So, news has hit the web today that a deal has been made to remake The Karate Kid. Not only that, but it will be set in middle-school. But that’s not all. It will be a starring vehicle for Will Smith’s son, Jaden Smith.
To truly understand the problem that this has caused, we have to understand the history of The Karate Kid. It’s a film that I grew up on, and more important, it’s a film that AMERICA grew up on. America learned how to be a man from life lessons by Mr. Miyagi. Who hasn’t heard the phrase “Wax on, wax off?” Where else did we learn how to paint the fence, and defend ourselves, in the same night? When else can we move from one side of the country and learn Karate by doing chores from a man who has exiled himself from his home country of Okinawa?
It’s certainly not from whomever is going to try to imitate Pat Morita’s iconic Mr. Miyagi. It’s certainly not from a younger version of the story. No, this is more in the vein of The 3 Ninjas than TMNT.
The Karate Kid has it all. It’s got a guy in high school, dealing with a new town, making new friends, and a girl that happens to be the ex-girlfriend of his new-archnemesis. It’s also got a martial arts expert.
The new faux-Karate Kid? Middle-school. Will there be a middle-school girl? Will there be a clique that all goes to a crooked teacher that teaches false Martial Arts?
Who knows and who cares. It’s not set within the correct age group. It’s just not realistic.
Now, I’m not one to pre-judge a movie unless I am well educated about the content of the film, and I am not falting them for wanting to remake this amazing movie for a new generation. Call it Kung-Fu Kid, call it Karate Kid: The Next Generation, anything but The Karate Kid. Let’s not try and replace the original film with something new and flashy.
America deserves better than this. America thought better than “The Next Karate Kid” and they should think better than this film.