I can hear you thinking, “What the hell did you watch the 2010 ‘The Karate Kid‘ for?”
Because I wanted to, dammit.
The movie wasn’t awful. The Smith boy did okay. The woman who played his mom was a good reprise to the original quirky mom. Jackie Chan was his usual mumbly self. Some of the fight choreography was pretty good. They did a good job redoing the scene where Chan beats up the kids beating up the Smith boy. They made sure it wasn’t all pedophile-y.
There were some REALLY dumb parts of the plot. For instance, instead of moving to California, the Smith boy and his mother move to China, because mom can’t find work in the car factories of Detroit. So she gets a job in a factory in China. China. A down-on-her-luck black widow moves herself and her son to China to work. There are a thousand racist jokes here, and if I were a professional standup comedian, I would have a hayday.
Because only professional standup comedians can make racist jokes and get away with it.
At least in the original, they took the New Jersey tough kid and threw him in the plausible pretty-boy California setting. A black family moving to China? There’s a larger disconnect than evangelicals to evolution.
They practically stole the scene from The Matrix when Neo learns he’s magic. When the Smith boy learns he can fight, it’s as if he’s magically gone from idiot weakling to a kick-ass, magical martial artist.
Another dumb part: There’s a kiss scene between the Smith boy and the object of his affection. I don’t know about you, but when I was 12, if I kissed a girl, I would have mucked it up. I wouldn’t have handled it like a practiced adult.
And the fight scenes at the finale competition (you know the movie so this isn’t a spoiler), kids are breaking legs. Kids! Kids are breaking legs. And then they’re saying, “No, mom, I can go on. Now give me my binky and go sit down!”
I don’t care what country you live in, if you’re 12, and you have a broken leg, you’re going to the goddamn hospital. There’s no sassing — especially a black mother — fo real!. There’s no fighting standing on one foot. You’re going to the fucking hospital and that’s that!
Other than that, the movie was okay.