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Advice for Stephen Chow – Director of The Karate Kid Remake

If Karma were a person, then Karma would be Seth Rogen in a Judd Apatow movie. Because Karma is one funny sonuvabitch.

Michael Bay directing the Transformers movie set the cosmic scales of cinematic justice wobbling dangerously off-balance. In response, Karma has offered us the distinct possibility that Stephen Chow will direct the remake of The Karate Kid.

If Chow’s name doesn’t ring any bells… perhaps you need more bells in your belfry, because he’s a geek cult favorite. So, pay attention: he’s the lead actor and director of Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle, two films that showcase his innovation in mixing slapstick comedy with dazzling special-effects-driven martial artistry. Think, Rumble in the Bronx meets Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon meets The Three Stooges.

Get a taste in the trailer for Kung Fu Hustle. (RSS Readers and e-mail subscribers will have to visit the post.)

As you can imagine, his taking the reigns of a re-imagining of The Karate Kid is a franchise reboot along the magnitude of Chris Nolan salvaging the Batman legacy from Joel Schumacher’s eyeball-abusing efforts. The parallel is further cemented by the comparable awfulness of both series’ respective fourth installments: Batman & Robin and The Next Karate Kid (a.k.a The Karate Kid Part IV: This Time The Karate Kid’s a Broad).

Just as Chris Nolan put the memory of Batman & Robin to rest, Stephen Chow can help us forget Mr. Miyagi’s ham-handed tutelage of Hilary Swank by giving The Karate Kid the maxi-action-dramedy treatment it’s has so effusively demanded.

To inspire and encourage Mr. Chow to accept his destiny as the caretaker of the The Karate Kid for the 21st century, I offer the following advice and guidance.

  • Keeping with tradition from Kung Fu Hustle, Mr. Miyagi should abruptly dispense with the pretense of senior-citizen feebleness with a surprising feat of supernatural strength… like chopping a huge wooden beam in half with his bare hands. Er… wait a tick. He already did that. In Karate Kid Part II. Apologies.
  • Every Batman needs its Batmobile, and every Karate Kid needs the Cobra Kai. Don’t mess with the formula. Don’t take away the Cobra Kai. In fact, multiply them by one-thousand and give them all skeleton costumes for Halloween.
  • Cast the original actor, Martin Kove, as Sensei Kreese. Give his parts a bad voice dub with a thick, Japanese accent. “Sweep the leg, Johnny.” “Fear does not exist in this dojo, does it!” That dude is just asking for a bad voice-over. Comedy gold.
  • Ok, so the kids from Jersey have their chance. No more “Daniel Laruso” in this one. I realize the main character still needs to be a non-prototypical martial artist, though, so let’s throw the Canadians a bone, shall we? No one expects a chubby Canadian to kick some ass. And you still get a main character with a funny accent. I nominate Seth Rogen.
  • Give the girlfriend character more to do than look good in sweaters. Please… give her a throwing-knife hobby or something. Make me believe that she actually has something in common with the main character schlub.
  • Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. And by “baby,” of course I mean Joe Esposito’s You’re The Best Around. (P.S. Nothin’s going to ever keep you down.)
  • Johnny’s head will have to pop off in an explosion of steam when “Daniel” gives him ol’ the crane kick. It just makes good sense.
9 comments… add one
  • Shithead December 13, 2007, 11:55 am

    What happened to the “digg it” button?

  • Nathan D December 13, 2007, 12:18 pm

    Seth Rogen? Pshaw. Three words: Star Wars Kid

  • Great White Snark December 13, 2007, 1:15 pm

    SH, there’s a Digg link in the feed, and on the site you can Digg via the “Share This” button at the end of every post. Once a post gets Dugg, the count will appear at the top of the post.

  • nickolai December 13, 2007, 4:10 pm

    Stupid Follywood. Why mess with a cinematic masterpiece such as the KK?

  • Anim8or December 16, 2007, 7:39 pm

    doesn’t it seem to soon for a re-make of that one?

    Before you know it, someone will be doing a remake of “independence day” or “con-air”.

    I just want to know where the originality is going. I would say 3 decades between re-makes, at least. Even with one of my favorite comedy directors at the helm, I just don’t know. (If friends of mine haven’t seen “Kung Fu Hustle” I strap them to a chair, duck tape their eyes open, and make them watch it).

    Anyway, where is my remake of “7 Samurai” Steve… WHERE!!!???? You were supposed to do that one!!

  • Great White Snark December 17, 2007, 12:29 am

    Nah, I don’t think it’s too soon… the franchise had already been run into the ground by two completely awful sequels… I think the Kid deserves a new “treatment” that restores some luster to the series.

    Wow, you want someone to take on a Kurasawa remake??? That’d be ambitious! Although the frigging Weinsteins have been threatening to do it…

  • Nathan D December 17, 2007, 9:13 am

    Yeah, a remake of 7 Samurai, that would be insane.

    Cough, cough, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0054047/, cough, cough.

  • Great White Snark December 17, 2007, 12:52 pm

    To be Fair and Balanced, Nathan, TM7 was a re-imagining, not a remake. It’d be like Michael Bay re-imagining The Seven Samurai as a dramedy on a space prison colony. Which would still be an insult to film-making, but you get the point.

    The Weinstein brothers actually want to make another movie about seven samurai. A straight-up remake. And that’s ridiculous. Because you know that they’ll muck it up with pretty actors and CGI.

  • Nathan D December 17, 2007, 2:44 pm

    fair ’nuff — but, I have to say that other than those of us interested in the historical significance of the film, my experience is that joe-public won’t sit through T7S.

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