Thursday, 9 September 2010

The Karate Kid: What the F?

I’m no authority, but I’ll put forth that the general critique that this current film season was rooted in the doldrums principally because of Hollywood’s unoriginality is an erroneous claim. I’m not sure how 2010 has stacked up so far, it’s definitely not been as good as 2009 but I’m still reserving judgement. In the wake of that The Karate Kid turned into something of a sleeper hit. It was a remake (surprise, surprise) that ostensibly existed as a breakout role for Jaden Smith. I have no memory of having seen the original Karate Kid, though it’s possible I saw it as a child and just forgot. I wasn’t particularly anxious for the film; all my previous encounters with the Pinkett-Smith family have been less than satisfying. (For the record, I’m officially blaming you Walter for making me watch this.)
If I learned anything from watching The Karate Kid (a dubious possibility) it’s this. The problem with rote films like these is not that the audience already knows what’s going to happen; it’s that the journey to the end is just terribly trite. Suffice to say, I wasn’t a fan of this one. I’m unwilling to blame it on my general apathy towards children, maybe it’s that added to the strong antipathy I have towards said Pinkett-Smith family. I don’t think I’m unduly prejudiced, though. As a lead in a surreptitious blockbuster of sorts Smith’s acting skill is horribly...well, just horrible, really. I don’t think I’m overreaching when I assume he was casted on his name, the thing is the validity of casting him on that name befuddles me. I’ve never gotten why Will Smith is popular...but I’m beating a dead horse and way off the track with my digressing. Vetoing the general pointlessness of remaking a film which has a plot that offers nothing of seismic importance it’s questionable why the producers felt that Jaden Smith actually had the talent to carry the majority of a film that’s already bordering on inane blandness.
I will agree with Walter in some respects though, Jackie Chan (who’d have thought) ends up becoming the life raft. Even Taraji P. Henson, who I’m subjective to, seems to be going through the motions more than being her usual hilarious self. It’s the toned down Chan who offers anything close to trying in the generally meandering film. The thing is, most of the times his admittedly valiant attempts do nothing to decrease my boredom during the entire spectacle, it only seems to exacerbate it. The very purpose of a film, like any other artistic creation, is to present us with something to think about or at the very least entertain us in a way that’s (even fleetingly unique. The Karate Kid doesn’t hold up to its end of the bargain. What’s more exasperating is not that it has nothing to work with, but what’s there that could be made into something is just left to remain as trite as possible culminating in what – for me – was just two hours of tedium The only reason I didn’t stop watching it was because I wanted to review it appropriately. And really, when that’s your sole reason for watching a movie, you’ve reached a roadblock.

What I wanted to know after seeing it was how the F did this make all that money at the box-office. Accent on the F...

F
      
Have you seen it yet? 

6 comments:

Walter L. Hollmann said...

I'm shocked, just shocked. I'm glad we at least agree on Chan, and I will admit that the more I think of it, the more "Ehhh" Henson's performance was. But Smith was so magnetic in this, despite my past annoyance at his existence. An F?? Not even just a D? But...the cinematography! The epic score! The Chan! I just can't believe you felt this much disdain for the movie. I fear between this and my recent applause for Eva Mendes's acting, you are starting to doubt my critiques of *any*thing!

(By the way, it's no surprise that the producers chose Jaden Smith based on his name alone...Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith *are* the producers.)

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

I didn't want to F it, but a D- would be disingenuous - it's worse than From Paris with Love. Ha ha, no I don't doubt your criticisms - remember I gave very high grades to the wildly panned Nine and Lovely Bones two films, which if you add their RT scores together still aren't half as much as the 67% that The Karate Kid earned.

ruth said...

I never wanted to see this, and your review is all the more reason why. I'm as puzzled as you are for the critical praise, I mean the original wasn't even good to begin with IMO. I'm sorry you have to endure this one, Andrew.

Castor said...

I sort of wanted to see this and probably will some day but I guess this review confirms why I should not be in any hurry to netflix the DVD. Heard some good things about Jackie Chan though so it's probably going to be the main reason because I could not care less about Jaden Smith...

anahita said...

I've not seen it and probably never will, because, well, it looks shite. BUT do not diss will smith please - man is a legend and I love him xD plus I have unusual love for jackie chan...NEVERTHELESS I REFUSE TO WATCH THIS. I'll just go watch rush hour again or something...

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

ruth the critical praise really threw me for a loop. i don't usually check RT - i don't trust them one iota, but i checked the score on a whim and i was a bit floored.

castor i don't know why i didn't like it so much. i'm interested to see what you'll think about it.

anahita heee. i loathe will smith, ana. i'm neither here nor there on jackie chan - jet li all the way, for me.