Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Karate Kid

I never thought the day would come when I'd be looking forward to a KARATE KID movie but I must confess to doing just that ever since I saw the first preview. I hated the Ralph Macchio/Pat Morita original and in all fairness this was a personal thing and I honestly can't remember if it and the subsequent sequels were good films or not but what grabbed me about the new one, and I say "new one" as this seems to be only a slight remake using the title for marketing reasons more than anything else, was the immediate chemistry I saw between Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith. I'm happy to say it was just in the trailer, it translated to the film itself and makes this one stand out from so many other tweenie offerings of the sort. I gather they got along so well the Smith can are off to Japan to spend the summer with Chan. I haven't confirmed this but I like the idea. THE KARATE KID deals with a serious basket of human issues in a simplistic haiku type fashion and the performances are fine enough, especially from Chan in an atypical dramatic role, they may well garner some awards later in the year. Harald Zwart directs this one in an interesting style straddling the need t have a commercial studio success and still deliver a legitimate piece of work. One scene in particular stands out when Wenwen Han is singing Lady Gaga on the arcade karaoke game to Smith. It packs more sexual punch than you can imagine and does so without being trite or sleazy, a rare feat in any genre. One of the most satisfying films out there at the moment and suitable for all ages.


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