Hollywood Remakes and The Karate Kid

So, I’ve only ever seen Jaden Smith in one movie, The Pursuit of Happiness. So really, I can’t say much about his acting skills. I really haven’t seen enough of him to have any kind of opinion. Sure, he was a supporting cast to his father in said one movie, and all he really had to do is act like his father’s son. I’m sure that was really difficult. Then again, to be fair, I’m not much of an actor, so I’ll at least give him credit for what he’s done at the age he’s at so far.

Note: Apparently he was in The Day the Earth Stood Still, but yeah…I never watched that. Besides the fact that what I saw from the trailer completely missed the point of the original, I really don’t like watching crappy movies. Also, he’s made appearances on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, and All of Us.

Fortunately we’ll be getting to see Mr. Smith Junior in his first starring role in the upcoming major block buster event, The Karate Kid. I’ve heard some of the hype, and read some articles on this upcoming movie, and what do I think?

First of all, I think you should know that I never saw the original Karate Kid. I’m kind of a failure when it comes to watching movies that came out in the states when I was living in Europe. I did however, watch The Karate Kid 2, and the fourth movie, The Next Karate Kid. Karate Kid 2 wasn’t the best, the martial arts were frankly silly, but it was an enjoyable movie. The Next Karate Kid…yeah, let’s not talk about that. Let’s just say it did about as well as could be expected from the fourth movie in a franchise.

So, I’m not exactly a hardcore fan of the series, mostly because I dabble in martial arts, specifically Shotokan Karate, from time to time, and don’t appreciate movies that feature inaccurate portrayals of martial arts.

What I do appreciate, however, is accuracy. So let’s go over what we already know about this movie that proves it’s going to blow.

First off, the Lead, Jaden Smith. Like I said, I don’t really have anything against him, but I find the possibility that he only got this role because of his father, highly suspect. And like most child actors, I’m a little wary of his actual skills.

Second, Mr. Miyagi. He’s being played by Jackie Chan… Okay…I guess that works. I mean…he’s not Japanese, but all Asian people look the same anyway, right? (Answer: No. No they do not.)

Oh wait, my bad. His character’s name is Mr. Han, not Miyagi. Okay, that makes sense, having a Chinese actor playing a Chinese character.

Chinese?

Did I mention that the setting has been changed from Reseda, CA, to Beijing? Here, a direct quote:

The Valley — with its palm trees, taco trucks, and 70 degree December days — might seem exotic to a kid from Jersey, but it doesn’t hold a candle to China. While this allows the filmmakers to have sweeping shots of the Forbidden City and a workout sequence on the Great Wall of China…

There you have it. They’re doing it because it will make for prettier camera shots. Why do I have the feeling that the writing in this movie is going to suffer?

So, to recap, we have Daniel, now known as Dre (-_-), being trained, by a Chinese man, known as Mr. Han, in China, in a movie called The Karate Kid.

For those of you that are unaware, Karate is an Okinawan (A small island off the coast of Japan) martial art, that was developed in response to Japanese oppression and confiscation of all traditional weapons, such as swords. So, it is in fact, a Japanese martial art. It is not Chinese.

So, the Karate Kid, in China, with a Chinese teacher…WHY DON’T THEY JUST CALL IT THE KUNG-FU KID!?

It would make about as much sense, or are they afraid that they’ll get in trouble for ripping of The Karate Kid if they don’t sell it as a remake? It’s Hollywood! People steal ideas there all the time.

I pretty much expected this movie to suck from the beginning, but that was really just common sense. Now I’m slowly starting to gather facts that tell me what I already knew:

This movie is going to blow, and blow big time. But hey, at least we’ll get to look at pretty pictures.

And will Mr. Han’s training refrain “Jacket on, jacket off” be as memorable as Mr. Miagi’s “Wax on, wax off?”

No…No it will not.

(Edit: What does that even mean? Is he training him to be a martial artist, or a model? I really can’t see the purpose of any kind of “secret martial arts shoulder shrug”, or whatever movement that mnemonic is meant to imply. Forget it, I get the feeling the martial arts in Ranma 1/2 will make more sense compared to this.)

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