Thursday, June 17, 2010

Movie Review: The Karate Kid

It has been a little over a month since I have written a movie review and while I have seen two summer blockbusters since the last review, those being Iron Man 2 and Get Him to the Greek, they were hardly worth writing about. In short, Iron Man 2 was a poor excuse of a sequel that deviated more from a weak story line then Tiger Woods cared to deviate from his marriage while Get Him to the Greek was a funny at times film that felt somewhat incomplete in its composition but has the potential to grow on you like it’s predecessor, Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

When I first heard of The Karate Kid remake I groaned in agony as I anticipated Hollywood to yet again butcher a classic and personal favorite. In my opinion, the original Karate Kid movie is a near perfect film; it has your classic underdog protagonist, the douchey and hated villain in Johnny and the Cobra Kai, the wise Mr. Miyagi as the mentor, a challenge for the hero to overcome, a final showdown between the two entities and a love interest in the form of a young and rotund Elizabeth Shue, whom is a direct link to Kevin Bacon in the film Hollow Man, therefore adding to your repertoire of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon knowledge. I cannot stress how important a direct link to Kevin Bacon is as one would be stumped without such trivial knowledge. If only such wisdom was acceptable to put on a resume; maybe I would have at least gotten a call back by now! But I digress from a weak movie review more then Tiger Woods... wait, I used that metaphor already.

Dre is the new Karate Kid and finds his life in Detroit ripped apart when his mother accepts a new position in Beijing, China. As expected, Dre has a hard time fitting in, not only because the Chinese seem mystified with African American hair styles, but because he has a bit of a salty attitude. Immediately, Dre makes enemies with the neighbourhood assholes and finds himself beat up on the pavement more often then one would care to be. Thank goodness the maintenance man, Mr. Han, can kick some serious pre-pubescent butt! Reluctantly, Han takes Dre under his aged wing and teaches Dre the mysteries of Eastern Philosophy and facial modulation through the use of Kung Fu. Did I just say Kung Fu? Why the hell isn't this movie called the Kung Fu Kid?!

What the poor movie summary above shows is that the remake follows the original very closely. Almost exactly actually, which I am extremely ecstatic about. The new Karate Kid is a near perfect re-application of the original's story line. Almost every scene from the original is recreated and infused with its own Eastern influence. I hate how some remakes try to re-invent the original. The new Karate Kid doesn't pretend to be something new and amazing. In true Confuciast and Taoist fashion, The new Karate Kid sticks close to the game plan and did a great job of keeping hardcore purists like myself happy.

Now, on to my gripes about the film, besides the film being called The Karate Kid and not the Kung Fu kid: (a) I don't like how the hero, Dre, was so young. No diss to Jaden Smith, the kid is going to have a long and successful career, but I just feel that the youth of Dre is too much of a departure from the O.G. K.K. (b) I find it hard to believe that Jackie Chan is an old man. I'm a huge fan, and I know he can still jump off buildings and climb 5 story walls. Seeing him limp around on screen isn't fooling anyone! (c) the villians voice sounds like a little girls. Not very intimidating.

One thing that I find especially exciting about the film is that it is one of the first major alliances of Hollywood and Chinese film studios. Yup, get used to it folks because whether you like it or not, the West will have to meet the East in even larger arenas then the film industries. Soon, there will be more chinese brands on North American soil then you could shake a leg at. Anything from motor vehicles, electronics and furniture will be flooding our markets. Hell, Jason Kidd and Ron Artest are sponsered by Chinese sneaker manufactuer, Peak. What the devil is Peak?! Anyways, could this film just be a larger allegory for how our society will evolve in the following generations. Will the older, wiser East be taking the younger, cocky West under it's weathered yet mighty wing? Only time will tell; but don't take my word for it, I can't even get a call back!



No comments:

Post a Comment