THINGS COULDN'T GET much worse for Dudley Moore. His career has been ruined and his health imperiled by the degenerative brain disorder progressive supranuclear palsy, and his time may indeed be running short. To add insult to this injury, the film containing his best performance (and best-known, outside of Arthur) has been remade in slapdash Hollywood fashion.

The new edition of Bedazzled is a comedy with all the troublesome wrinkles of irony ironed right out, and any sharp edges dulled. Built to run entirely on star power, it seems undernourished by the presence of Brendan Fraser as the rubber-faced doofus (played by Moore back in 1967) and Elizabeth Hurley as The Devil, who grants the lovesick Fraser seven wishes in exchange for his soul.

If Peter Cook, who wrote and played Satan in the original, isn't rolling in his grave, then Goethe certainly is--and if you got that reference, then you definitely should not see this movie. More than for jokes, the movie seems an excuse for Fraser and Hurley to try on different costumes, hair extensions, and vapid expressions as the wishes inevitably go awry. This is one of those screenplays where the main character has to be a total idiot for the plot to move along at all.

Harold Ramis, who had the brilliant idea of remaking this film, was once a skilled purveyor of the titillating and trashy in film comedy: Caddyshack, Stripes, and National Lampoon's Vacation attest to that. But the man has lost his spunk, and his films have become bloated and unbearably safe.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot: Whoever had the idea of giving Elizabeth Hurley actual dialogue should be taken out behind the barn and whipped.