5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Not a patch on the original,
This review is from: Straw Dogs [DVD]  (DVD)This remake of the 1971 Straw Dogs features James Marsden (Cyclops from X-Men) as David Sumner, a man who moves with his wife Amy (The beautiful Kate Bosworth) back to her hometown of Blackwater Mississippi to finish his screenplay. After bumping into local-boy and Amy's high school sweetheart Charlie (Alexander Skarsgård - Zoolander) they hire him and his buddies to do up the dilapidated barn on Amy's property. As the men labour, they covet Amy and frictions between the intellectual David and Charlie flare. Will they manage to resolve their issues peacefully?
To avoid launching into an essay-length comparison between this version and the Dustin Hoffman one, I think it's worth noting that this is a loyal remake that keeps the same plot devices as the first. It's exactly the same story but with the volume turned down. In doing so, it's lost a lot of the symbolism and comes across as celebrating the violence rather than lamenting what David has been driven to.
The cast are capable but I wasn't impressed with anyone's acting (not even James Woods as the coach) and Kate Bosworth's rendition of the plot-critical scene is truly confusing, I have no idea if she was meant to be half-enjoying it or not, but that's the way it's filmed (if you've seen the original, you'll know what I'm talking about) but it's pretty abhorrent regardless. Nonetheless it still fails to even compare.
In conclusion, this film doesn't really gain anything by being moved from Cornwall to Mississippi, the cast are solid but uninspiring but it's a noble attempt at contemporising the story for a new generation, unfortunately, the imagery from the first ends up diluted and feels like they are just glamorising violence. Worth a watch, but if you have the choice, go for the 1971 version.