Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I Miss Pat Morita

So I guess they're remaking "The Karate Kid", with Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith playing the Pat Morita and Ralph Macchio roles. And from the looks of this trailer, the movie's set in China, the ancient land of mean-eyed wushu-trained boys and demure violin-playing girls. During the course of the flick, Jackie Chan (sporting a moustache wispier than Mariah Carey's in "Precious") sagely teaches Jaden Smith how to be a kick-ass kung fu fighter, in part by instructing him to "JACK IT OFF" or something like that. (I guess "wax on, wax off" wasn't suggestive enough.)

But wait a second: This remake features a Chinese kung fu master teaching kung fu in China. There's no karate in this film -- not even the fake kind that Mr. Miyagi taught Daniel-san. So why is this movie still called "The Karate Kid"? Why not "The Kung Fu Kid" or "Will Smith's Kid" or "Jack It Off"?

Oh, right -- I forgot for a moment that in Hollywood's eyes, all Asians (and their respective forms of native martial arts) are totally interchangeable.


tipytop said...

I'm right with you. You'd think people have it correct by now, but I guess even Jackie Chan needs to eat.

Keith Wilcox said...

Thank god someone else sees the same stupidity! I thought it was just me. I studied martial arts for years (got a second degree black belt at age 28) and always thought of the Karate kid as a fun diversion that, yes was totally fake, but at least didn't offend anybody in particular.

I saw the trailer here and was totally bothered by two things. First. I like Will Smith, but I hate nepotism so I don't care much for his son. Second. Everybody in the year 2010 should know the difference between Karate and Chinese martial arts. This is not 1986 where these things are new to anybody. And, now that you mention it I'm bothered by a third thing. Since I'm not Asian I didn't see it like you did, that Hollywood is clumping all Asians into the same pot. But, you're right -- now that bothers me too. Hmphhh

bitter.sweet asian said...

"Jack it off?" oh my goodness.

i really don't think we need more more asians kicking ass or asians teaching others how to kick ass movies.

Obiwanhavanese said...

I miss Pat too. Why redo the Karate Kid, should have just made a new one called Kung Fu Kid.

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