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The Karate Kid
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Top Customer Reviews
A more substantial criticism is that, because this is such a faithful remake, there isn't much it can do to surprise us. Anyone familiar with the 1984 film will know exactly how this new version will play out, from the main character's awkward arrival at the start to the climactic tournament at the end. There is a bit of an inconsistency; because it takes place in China, the featured martial art is kung fu, not karate, so the title is technically inaccurate. There's also the convenience of all the important characters being able to speak English, if not fluently, then just enough to get their point across. But it's all done so well that we may find ourselves suppressing the desire to look for flaws and make comparisons. What would be the point? Remake or not, this movie stands entirely on its own as a great entertainment, not just as a sports drama and a spectacle but also as a coming-of-age story, which is just as charming and insightful as it was twenty-six years ago.Read more ›
The results? A mixed bag. Since I generally prefer to judge a remake on its own merits and try to avoid making too many comparisons to the original, I was somewhat surprised that, after seeing Karate Kid 2010, ALL I was doing was making comparisons in my head - comparisons in which the new version kept coming up short. Annoyed with myself, I decided to watch the 1984 version again to make certain it wasn't just nostalgia that was coloring my opinion. So I re-watched. It wasn't just nostalgia - the original IS better.
The Karate Kid 1984 wasn't the best written or best acted film ever - or even of 1984. But it was very popular. Kids liked it. Their parents liked it. People saw it multiple times. They quoted from it ("wax on, wax off"). Some, including my own kids, still do. :-) Enrollment at karate schools across the country rose dramatically. What really came home to me during my back-to-back viewing of the two films is that the new version simply lacks much of the heart and most of the humor that formed the basis for that initial popularity. And both of those - the heart and the humor - came, IMO, from the wonderful relationship between Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita). While the plot of the remake closely follows the original, the new film never comes close to capturing the essence of that relationship and so failed to engage me in the same manner the original did.Read more ›
Okay--at this point I have to laugh a little: it's hard to take 12-years-olds fighting each other seriously. In the original "Karate Kid," the Cobra Kai are all 17 or thereabouts: seniors in high school. They have the athletic ability of grown men with the emotional maturity of children. So when in the original movie, Miyagi intervenes to rescue Daniel, he genuinely fears for Daniel's life. There's genuine danger for Miyagi as well.
In the remake, Han intervenes in a pretty silly scene. Five 12-year-olds attacking one boy is ugly, but at no point does Dre seem in mortal danger. Thus when Han steps in, the fight scene is comedic: it's the equivalent of Han putting his hand on the kids' foreheads and watching them flail away. It just feels contrived: as though the director made a checklist of elements from the original movie that had to be included in the remake, but forgot to build a real story around them.
For the most part, the entire movie feels like this--a checklist. The relationship between Dre and Meiying is an exception, however. The two of them are genuinely heartwarming together--kind of how you expect love at 12 to be, with pinky swears and the occasional shy hand-holding. Meiying has her own interests--classical violin--and it's nice to see Dre supporting _her_ in _her_ interests, rather than Elisabeth Shue squealing "You're the best!" at the tournament.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I actually like this movie a lot. I've seen the original, but I also greatly enjoy this one just as much. And I love Jackie chanPublished 5 days ago by Kelsie Mercado
Movie was very easy to download, my 9 year old son is still raving about the video, and is excited to learn that he can rent movies from AmazonPublished 7 days ago by Amoi