When news first spread that, instead of sending him to summer camp, Will Smith got his son Jaden his very own star vehicle, a remake of The Karate Kid, the world collectively exhaled a sigh of weary resignation. Of course Will Smith's son is remaking The Karate Kid. Of course he is. I mean, we all want Will Smith's son to have a nice career, don't we? He can't just start out with something original and unproven, then, can he? No, only the finest unnecessary remake of a successful film for such luminous, important progeny. (I bet Trey Smith, Will's older son, feels more than a little cheated that he only got a starring role in a video of a remake of a Bill Withers' song. Unfortunately, those are the breaks for Smith offspring. Timing is everything.)
But Jaden's Karate Kid remake began shooting in China yesterday, and it seems that the movie has been downgraded from a remake to a mere rip-off.
Jackie Chan will play the wise kung-fu master in a Hollywood-Chinese remake of the 1984 hit "The Karate Kid" that kicked off filming in the Chinese capital at the weekend, a movie company publicist said Monday.
Chan's young disciple in "Kung Fu Kid" will be played by Jaden Smith, the son of Hollywood superstars Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, China Film Group spokesman Weng Li told The Associated Press in a phone interview.
Okay, so it's about Kung Fu, not Karate; it takes place in China, not California; Jackie Chan plays Mr. Han, not Mr. Miyagi; and it's called Kung Fu Kid, not Karate Kid. Basically, it's a cheap Chinese knock-off of Karate Kid. I think we can stop calling it a remake at this point.
Still, sounds like a great movie. I can't wait for the pivotal "Polish on, polish off" scene, or the scene where Mr. Han catches a fly between two sporks, or when he bequeaths young Jaden with a pair of red wristbands. And, in the tournament scene, Jaden is sure to nail the all-important Kung Fu move, "The Stork."