If someone had asked me which movie I thought was going to stir the most controversy this year, I would have guessed that if a new Michael Moore, Oliver Stone or Ben Stein movie was being made, those would be the top contenders. Heck! I was thinking Legion might even draw the ire of the religious sector for pitting angels and man against God using man-made technology.
However, I was WAY off. If our comment boards are any indication, the movie that will draw the most fire is going to be the Karate Kid remake.
Starring Jaden Smith (Pursuit of Happyness) in the titular role as Dre Parker, the Karate Kid story follows Dre as he and his mom move to China from America in hopes of starting a new life. Dre finds himself completely out of his comfort zone, not knowing the people, the country or the language, and soon finds himself on the receiving end of the local school bully’s kung-fu grip. Enter Jackie Chan as Mr. Han, the friendly protective handy man that helps Dre realize the full martial arts potential he needs to stand up to the bullies.
As far as the story goes, it’s pretty much a direct act-for-act copy of the original 1984 version of The Karate Kid. Mom and kid move to a new city, kid flirts with girl, bully beats him up, handy man comes to kid’s rescue, handy man teaches kid self-defense, kid becomes good at martial arts, kid fights whole school of bullies in martial arts competition, credits role. There’s nothing really new here (other than the location where the story takes place), and the kids involved seem to be about 5 years younger than Danielson was.
If you watched the first trailer a couple of weeks ago, then you won’t see too much new in this version other than some title screens and few new images but enjoy nonetheless:
Just like the first trailer, I really like this one and my opinion has not been swayed by all of the seething hate that seems to be focused at this film. In fact, my wife, who has completely different movie tastes than me, said “I got goose bumps near the end [of the trailer].” I’ve read everyone’s complaints ranging from the choice of titles all the way to the claims that Jaden Smith can’t act. I just honestly don’t understand what everyone is nitpicking. Screen Rant has covered dozens of martial art films in the past few years and never has anyone complained that the title didn’t match up with the location.
OK, so Karate IS a martial arts form that began in Japan (as a way to defend oneself after weapons were banned) and not in China. We all know that because Dre is in China, the basic fighting style he is learning is Kung Fu, but is that really a reason to blast the film? Sure Kung Fu Kid would have been a better title, but Hollywood is in the business of making money and brand name recognition is part of the game.
Also, let’s get off Jaden Smith’s back and cut the kid some slack. If you watch the trailer closely, he seems to really be trying to make his character look like he knows what he is doing with the martial arts. The tennis ball scene, in particular, looks great to me and I hope the rest of his training turns out the same way. I’ve said this before, but is anyone REALLY surprised that Jaden ended up in the movie business with Will and Jada Pinkett Smith as his parents?
I know I’m about to be blasted with all sorts of negative comments for going against the grain herem but I’m looking forward to seeing The Karate Kid.
What are your thoughts on the international trailer and the film as a whole? (be gentle, I’ve got feelings).
The Karate Kid high kicks into theaters everywhere June 11, 2010.
Source: Cinema Blend
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