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Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Hollywood Is About To Remake The Karate Kid
First off, I am not categorically opposed to the idea of remakes. Some old premises and ideas that weren't done very well in the past can be reinterpreted and modernised. The new Battlestar Galactica TV series is an example. What was originally a cheesy rip-off of Star Wars has now be re-imagined into a slick new show. However, some things should just be left alone. Among those things is The Karate Kid.
I don't just say this because it's a childhood favourite of mine. It's because there really is nothing more you can add to that movie that wasn't said in the original. There is no need to reinterpret or modernise any of the themes; the movie was about fathers and sons, friendship and honour.
Now, not only is the film being remade, but it seems the producers want to mangle it in the most horrific ways imaginable. According to Slashfilm, Jaden Smith will be the lead actor, Jackie Chan will play Mr. Miyagi, and it'll be set in the "exotic locale" of Beijing. These production choices are highly questionable; Jaden Smith is too young, and I can't picture Jackie Chan as Mr. Miyagi. Actually, I can't imagine anyone else besides Pat Morita as Mr. Miyagi. It seems disrespectful to the late Mr. Morita to recast him at all, let alone recast him horribly.
What are the characters doing in Beijing, anyway? It's as if they cast a random Asian man who does martial arts, and a random location in Asia so that it looks "exotic". The director for this train wreck of an idea is Harald Zwart, the guy who helmed The Pink Panther 2 (which is a sequel to another bad remake).
I know it's not right to judge a movie before it's even made, but I have this sinking feeling in my gut that it's going to be the worst remake ever conceived. If Hollywood's history of remakes is any indicator of future production quality, then this film is doomed to be awful.