoncé even created a whole album for the movie, and the stunning visual effect is quite an achievement, but they’re not enough to carry the emotional weight of its original story. 

Charlie's Angels (2019)

There have been some terrible remakes in recent years, and Elizabeth Banks’ remake of “Charlie’s Angels” is definitely one of them. The first two “Charlie’s Angels” films starring Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Lucy Liu were not perfect by any stretch, but it is still considered a classic.

Banks is more than capable of directing a good film, and she does have many interesting ideas that she wanted to do to make this film stand out in the “Charlie’s Angels” franchise.

The plot and the action sequences are way more grounded and closer to reality, but it is also quite underwhelming compared to other great action movies. The first Charlie’s Angels were successful because it is completely over the top, but it also embraces its flaws.

The 2019 version seems to be taking itself too seriously, and loses the “fun” of the original films. Banks and the cast tried their best to offer something new, but the result is a lackluster action movie with a few cheesy jokes.

Jimmy (Chien-Hsing) Lu is a senior majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email