Every now and then we see or hear about a remake concept we can live with, even endorse. An updating of the 1977 hockey classic Slap Shot is not one of those ideas. Here's why:
1. Try finding another leading man as charismatic as Paul Newman — who can ice skate. And, in the spirit of the original, he's got to pull off a crusty, ex-pro player/coach pushing 50 who can credibly oversee a rogue Charlestown Chiefs squad of misfits, hacks and ne'er-do-wells. And charm the ladies. And do his own skating. Never. Happen.
2. Weren't the sequels punishment enough? It took 25 years for some dark-hearted cynic at Universal to realize the studio hadn't bludgeoned its cult classic into franchise submission, but they made the most of the travesty in 2002, toplining Stephen Baldwin in the straight-to-DVD abortion Slap Shot 2: Breaking the Ice. When you thought it couldn't get any worse, Leslie Fucking Nielsen showed up last year to drive the Slap Shot 3: The Junior League nail into Newman's casket. We understand no legacy is safe in Hollywood, but in these punishing economic times, let's be responsible. Plunder Bull Durham or something for a while.
3. You can't replace the Hanson Brothers. Tempting as it may be to rope in some of the modern NHL's most outlandish characters as the Chiefs' infamous "retards," let's face it: People love the Hansons. It's not like Universal can go out, put black-rimmed glasses Sean Avery, Todd Bertuzzi and Claude Lemieux, and throw them in the locker room to deliver indelible (and NSFW) scenes like this:
4. Dean Parisot is no George Roy Hill. Director Hill was no genius. But for five films between Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Slap Shot, he was one of the '70s most expert arbiters of tone, character and action, winning an Oscar for The Sting in 1973 but arguably topping out with this ensemble comedy that perfectly captured the lower-middle-class angst of late-'70s America. Parisot, who's attached to direct the new version, parlayed his own 1988 Oscar for the Steven Wright short The Appointments of Dennis Jennings into the sterling efforts of Galaxy Quest and his most recent remake horror, Fun with Dick and Jane. Well done, Universal.
5. Everyone will have to wear helmets. Safety first, we know. But imagine this extraordinary sequence working with the entire cast's faces obscured:
God, please make it stop.
- Parisot skates to 'Slap Shot' remake [Variety]