I recalled hearing about this upcoming remake about 2 years ago and making the sideways mouth at the notion. I even saw a quick comment from the original star Ralph Macchio where he expressed confusion over Hollywood’s motivation to touch the classic Karate Kid franchise. If you grew up on the original, like me, you know this movie need not be touched. Even though the masterpiece of 80′s movie magic was already tainted when they decided to make The Next Karate Kid, with Hilary Swank, I guess they figured, ‘hey! we did one with a chic, I guess we can do it with a black kid now!’
That ‘black kid’ being young Jaden Syre Smith, offspring of Jada Pinkett and Will Smith (whose birth unfortunately sparked a pandemic of babies named Jaden in different varieties since the turn of the century, turning something that was a creative compromise between Will & Jada, into cute-boy-name fuckery).
This young man is growing up to be quite the actor. He’s definitely the product of his background, complete with Jada’s facial expressions and Will’s penchant for charismatic presence. It might just take a minute for him to grow out of that such-a-cute -boy-almost -should-have-been-a-girl phase. It’s okay, Bow Wow went through it too…
This is also a good look for Taraji P. Henson, who needs more roles like this inbetween her let-me-remind-you-I’m-not-too-Hollywood roles that can easily put her right back in Nia Long Land. This diversifies the portfolio a little.
So I’m thoroughly surprised and a little relieved at how they put a new spin on this classic and found a way to pay it homage more so than redo it. It’ll be inspirational to non-white children, dope to children of all races just because the premise of the story is so universal, and visually refreshing due to dope choreographed scenes (Jackie Chan is the best at what he does!)
This is 3 Ninjas, Last Dragon and Karate Kid all wrapped up in one for the new Kiddies. And it should get the job done nicely.
Big ups to the new trend of mixing Blacks and Asians on screen in more action films recently.
And special nod to Will Smith’s Production company for being behind this.
Let’s see what my fellow film critic Ms. Jaded NYer has to say about it…