Ahhh! Where to start with the Abomination that is the Karate Kid Remake... Jackie Chan... I love Jackie! Somehow I won't bother with this movie until it's on Wal*Mart or rent it with one of those free rental coupons form Blockbuster or something... Why? well I think the movie is an abomination. Simple right?
No It's not simple. If I reduce it to its simplest terms here it is: I believe that this emake is a soulles cash in on the nostalgia factor from the old Karate Kid movies. Will Smith and Jada Pinkett are using it to shoehorn their kid as the next big thing and unfortunately the kid is not THAT good.
I'm gonna let the trailer speak for itself.
First we got this hip urban beat as BGM during the trailer. This screams: "Look at me! I'm Hip! From the streetz! Gangasta Karate kid motha$%^&!" you get the idea. "Blaxploitation" 21st Century style. BTW I have no problems with black people in main character roles.
Now We have Dre, played by Jaden Smith. Playing a whiny bratty kid who is a little bit of a smartass. (Isn't that the same role he played on The Day The Earth Stood Still?) Ignoring my dislike for Jaden Smith... (Both of his parents are talented actors, but looks like he got zip on the "acting genes" department...) The problem with the "Kid" part in THIS "Karate Kid" is that he is a Pre-teen, as in a kid...
Why is this important? The romantic subplot... I don't feel that the audience would connect with children in love. It also adds the problems of Mr. Han (The Miyagi knock-off) beating up Children. (But the Chinese kids beating up Dre scenes look awesome!!) I'm surprised that Jada Pinkett isn't playing Dre's Mom... (She is being played by Taraji P. Henson also known as the mom of Backwards aging Forrest Gump)
I'll be honest, The movie doesn't look THAT BAD. If it was some other movie of a kid in a fish out of water situation trained by an old quirky mentor to rise above it all. As a Karate Kid movie? I feel it's mocking the Original. First it tries to distance itself from the original by having Dre learn Kung Fu instead of Karate and having the setting in China kills off the chance for a Karate Kid Part II. There are a few scenes that reference the Original, but they mock it. (Mostly the fly in chopsticks scene)
Before I'm branded as being afraid of change and that I have my head so far inside the ass of the original; I'll admit that it hasn't aged well and that it's a bit cheesy and corny. It's not exactly a masterpiece, but it had soul. Something that this "ghetto version" seems to lack.
By The Way, Kung Fu is Not Karate. So why in Pat Morita's Tombstone is this movie called The Karate Kid!? To cash in on the Franchise? Most likely...
I've lost all my respect for Will smith with this.
I seriously hope that The A-Team beats this movie up harder than the Chinese Cobra Kai wannabes beated up Dre.