Today at work I overheard someone in another department say that they think the remake of the Karate Kid looks better than the original. It took all my strength not to vomit and/or jump over her desk and strangle her.
Look, I am all for a good remake (or reboot) as some films have good stories to tell that can sometimes be enhanced or built upon with today’s modern film technology. For example I really enjoyed the remake of Friday the 13th last year. It captured the campy feel of the original yet was able to update Jason so that he was actually terrifying again. However I firmly feel that the film needs to remain true to (at the very least) the spirit of the original work. Could a remake of the Karate Kid work? Sure, will this one? Based on what I have seen no. For one thing, kung-fu and karate are two different martial arts disciplines. It is kind of like someone remaking Tom Cruise’s The Last Samurai but having it take place with ninjas. OK, I get it, that sounds awesome and would probably be an improvement on the film (ninjas make everything better) but you get the point right?
It is OK to change things in remakes / reboots. When you don’t, you end up with film scum like Psycho with Anne Heche and that dude who did a movie with Jennifer Aniston and thinks he is funny but his name is eluding me currently. However changing things too far can also have ill effects, for example in the Clash of the Titans remake they totally messed with the long standing myth of Perseus and Andromeda, instead having him hook with Io. Why do this as it adds nothing to the story and changes long standing tradition. My problem with the Karate Kid is that it seems to be moving too far away from the foundations set forth by the original in order to be funnier and attract a younger crowd. That and you know, the whole karate is not kung-fu thing. In fact karate is a Japanese martial art while kung-fu is a Chinese martial art or more precisely the term used to describe one’s skill in a discipline (not just martial arts). Anyway I’m nitpicking again.
As I said before I am not against remakes and reboots, after all no matter how badly they screw up a new version of it we will always have the original to fall back on. But instead of just trying to make a quick buck by doing the film in a “hip” way maybe the studios should spend a little time thinking about how to go about remaking a film right because there is a reason that these films are being targeted for remakes and that reason is because there are good stories to tell here. Good stories that a whole new generation of film goers might latch onto and carry with them for the next 20 years, inspiring some of them to become film fans and maybe even film makers themselves.
Oh and I finished up God of War III. I’m currently mulling over if I want to talk about it.