Almost 40 years after the original the 2005 version shows how much the world has changed. To start off with there is a woman passenger in this film unlike the original where the only female was an exotic Arabian dancer (although a mirage). In this version the frail girl passenger is a foul-mouthed oil driller who wears the obligatory tank top and spandex pants once the boiler suit has been discarded.
In addition to this we have two black men, one who is the co-pilot. In the original the Mexican dies in the ill-fated march through the desert however in 2005 the Mexican survives. (The writers are probably sensitive to the many Mexicans who die trying to cross the Arizona and Texas border in hot conditions). In fact he defies almost certain death when the wing of the new construction collapses on top of him but survives. In 1965 the cocky Scotsman survives but in the 2005 the Scotsman perishes in the shoot out with the nomads. Interestingly, we are still aloud to use nomads as the cruel bad guys, again in the original it was the Arabs who were the barbarians, that won't cut today, so it's probably why outer Mongolia was chosen.
However, the writers slipped up with their choice of the anti-hero. In the original the blond hared blue eyed bespectacled trouble maker was a German called Dorfman, who menacingly portrayed the stereotype of Nazi arrogance and superiority who audiences back in 1965 (20 years after the war) could easily hate; yet he turned out to be the hero in the end.
To bring it up to date and really be politically correct they should have used a Muslim. We all could have hated him but then hailed him as a hero in the end too. All in all a pointless remake and for die-hard fans of the original they may have a hard time swallowing this one. The original, which is a longer movie, is superior in portraying the hopelessness of their predicament as well as the underlying tensions between the survivors. Cowardice and bravery are on show in the 1965 version, but in this one ---, just stupidity!