I wonder if our parents felt as strongly when subjected to Tiffany’s “I Saw Him Standing There”
To go all codgery for a moment: Karate Kid remake?
DO. NOT. WANT.
Oh, well. At the very least, it gives me a reason to remind people that scriptwriter Robert Mark Kamen’s opening of the original remains iconic 26 years later, and that kids today are watching and enjoying and quoting from that version, which says an awful lot.
EDIT: added May 31 –
Upon further review while mowing the lawn yesterday, I concede a minor error in the inclusion of Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in this category, since it’s really an interpretation of the original book and not based on the 1971 Willy Wonka movie.
In fact, I’d feel a lot less cranky about this new Karate Kid movie if, similarly, it was based on some sort of original source material from which the 1984 version was also drawn – but it’s not. And what my irritation comes down to in light of that, I think, is the usage of the title. (Put that way, yes, it does make me sound a little irrational, and that wouldn’t be an entirely off-base assessment.)
Because here’s the thing: If you want to make a misfit/mentor coming-of-age movie, go ahead – it’s a generic enough storyline that anyone can tackle it. Don’t call it The Karate Kid, though. Consider the way Love Don’t Cost A Thing was a pull-no-punches remake of Can’t Buy Me Love, for instance: I’m OK with that. Same story, two different movies, and both get their own identity.
Call this Jackie Chan movie Kung-Fu Urchin or Martial-Arts Manly Makover or something, and honestly, I’d care a whole lot less. My feeling though, is that Hollywood knows a movie like that – without the benefit of the original’s title – would probably strike people as much more of a Three Ninjas or Wendy Wu, Homecoming Warrior than the marketable summer star-maker they’re clearly hoping the new Karate Kid becomes. (Me, I’m hoping it goes the way of Gus Van Sant’s Psycho, but then again, I’m bitter that way.)
And it may be a fine movie. It may even be a great movie, even if its makers didn’t have the faith enough in their own craft to let it stand on its own. But it’s still not The Karate Kid.