Just one of the many remakes in the works is of the classic 1980's movie The Karate Kid, reportedly renamed the Kung Fu Kid (urgh....). Will Smith's son Jaden has already been announced as playing this version's Daniel (played in the original by Ralph Macchio), and Jackie Chan will be playing the remake's Mr. Myagi (seriously...).
So what about the plot of the movie? Well, according to a couple of people who are involved with the project, it's similar in tone to the original, but differs greatly in a lot of areas. The story is about a single mother and her son Dre (young Smith) who move to Beijing, China because of her job. Needless to say, she and Dre find it difficult adjusting and before long, Dre starts getting bullied at school.
Because of his bruises from being beaten up, the principal of the strict school he now attends thinks he has been the one picking the fights. The Mr. Myagi of the movie, who will now be called Mr. Han (played by Chan), is the maintenance man of the building Dre and his mother are living. After noticing Dre practicing martial arts in front of a video game, as well as his black eye, he agrees to train him in Kung Fu, as well as helping him learn Chinese.
For the full plot synopsis you can visit the MovieHole link at the end of the post.
I have said it before and I'll say it again: This is a movie that does not need to be remade. Although, of course, we'll still have the original there if the remake ends up being bad, but it may lead a whole generation of movie goers to think of this movie when the name "Karate Kid" gets brought up.
Of course, the reported name change to the Kung Fu Kid may remedy that, but that then removes a lot of the name recognition it would have had if they had just kept it as The Karate Kid. To me it's a lose-lose situation and I see little about it that defines it as worthwhile.
The plot outline they've got for it isn't necessarily the worst idea in the world, but is it me or does it seem a little bit cheesy? Undoubtedly the same could be said about the original, but it has to be remembered that that was in the '80s, a very different movie-going age than what we have today. The cheesiness of the original, and many other movies from that time is readily accepted nowadays looking back because that's the era they came from, and the cheesiness is most likely held as part of it's charm.
It sounds like they're trying to replicate the flavor of the original while putting a modern stamp on it. That, added to the fact that Harald Zwart (Agent Cody Banks, Pink Panther 2) is directing and first-timer Chris Murphy is writing, I just don't know if it is going to work out.
What do you think of the plot put together for this remake? Are you in favor of a remake of it at all?
The Karate Kid remake (supposedly entitled the Kung Fu Kid) is hoped to be released sometime next year.