The way he sees the character of Sam Bowden is the key to why Martin Scorsese wanted to remake the 1962 thriller "Cape Fear." Bowden, played by Nick Nolte, is a defense attorney who is threatened by a man from his past - a rapist who has finished a 14-year prison sentence and wants revenge for what he believes (correctly) was a lousy defense.
In the original film, Sam Bowden was a good man trying to defend his family from a madman. In the Scorsese version, Bowden is flawed and guilty, and indeed everyone in this film is weak in one way or another, and there are no heroes. That's the Scorsese touch.