IG’s Peace Blog

Peace and its many aspects

Karate Kid: Personal observations

I just saw the re-make of Karate Kid which I thought was an interesting improvement (in at least in some ways) on the original .  Of course, if you knew the original you could sort of predict how the new film’s plot was going to go (after making some adjustments for it taking place in China, of course 🙂 ).

Ok…some personal background.  I was a year ahead in school, which meant that I was (at least) a year behind getting to puberty.  So, to make a long story short, I got bullied quite a bit.  It was awful…I was frequently humiliated, etc…Oft told tale…sigh.  The point is that this made me sort of a sucker for films where the bullies get put down, one way or another.  I think I became aware of how these films affected me when I was watching a re-run of the original KK in a London hotel room, some years ago.

Anyhow, it would be untrue to say that I  don’t have this feeling anymore, and I have to admit that I still very much liked seeing the bad karate kids get beaten in the newer movie.  However, this time there was something else.  I was just a bit appalled by the level of violence in the film, particularly given the age of the children.  The first movie was dealing with adolescents; these kids are pre-adolescents.  The first fight scene, where the “best” bad KK beats up pour defenseless, but very brave, Dre to a pulp is so violent as to be unrealistic.  Basically, Dre should have been dead, or in a coma.  Also, the level of violence tolerated in the tournament at the end is much more extreme than in the first film.  I wonder what the Chinese thought of this image of their country.

So, what I’m trying to say here is that the new film put me off as  much as it gratified my personal hunger to see bullies stopped.  In fact, the movie got me wondering about the perennial issues of violence in cinema and what is necessary to get the public’s attention in our violence soaked times.  Do we really have to see twelve year olds trying to break each other’s limbs to get involved with the characters and the theme of the movie?  Also, while I liked the character of Dre’s mother, and even if one concedes she might have something of a “street” background, what mother is going to sit still and let her little boy (not yet a young man) get the bloody hell beat out of him by a “gang” of violence drugged crazies whose motto is “no pity”?  That was pushing it a bit, I think…but, after all,  it wasn’t a documentary 🙂 .

So, I guess I am more sensitive to these issues, and at the same time, the level of ambient violence seems to have gone up a notch (or two, or three).  I wonder what the third re-make will be like 😦 .

IGb says “peace is the way!”


September 26, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,

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