Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Karate kid 2010 (Jaden Smith)

Directed by Harald Zwart (the dude who cursed us with silly films like 'Pink panther 2' and 'Agent Cody Banks'), the latest take on this over-used plot cliché (A youngling that gets bullied by those stronger becomes a professional ninja within a few months in order to defend himself) is worse than you would imagine.

The inexperienced Jaden Smith, Son of Will and Jada-Pinkett Smith, takes the viewer with him on a ridiculously predictable ride, complete with some very fake-looking action sequences and lifeless, irritating characters that don't do much to try and save this 'should-not-have-been' cash cow.

"It might have been a better idea to have given Chan a stunt double for scenes where he wasn't handing out karate chops.."

Jackie Chan must receive special mention for his unconvincing attempt at begin dramatic, as Director Zwart clearly miscasts him as the sensei (aka Mr Miyagi). It might have been a better idea to have given Chan a stunt double for scenes where he wasn't handing out karate chops, as drama is clearly not his forte. The cast is further filled-up with a long list of Asian nobodies, many of whom verge on the edge of inaudibility, which isn't down-played by their strange facial expressions.

What makes the movie even more unbearable, is the clear signs of amateur direction (probably a result of all the 'support' from mommy and daddy on the set - Will and Jada-Pinkett are listed as 'co-directors' of the film). What's even more strange is the movie's experimentally long runtime for a kid's movie, as if Will and Jada-Pinkett wanted to make sure their little boy gets enough screen time to give his career a proper kick start. (Ironically, I suspect they might just have ended it before it started). 

The only group of people that I can actually imagine enjoying this movie is devoted fans of the karate kid franchise. But even Karate kid devotees should find the film's lack of emotional depth, humour and excitement a bit disheartening. 
Don't let Nostalgia get the best of you... this is B-grade film-making.

Highlight/Lowlight: A humorous scene with Jackie Chan trying to destroy a motor vehicle he worked weeks on to repair, suddenly becomes very 'touching', as he explains the nonsensical logic behind this weird ritual of his.

Rating: 1 Meerkat Tail