We went to see Karate Kid on Monday night.
It was better than the original in every way imaginable. It was way more believable. Jaden Smith is a better actor than everyone in the original put together, and was absolutely believable. And Jackie Chan was not only Jackie Chan, with all the humor and brilliant martial arts that implies, but he was also a completely convincing sad, lonely old man.
We laughed. We cried. We cheered. We gasped. We cowered. It was pretty much brilliant in every way.
And the change of setting made the premise all that much better. In the original, a New Jersey kid is displaced to California, which, while disrupting, isn’t exactly the end of the world. This was the end of the world. An african-american kid from Detroit is suddenly in Beijing, and so completely out of his element that everything, even turning on the hot water, is an insurmountable hurdle. Most of us can relate to this displacement at some level – if not to that extreme – and we felt each moment with him.
Now, if you’ve seen the preview, you’ve seen most of the best *action* moments, and if you’ve seen the original there will be no plot surprises. But you should go see this, and you should take your kids. It’s the best movie I’ve seen in a very long time, and was even worth the exorbitant bill at the Movie Tavern.
Did I mention that Jaden Smith is an amazing actor? This kid has a brilliant career ahead of him. Let’s hope he doesn’t go the way of so many other spoiled child stars.