Generally, one doesn’t need to look much further than the director to know whether a movie will be decent. Ever see a bad movie from Francis Ford Coppola? Brian DePalma? Martin Scorsese? Of course not.
That’s why I should have known better watching The Karate Kid (2010), directed by Harald Zwart as a re-imagining of the 1984 movie with dancing star Ralph Macchio and Elizabeth Shue. Zwart was also the genius behind such blandness like One Night at McCools, Agent Cody Banks, and The Pink Panther 2, another movie which should never have been made. To be fair, the first karate kid sucked too, but at least they were original.
Usually, I include clips with my movie reviews, but this movie was so bad, I’d rather stick needles in my eyes than have to find a clip of this movie and force myself to watch another second of it again. So, as a warning, for the rest of this review you will get only text. By now, you should know how the rest of this review turns out, and if you should choose to keep reading, you will likely be wasting your time, like I did tonight, watching this horrible movie.
The Karate Kid was advertised as a big bang kids movie, and families flocked to the theaters when it was released, netting the movie almost $200 million worldwide. The only reason I could come up with that a movie like this would be made is because Will Smith had dirty pictures of the studio head with a person other than his wife, and threatened to release those pictures to the media unless the studio made a movie with his son. He might have had pictures of Jackie Chan too, possibly from the same tryst with the studio head and that mystery person. That would also explain why Jackie Chan, a successful actor, would be involved with this movie.
Instead of taking place in California, the new movie takes place in China; but the move is for the same reason, mom’s work. Other than a few minor dialogue differences, that’s about the only real change that was made. Same theme, same general story line, same cheese. Some entire scenes are exactly the same as the original movie, which begs the question – if they meant it to be a remake, why change anything at all? Who knows?
Before writing this scathing review I did try to think of the good qualities exhibited in the movie. Notions like the bonds of friendship, and that good triumphs over evil. Kids should learn those things and believe in them. But watching this movie with your kids may make them lose faith in the power and wonder of movies, and that would be a horrible thing.
Simply speaking, The new Karate Kid is 2 hours and 20 minutes of your life you will never get back. Hands down, the worst movie I’ve seen all year, and the winner of a new spot on my top 20 worst movies of all time list.