I recently learned that Will Smith is planning to remake Karate Kid. The remade Karate Kid will feature Jackie Chan as the venerable Mr. Miyagi and will be renamed to “Kung Fu Kid.” Think this is some sort of sick joke? It is not. The Daniel LaRusso character will be replaced by Jaden Smith, the son of Hollywood superstars Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. The LA location will be changed to Beijing, deep in the heart of Red China.
Why does stuff like this upset me? For starters, there was nothing wrong with the original Karate Kid. There is simply no need to remake it in Will Smith’s own image. Come on. Will Smith has already saved the world in the despicable iD4, saved lives as an organ donor in 7 Pounds, got the date with Eva Mendes in Hitch and pursued “Happyness”…just to name a few…so why does he want to corrupt a classic coming of age movie? Possible answers humming around my head include…money, promoting his kid to stardom, and embracing Chinese communist principles. For all you race zealots…I did not even pull the Sharpton/Jackson race card, though that is an obvious one too.
The Rock ruined “Walking Tall”, Poseidon was ruined…Pelham 123 was turned into Travolta’s dirty-mouthed language-fest…Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was simply strange and scary, set in gray tones throughout… The list goes on and on. I have not met a remake yet that I can truly say was an improvement on the classic. I guess in the end it all comes down to two basic things: profit margin and a lack of creativity.
I once heard that there are only a finite number of original themes or ideas in the multiverse…so we had better reuse them as much as possible. What ridiculous claptrap. Who comes up with this stuff? The unimaginative, I suppose. My officemate just remarked that “They haven’t remade Poltergeist yet!”…and I googled it…and sure enough…they are remaking it. Come on….enough is enough. Write some new material. This sickens me more than learning about Drew Barrymore taking the guns out of ET.