There are two films coming out in the next few months that bear a lot of similarities: Joel Schumacher’s Trespass, starring Nic Cage and Nicole Kidman, and Rod Lurie’s Straw Dogs remake, starring James Marsden and Kate Bosworth.
Which will be better? Let’s break it down:
Director: Joel Schumacher vs. Rod Lurie. Schumacher is a hack, but a hack with some early career winners (Flatliners, The Lost Boys) and a mid-career gem, Tigerland. But he’s coming off the dreadful Twelve and hasn’t made anything worthwhile in over a decade. Rod Lurie, meanwhile, is mostly known as the screenwriter behind Joan Allen’s phenomenal Contender, though he did direct the well-received but little seen Nothing But the Truth, with Kate Beckinsale and Matt Dillon.
Advantage: A slight advantage to Straw Dogs
The Married Coupe: Nic Cage and Nicole Kidman vs. James Marsden and Kate Bosworth: Nicole Kidman is barely recognizable as herself anymore, and the same goes for Nic Cage in the trailer, despite the fact that he’s had no plastic surgery. But, there are multiple Oscar nominations (and a couple of wins) between them. Meanwhile, both James Marsden and Kate Bosworth are good actors that have never really landed the right part, especially Marsden, who is a regular scene-stealer in otherwise forgettable films (Sex Drive, 27 Dresses, Enchanted and especially the Death at a Funeral remake). Neither couple has much box-office clout, but at least Marsden and Bosworth aren’t overexposed. What I don’t get, however, is why James Marsden is made to look like a guy from the 1970s when the Straw Dogs remake is set in modern day?
Advantage: Straw Dogs
Villain: Alexander Skarsgard vs. Cam Gigandet. Do we even have to debate this one?
Advantage: Straw Dogs
Plot: Trespass is about robbers who hold a weak man and his wife hostage while attempting to pull off a robbery. The weak husband has to find the Man inside him to fend off the bad guys. There are also suggestions that the main villain had a fling with the wife. Straw Dogs is about roofers who hold a weak man and his wife hostage. The weak husband has to find the Man inside him to fend off the bad guys. There are also suggestions that the main villain had a fling with the wife.
Intangibles: Straw Dogs loses a point for being a remake; it loses a second point for being a remake of a classic. On the other hand, Trespass has been sitting on the shelf for a few years for unexplained reasons. Those explanations usually have to do with the movie sucking.
Winner: Straw Dogs by a wide margin.
Here are the two trailers, starting with Trespass:
And here’s the trailer for the Straw Dogs remake: