The other day I had a bit of free time so I went out and saw The A-Team and The Karate Kid. I'll admit that I'm increasingly leery about movie remakes and 80s TV adaptations, but they did a pretty good job with these two.
I was a little surprised to find that I actually liked the new Karate Kid better than the original. In fact, what I liked about it the most was how boldly and completely it departed from the first version.
Like many other moviegoing fans, I've gotten into the habit of going to all of these recent remake or retread or sequel or reboot films with a little fan checklist. For Star Trek there was Kirk hooking up with a green chick and a guy in red who dies needlessly. For Terminator there was the "come with me if you want to live" line and "I'll be back." For Clash of the Titans there was even Bobo the mechanical owl.
But with The Karate Kid there were none of the fan-pleasing things you might look for going into it. There was no crane kick, no Cobra Kai, and no "sweep the leg." Instead there was a massively reimagined telling of a story you know and recognize from the original. Aside from the title and the inclusion of an enigmatic, reclusive Asian martial arts master, everything is changed. So much so that the troubled youth in the title role isn't even learning karate, he's training in kung fu.
So both films were entertaining as can be. If you're looking for lots of explosions and crowd-pleasing antics, see The A-Team. If you'd prefer a heartwarming story, an impressive showing by a promising child actor, and some trademark Jackie Chan comedy/action, check out The Karate Kid.
On the subject of 80's television series being turned into new feature films, today the trailer was released for the upcoming live-action adaptation of the Smurfs:
I'll admit I'm skeptical about this one, but there were a set of photos of Hank Azaria dressed as Gargamel where he pretty much nailed the look.
It's almost enough to make me think someone needs to hurry up and produce the live-action Care Bears movie with a modernized, grittier backstory: