Wednesday, October 5, 2011
You mean Kung Fu right?
The Karate Kid.
Ok, let’s get going here. The original Karate Kid is one of my all-time favorite films. I love part one and two, and I have memorized the dialogue even. Deceptisean (who sometimes posts on here) is a big fan too and both of us often quote dialogue and talk about certain scenes that we loved in the old movies.
So here comes this remake which is pointless to be sure, and in fact, Jaden Smith doesn’t even learn Karate! He learns Kung Fu. So why not call it the Kung Fu Kid? Well that wouldn’t guaranty seats like calling it Karate Kid would.
If you ignore that part of it, the title and the fact that it’s a remake, it’s not a bad movie. It’s not great either though, as its structure is exactly the same as the old one. However, this one takes place in China.
The scenery in this film is bloody amazing. China is a beautiful place and I was taken aback by some of the shots in this flick. Jaden is believable and likeable in this role, and Jackie Chan just rocks in anything he does. The villains here aren’t quite as nasty as the old one, I guess since we are dealing with 12 year olds, they can’t be shown to be as brutal, but it does take some of the emotion away. I remember the old movie, and how I hated the villains, I wanted them dead! In this one I was more impressed with their martial arts skill than being pissed off at them.
That being said, they still suck and bullies need to be beaten up and they are. There is no crane kick, and no wax on, wax off, but they substitute with others moves and training, which are lame in comparison.
Another thing, I don’t think the emotional bond and relationship between Jaden and Chan was a good as the original one. I mean Daniel and Miyagi are so great that you actually feel as though they are truly friends and it feels so real that I thought maybe they were best friends in real life too. And I even felt envious of Daniel – I wanted a friend like Miyagi too.
Another quick point is that in the original one, the trainer was a white guy who was a Vietnam veteran and used karate for fighting, and he taught his students that. Miyagi taught Daniel the true meaning of karate, so it makes sense coming from Miyagi – he knows what karate truly is. I doubt that in China an evil trainer would train little kids bad stuff, when Kung Fu is super respected in China. And in the old one, the villains were spoiled rich white guys, so they get defeated by Daniel who knows the real value of karate (how it brings balance to his life etc) and he is on equal terms. I think it would be tough for little Jaden to defeat a bunch of Chinese guys!
In this one, Kung Fu is used just for sport, Jaden doesn’t really apply any of the teachings to real life. One thing that is good in the remake is that the mother has a larger role and Jaden is able to win over this Chinese girl’s father (he doesn’t approve of her being friends with Jaden) by using words instead of trying some stupid trick to impress her. I thought that was great!
All in all, this was a good movie; it won’t be remembered as much as the old one, but I am hoping that kids seek out the old one if they enjoy seeing this one.
So check it out as a companion piece to the original, you’ll like it.