Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Karate Kid (2010)

A documented case of jungle fever in the far east.

Some things just don't need to exist. The newest addition to the list of useless things is a remake of a movie that is less than 30 years old. Many of us have fond memories of the original Karate Kid, but, unfortunately, the 2010 remake resembles it only in passing. The changes to the film are pretty hefty, but ultimately the work out for the best. While The Karate Kid is far from top-notch entertainment, it manages to succeed in ways that almost make you want to like it.

When his mother gets a new job in China, young Dre Parker moves across the world only to discover that Asians hate black people more than white people do. After getting beat up for getting to cozy with one of his Chinese classmates, Dre enlists the help of his apartment's handyman to teach him how to fight. Things proceed from there in a fashion we are all pretty accustomed to. Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan star in the film directed by Harald Zwart. The film was a surprise hit at the box office, proving, unfortunately, nostalgia sells and has received generally positive reviews across the board.

There is little, technically, wrong with The Karate Kid. The film-making and writing are solid, the performances are better than expected and it has some surprisingly charming moments, but I can't get past what the movie represents in Hollywood. Is there really so little creativity left that we are going back not even 30 years to find movies to remake? Very little has changed that would make The Karate Kid more relevant today than it was then, so the entire effort seems futile and pointless at best. Even saying that, I can't totally hate on the movie. I wouldn't suggest you seek it out, but I can think of a lot worse ways to spend my time.


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