So they’ve released yet another trailer for Will Smith’s kid to show off his Lil’ Bow Wow do and Last Airbender abs. Hey, when I was his age, I loved karate too. Used to go to the malls to do demonstrations at the Food Court, breaking boards and fake sparring. But I never made a goddamn film out of the fragmented souls of a classic.
Once again, they take a brand name, four winks from the original material, and make something new and souped up. What made the first Karate Kid awesome was Pat Morita. Miyagi wasn’t unfurling some sort of ancient scroll — not until the dreadful toy drums of the second one, Karate Kid 2: The Search for More Money. Miyagi’s karate was common sense, hard work, self defense. Also, Daniel never really learned karate, per se. I mean, his skill wasn’t based on being some sort of Jean Claude Van Damme getting pulled into a split by ropes or some shit. His super finishing move was doing the crane kick on a crippled leg. He wasn’t a ninja, he was a fucking Valley kid.
Watch the trailer below. I don’t know what the fuck that is, but it sure as shit ain’t the Karate Kid. Jackie Chan and his shifty goatee make him look about one barbecue away from ending up like Freddy Krueger. You learn karate to protect yourself from guys who look like him, waiting around playgrounds with popsicles and panel vans. And I’ll admit I got a sick chuckle when he was replacing the wax on/wax off with taking off his clothing. Jacket off! Jacket off! Now get into my van. And apparently, they’re training young Jaden to fight like Kung Fu Panda. He’s dangling from docks by bamboo poles and doing vertical kicks. I don’t like it, sir. I don’t.
And you think you can quell folks like me by throwing the little coda with flies and chopsticks and “You’re the Best?” Think again. At least they didn’t try to have Chan ape Miyagi’s awesome pidgin rhetoric. The original almost won Morita an Oscar. This’ll sweep the Kids Choice Awards. Oh, Ralph Macchio, you must be spinning in your shallow, autoerotic asphyxiated grave.