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Monday, June 14, 2010

The Original Karate Kid

Over the weekend, I read a “Where Are They Now” article about the original cast from The Karate Kid (from 1984). From what I hear, the remake of the movie is pretty good, but it isn’t for me.

I’m not anti-remakes. I’m just anti-remakes of movies I’ve seen that meant something to me.

The Karate Kid is part of my teenage experience as I grew up in the 80s. To make it part of my experience as a 40+ year-old doesn’t make any sense to me.

Seeing a remake of a movie like The Karate Kid would probably be about as big a shock to the system as seeing current pictures of some of the actors from the original. The photo above is of Elizabeth Shue – taken in 2007.

The thing is, the picture doesn’t represent the Ali Mills character from the original movie because Ali never grew up. Movie characters are frozen in time and so are my memories of those characters.

The new version of the movie will become part of the culture of the generation after me. I’m fine with that. I’ve enjoyed many remakes over the years, including the most recent versions of Pride and Prejudice, Ransom and The Stepford Wives.

People who are older than me probably cringed at these remakes for the same reason I cringed when I heard The Karate Kid was going to be remade. Why mess with the original when it is easily available on DVD?

In the end, it comes down to this – a good story is a good story and good stories are repeated and adapted in every generation.


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