This is a short post about the recent Karate Kid movie.
Cross-media relationship must be really improving, because C4 (TV channel in New Zealand – Niu Sila) had a re-run of the original Karate Kid movies a few weeks back. Good ol Mr Miagi and Daniel-san. I loved those movies! I’m sure every Samoan kid back in the days begged their parents to buy them karate shoes. I remember balancing on a tree stump at the school playground trying to perfect the crane kick. I thought I was the man!
Anyway, back to the re-runs… but is it me, or do we sensationalise and romanticise our childhood memories. Coz watching the re-run of the original Karate Kid was cool… all until the fighting scenes. The fighting scenes seemed… well seemed boring! It looked too rehearsed, too fake, and not enough action. I think through the years action movies have progressed so far, technologically, visually and choreography-wise, that we have high expectations when we watch the next action movie. The same for when we watch previous movies, we expect so much but don’t realise how basic the old movies were until we watch them, and then are sorely let down. Still the original Karate Kid movies were a good trip down memory lane.
As I’m sure a lot of you have already seen the re-make of Karate Kid (starring Jaden Smith – Will Smith’s son – and Jackie Chan) I won’t go too much into it, other than to say I enjoyed it. I hadn’t heard much about the story line before I watched it, so could only really go by the brief trailers I had seen of it. I knew Jackie Chan was in it, so thought either the movie is set in China and/or Jackie Chan was acting as a Japanese (ie Mr Miagi).
I was pleasantly surprised that the movie generally followed the story-line of the original movie – although there were big differences. For example, while the movies were about a boy moving cities with his solo-mum, the original movie had the boy moving from one American city to another American city. In the new movie, they move from one American city to a Chinese city! Another example is while the teacher in both movies taught the boys how to fight by getting the boys to unknowingly do repeated actions, in the original movie Mr Miagi got Daniel-san to do chores around his house – in the new movie, a lot of it was around picking up and dropping Jaden’s jacket on the ground.
But in general, the movie was close to the original movie with the feel good victory at the championship at the end while severely disabled by a member of the competing School/Dojo.
However, if there was one thing that annoyed me while watching the new movie, it was the fact that the name had nothing to do with the movie! As mentioned above I was curious to see if Jackie Chan was going to act as a Japanese martial arts teacher (ie like Mr Miagi) as the name of the movie suggested Karate was going still be part of it. But as the movie went on, it became apparent there was nothing Japanese about the new movie. It was set in China, the bullies were Chinese, the girlfriend was Chinese, the competing martial arts school was kung-fu (Chinese) and Jackie Chan played a Chinese who taught Jaden kung-fu not karate!
I guess there would’ve been a lit confusion if they had called it Kung-Fu Kid but the story line was so similar to the original Karate Kid movie. Either way, the movie was good.
Now only if I could find that shop in Otahuhu that sells those karate shoes… in adult sizes hahaha!