Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Karate Kid. B+


Usually when a movie is remade, it's because the original is either very dated or simply wasn't good to begin with. Neither is the case for the Karate Kid, a 1984 semi-classic that was remade and released this past summer. I don't really have an issue with the remake, it's just that I find it a little strange simply because the original is really stellar. It's a predictable story, but the way it's told is why the movie works so well and is so easy to like. There are surprisingly very few corny moments, and even the parts that are work because the characters have been established so that we care about them. I cared about the central character Daniel, I cared about his relationship with the girl at school, I cared about his karate teacher, and most of all, I cared about his goal of revenge. But as much as the movie is about Daniel training to beat the bullies at school, I think the most important aspect is the friendship between the karate kid and and the unassuming master, Kesuke (Pat Morita, nominated for an Oscar for the role). Ralph Macchio plays Daniel, and though the character is just a teenager, Macchio was in his twenties. It's shocking, considering how young Macchio looks and sounds. I'm looking forward to seeing the remake when I get the chance simply because it's got a strong cast. But this 1984 version is pretty good, and I find it hard for any movie, no matter who's involved, to beat it.

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