Monday, March 21, 2011
Finally Watched The New Karate Kid...
The first thing that stood out the new movie was the respect for the Chinese culture that was evident throughout the film. Despite the nostalgic appeal of the original, there was a lack of knowledge about and respect for the culture they were showcasing. By taking the main characters out of the US and immersing them in the Chinese culture, they changed the emotional focus of the film. It expanded the "fish out of water" experience of main character, exacerbating his sense of alienation which adds whole new levels of gravitas to the moment when he integrates into the world around him.
Much to my surprise, the movie was able to recapture that relationship between the mentor and student, old and young, surrogate father and adopted son that is the core element of the original. I also like the comedic aspects of the film. They were integrated into the narrative of the movie in a much more effective way.
I can't say that this movie is better than the original. I can say it's more culturally aware than the original, and that it's an excellent re-telling of the Karate Kid story. I hate to say this, but my friends were right. In the end, this is a good movie.