The film industry has been known to love a great remake. Over the past 10 years we have seen remakes of classic movies like Carrie and beloved Disney classics like The Lion King. There has also been a trend of movies being made in America that are remakes of foreign films. The issue with this is many of these amazing foreign films aren’t getting the recognition they deserve.
This conversion was brought to the media's attention when it was announced that South Korean action-horror film Train to Busan was getting a Hollywood remake. In the past five years, although many foreign films have won Academy Awards, many people have not heard off or even watched the film. Many Americans aren’t watching foreign films due to the language barrier. They also aren’t being watched as much due to not many realizing they have access to them. Streaming apps such as Netflix and HBO Max have countless amazing foreign films.
Below are some amazing foreign films and their American remakes:
Infernal Affair (Hong Kong) - The Departed
This American classic features Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson and Matt Damon. With the plot of a Boston cop infiltrating a gang, the twist and turns of this movie made it a success. Many aren’t aware it's a remake of the Hong Kong movie titled Infernal Affairs. The only difference between these two films is that Infernal Affairs is a series of three movies. The last movie was released three years before The Departed and although Infernal Affairs had a lot of success in Hong Kong, it was the American remake that won an Academy Award.
Antarctica (Japan) - Eight Below
The Japanese film gave viewers a brutal look at what could occur in those temperatures. The American film was a lighthearted family film starring Paul Walker but it neglected to show viewers the truth about the harshness of Antarctica winters. While both were hits, Antarctica held a box office record in Japan for 14 years.
The Intouchables (France) - The Upside
The French film became a phenomenon after its release. The movie centers around a quadriplegic and his caretaker and the bond they create. It made $166 million in France and over $426 million worldwide. The American version starring Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston did well but did not generate the buzz and wealth that the original made.
These movies and countless others should be celebrated for the amazing perspective they have brought. Films such as Roma (Mexico) and Rabbit-Proof Fence (Indigenous Australia ) are beautifully created to truly show a new perspective that we might not see here in America. Parasite director and Academy Award winner Boon Joon Ho truly said it best, “Once you overcome the one-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.”