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