Close to where I live, like a block or so, there's a movie theater. In the big hallways leading to the various screenings they show soundless trailers of upcoming movies and sometimes I just like to sit down, relax and just watch those trailers.
Today I had one of those moments and did so to procrastinate a little. The usual suspects were shown. Crappy comedy, boring horror movie, stupid action movie, Twilight: Eclipse (HOW do they keep making these so fast?) etc etc.
Then something else showed up. The trailer started out in a ghetto setting with a black kid, that I sort recognised as Jaden Smith the son of Will Smith, as the focus. Then from what I could tell of the trailer he and his mom moved to Asia, Beijing to be more specific. In my concieted and cyncial mind I role my eyes and figured that it would be some sort of comedy about cultural conflicts and stuff like that.
Then Jaden Smith's character started getting his ass kicked by the native kids as he tried to protect a girl. "Huh." my mind went as its interest got peeked. It was surprisingly dark and brutal how these bullies kept beating him up. Then Jaden is saved by this cool looking old asian guy who whoops the bullies asses and scares them away. What follows is a training montage where Jaden is taught martial arts and later competes in a tournament.
I scoffed it off by thinking "Please, are you actually trying to do some hip Karate Kid knock-off?". Then I go two surprises.
The first was that the mentor dude was played by Jackie Chan. I was surprised because he looked totally serious and badass. Now I know that he is serious and badass when he does his stunts and fight scenes. But outside of those I'm pretty used to Jackie Chan looking like this nice, playful uncle kind of guy who's a bit silly. In this trailer the seriousness of the character fooled me and I couldn't see that it was him.
Second surprise was the title of the movie. It was plain and simply The Karate Kid. Cue my mind blinking for a few minutes.
Now, I love the first two Karate Kid movies with Ralph Maccio and Pat Morita. They're fun movies with interesting characters and entertaining martial art scenes. I even like the premise of the fourth one where Hilary Swank takes over as a female apprentice, saddly the execution of that one sucked. And considering the level of "quality" that remakes usually have in this day and age my initial reaction was a nerdy rage which almost caused me to denounce the movie.
Then my inner voice of reason told me to chill and pointed out that the trailer at least looked good and deserved some investigation and a look over with sound. So home I went.
I've now seen about three or four different trailers for the movie and I am intrigued to say the least. The characters are all different from the original movies and the setting has moved but the overall set up is pretty much exactly the same as that first movie, but with a little modern touch to them. I love this movie's take the whole "catching flies with chop sticks" bit.
I found the jokes funny and the style is certainly more cinematic than the original, probably due to the remake having more money to spend. At the same time it seems to have a more gritty tone to it to reflect modern times.
A nice little tidbit I found was that the film is actually... ehm... filmed in Beijin: China. That's pretty awesome and should give us some great visual backgrounds.
But remakes have stilled sort of burned me before so despite the general positive feeling I get I'm going to be catiously positive until I actually see it. But hey, I do want to see it. So the trailers have done their job.
Here's a link to my favorite trailer for the movie. If you liked the old movies, check it out.
Also, interesting note. Since the movie actually focuses on a kid learning kung fu in China it will be called The Kung Fu Kid in Asia. It will still be The Karate Kid in America simpy because that's probably more marketable.