Saturday, March 27, 2010

Mini Featurette for The Karate Kid

There has been a further mini featurette released for The Karate Kid;

Strangely this one makes me doubt this is going to be as good as I have hoped. The other trailers have been good and given me hope that this indeed is at least as good as the original but there is one scene in this that confirms my original hesitation about this remake (and let's not let words like 'homage' confuse the issues - this is a remake which follows the original script pretty closely).

For those of you who have not seen anything of the original I found this 4 min tribute to the original which covers enough of the original story for you to see A. how similar this remake is and B. the part I am now objecting to - so watch this first so you will understand what I am talking about:

Ok so now that you have seen just how closely the remake follows the plot outlines of the first one I want to draw your attention to one scene which is featured in the above featurette. In the original when Mr Miyagi (Pat Morita) steps in to defend Daniel (Ralph Macchio) from the bullies we see a few obvious differences to the new version - the bullies are much bigger and considerably (about 3 years) older than Daniel, next they are also considerably bigger and stronger than Mr Miyagi. In the new version the pint-sized bullies are the same age as Dre, and barely come up to Jackie's waist. It feels entirely inappropriate on several levels; namely age, size, and culture; for him to have an altercation with them.

In addition the clash between Mr Miyagi and the bullies and their teacher is on several levels - there is a feeling of shame - 'How did this old small Japanese guy defeat us'; racism - 'he is just Japanese'; age - 'he is old' and elitism - 'we are rich and superior, he is just the maintenance man'. I am not sure how all that depth can possibly be brought to a scene with Jackie Chan taking on pre-teen bullies who are the same culture as he is, and half his size. And it is this surprising depth of story and character that make the original the cult classic that it is.

The new version may have much higher production values - but will it live up to the original in depth, and thought-provoking ideals? I am doubting it more and more.


Post a Comment


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.