You may not have noticed, but Shia LaBeouf (thank god this is written, not spoken, because I still have no idea how to say that name) seems to be challenging Bale’s status as the reboot king. Now, it only takes a cursory knowledge of cinema to know that if you planning on creating a sequel, remake, prequel, reboot, re-imagining, or a different take on a previously adapted novel, then Christian Bale should be your number one choice (see every other post on this blog for proof).
However, it seems that LaBeuof is trying to fashion himself into the younger, less-awesome Christian Bale. The poor man’s Bale, starring in half-assed LaBoof-Outs in imitation of Bale’s flawless Bale-Outs.
Let’s look at some recent examples:
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010)
Oliver Stone? He made World Trade Center, right?
LaBeouf starred in the long-awaited Wall Street sequel… that is, if you can categorize a sequel as long-awaited when it gets the response “Well, I guess they might as well make a sequel to Wall Street, right?” In order to consider how this tepidly-received sequel could be improved, the answer is simple: Patrick Bateman. Seriously. American Psycho was a self-aware satire, in which Bateman murdered people while working at Pierce and Pierce,the same firm that Shermany McCoy worked at in Bonfire of the Vanities. In Money Never Sleeps, they gave a cameo to Charlie Sheen as Bud Fox from the original Wall Street. Also, Oliver Stone gave himself and his mother both cameos. Why not throw Bateman in there as one of Gordan Gekko’s jailmates? In reality, Bale has the integrity not to reprise the role of Bateman for a cheap cameo, as he refused to play Bateman in a cameo in Rules of Attraction, and those films were canonical with one another. What really should have happened is they should have cast Bale in LaBeouf’s role, or refused to make the film at all.
Rear Window. One of the greatest films of all times, in nearly every top-100 list. Also one of the most parodied films of all times, from The Simpsons to That 70s Show to Head Over Heels to Rocko’s Modern Life to CSI to every other TV show that has decided to lazily do a Halloween episode and needed an easy plot line. It had also been previously re-made, in 1998’s Rear “We only made this movie to give Christopher Reeve something to do” Window. But what the LaBoif version brought to the table was… was… well, it sure didn’t have Christian Bale in it. The main thing it did was first establish Shia’s ability to be a poor man’s Bale.
Indiana Jones, aliens, and Shia LaBeef. Just imagine, for a moment, that there had been no aliens and no Even Stevens kid, and that there had been Christian Bale as a neo-Nazi attempting to get revenge for when Indy tricked his dad into drinking out of the false Holy Grail. Yep. That would have been better. Bale could have been a Nazi jewel thief trying to steal religious relics from a museum that Indy was curating, and it would have turned out better.
Get it? If you want to make an unnecessary sequel, remake, reboot, etc., you make a Bale-Out. There was absolutely no reason for 3:10 to Yuma to be re-made. But they did it anyway, and it’s one of the greatest films of the last ten years.
Stay tuned, as there will be upcoming, longer posts regarding how these three LaBeef failures could have been magnificent with Bale in Shia’s place.