A comparison and scathing review of two different tellings of the same story about a boy and the creepy old man who teaches him how to fight through the power of groping.
Credits & Solicit Info:
I caught the original Karate kid on TV a few nights ago, and last night a friend brought over the new one...
Here's the deal... the original was one of the worst fucking martial arts films of all time. Don't get me wrong, the story was pretty cool, and Pat Morita was ok... but fucking Macchio just ruined it all.
Machio has precisely one skill........ Whining like a little 4 year old bitch with a skinned knee. Whaaaaaaah Mr. Miyagi, my fucking pussy hurts.. Literally the little fucknut spends more time in a state of tears than the Cobra Kai spend kicking his ass. I mean I feel for Johnny, the minute Macchio enters a room it takes a monumental display of willpower not to just kick him square in the taint.
The worst part is, when he isn't crying or getting his ass handed to him by Surf Ninjas, he is acting all confident and tough. That's really the kicker, it's like that guy guy in high school who struts around, until someone sprays him with water and he busts out bawling like an emo transvestite tired of people picking on Britney.
It doesn't help anything that they picked the single stiffest least athletic person in all of history to play the fucking "karate boy". Seriously, original Star Wars action figures had more articulation than this whiny douchebag. Granted, lots of action stars in the 80's completely lacked grace, agility, or the ability to believably fight or even act past the one mood that made them famous....... but they could pull it off because they had the look. That's right, Ralph Macchio is a worse actor and fighter than Charles Bronson... a man who was made famous purely for his ability to look like pre-chewed beef jerky and had no other bankable skills. Seriously, Bronson was the acting equivalent of wet paper mache, and every fight scene he was in looked like a geriatric slap fest. But I digress.
In the second movie he goes to japan and cries some more. This film is even less believable, not just because through the power of a childs toy he kicks the ass of the guy who has been training since birth by a teacher who was trained by the same guy who taught Miyagi how to touch boys. But because as opposed to the chunky heiffer who falls for him in the first movie, he actually gets it on with the only hottie in the village. I mean when given the choice between village rapist and Ralph Machio, the only two suitably aged guys in the area, I am going to choose the abusive rapist.
Even in the last Macchio Karate Kid, when he finally gets training on how to break boards and be a tough guy... he gets in one fight and then whines and cries some more... Seriously, he whines and cries because he beats someone up.... My god I hate Ralph Macchio........ and fuck Poney Boy for pulling him out of the fire just so we can hear him whine some more. At least in this movie the girl ditches him early on, recognizing him quickly as the second biggest crybaby from Jersey to ever exist (behind Jude).
So yeah, the original movie was about an old asian borderline pedo teaching karate to a human boy whose skeleton and musculature appear to have been replace with popsicle sticks and can't stop throwing tantrums, till somehow, miraculously, through the power of positive attitude, he is able to overcome a slew of guys who are in top physical condition, have been training for years, and who spend zero time crying to their mommies that the toilet paper is too rough.
In short...... if they had cast anyone other than Ralph Macchio, the original movie probably would actually deserve the love people have for it.
Now... all that will give you some hint of my perspective coming in to the Karate Kid remake. It's the exact same story, only with disturbingly younger actors. And it seems I was correct, cast anyone other than Macchio, and it suddenly turns into a pretty decent flick. The star of this film, as everyone knows, is Will Smiths son, who within five minutes of the film is already tougher than Ralph Macchio in his Karate Kid Three prime. Ok yeah, the film is watered down, and its full of crap, but at least this kid has some grace and style.
It's just as ridiculous that the kid trains for a week and is suddenly able to beat up the kids who have been training their entire lives by the martial arts instructor equivalent of the coach from Nerds, but its ok, its a movie after all. By the end of training little Smith is so ripped you can believe he is kicking the ass of everyone around. There is a reason that in every scene of the original film's Macchio is more covered than granny Esther who complains that its freezing if the temperature in her house is anything less than 90. Christ what was up with that, as if he wasn't awkward enough, the guy wore a slightly over sized karate gi pulled so tight that he looked like he would die if his adams apple was exposed. I
Anyway, the training sequences were just as silly as the original, but at least had more interesting locations. And Jackie Chan was a far more believable instructor, by benefit of you know, actually knowing martial arts. Don't get me wrong, I love Morita's performance, but his karate moves must have been learned flipping burgers on the Happy Days set.
Of course it being a Karate Kid movie, Li'l smith is required to whine and moan the first half of the movie, which is even more annoying given the context. Aw... poor baby, you moved out of the ghetto to fucking China... at least here when the bullies are kicking your ass they aren't pulling out guns and waxing off your bitch ass gangsta style.
So yeah, all the annoying shit that makes you want to smack everyone around is still there, but overall this is a much better flick than the original. All because Smith can actually pull off the kung fu without looking like a constipated Abe Vigoda, and Jackie Chan is the fucking man. The fight scenes are a little too unbelievable, what with all the flipping around and crazy moves, but is far more entertaining than watching people dumb down their skill so Macchio could hit them with a limp-wristed slap or ridiculously telegraphed and off balance signature kick.
Some people are hating on the movie because they hate on Will Smith, and by proxy his off-spring... but such people are not to be trusted, Will Smith is a damn fine actor, and hopefully his kid can mature a little and follow in his footsteps.
So yeah, the remake is ten times better than the original... which isn't saying much, but that does let it get on a very small list of remakes that surpassed the originals usually reserved for horror films, like Dawn of the Dead and Hills Have Eyes.
Oh.. as to the Miyagi is a Pedo thing... yeah, never noticed it till recently, but man... that is one creepy old dude... More so in the original, but the Chan Miyagi (yes I know his actual name is Han, but fuck you)) has his moments as well. The Morita Miyagi spends all his time alternating between rubbing on Danial'sans owies, and having him do menial labor, usually bent over, while he watches from the corner approvingly. He also gets Daniel San drunk, and probably has buttsex with him off camera (come to think of it, Macchio throws a punch like a girl with Spinal Ebifida). As a reward for learning Karate, Miyagi gives him one of his 50 beautiful antique cars, The bright yellow one with a pink keychain. Chan Miyagi is almost as bad, especially considering his student is much younger, and spends a lot of time not wearing a shirt, but at least he doesn't get the kid drunk, even if the pivotal moment of the film is still young boy getting a rub down from old man.
Maybe for the next remake they will forgo all pretext, and just have the Karate Kid learning to black punches by deflecting the groping hands of his teacher.
Review by: wisdom000