My heart sank when I read here that Alex Cox is planning a sequel to Repo Man (his second, if you count the recent comic book follow-up), a movie to be called Repo Chick, which will not include the characters played by Emilio Estevez (left) and Harry Dean Stanton but will include a more blunt and polemical critique of global capitalism than that of Cox’s original 1984 film. This sounds like a terrible idea for a number of reasons: no one wants politics fed to them like spinach (the socio-political critique of the first movie was apparent but subtle); Stanton’s absence would leave a gaping void where the movie’s soul should be; and the first film was pretty damn near perfect as a grimy slice of life, a spiritual fable, and a self-contained story.

Thinking about this makes me wonder why directors feel compelled to keep tampering and tinkering with their signature movies. Think Ridley Scott and his multiple directors’ cuts of Blade Runner (right), or Francis Ford Coppola’s decades spent fidgeting with the Godfather saga, or George Lucas’ endless and heavy-handed tinkering with his own Star Wars canon. I know, the writer’s maxim says that no work of art is ever finished, only abandoned, but shouldn’t there come a point where the filmmaker decides to leave well enough alone and let a work of art that millions of people have already experienced stand or fall on its own merits and simply exist as a brilliant but imperfect vision? Isn’t there a point where you risk tarnishing yourlegacy more by messing with it than by leaving it alone? If it ain’t broke, why fix it?

addCredit(“Emilio Estevez, Harrison Ford: Everett Collection”)