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.