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Podcast Like It's 1999

Mar 6, 2019

Anupam Nigam (Station 19, Psych) joins Kenny and Phil to discuss “Blue Streak,” Martin Lawrence’s 1999 remake of the beloved British Heist Film “The Big Job.”

“Blue Streak” is one of the few remakes we cover in 1999 and, frankly, the most superfluous.

Of what use is Martin Lawrence’s portrayal of diamond-thief-cum-imposter-police-officer when compared to Sid James’ legendary work in the original?

For whom is the easy chemistry between Lawrence and co-star Luke Wilson, when anybody could type “The Big Job” into any steaming service and relive the timeless, oft-quoted repartee between Mr. James and Dick Emery?

And which constituency was crying out to have the masterful scene where Mr. James disguises himself as a Italian food courier - replete with those classic wonky British dentures - reenacted by Mr. Lawrence?

“Blue Streak” is, on own merits, a perfectly cromulent caper. But it is rendered obsolete in a society like ours, for, as everyone knows, “The Big Job” is cultural touchstone for families the world over.

In remaking a timeless classic like “The Big Job,” moviegoers in 1999 likely wondered if Hollywood had simply run out of new ideas. Fortunately, it did not portend a permanent problem for the film industry.