I sighed, gave a half-hearted eye roll, and internally pondered why it is impossible for Hollywood to come up with any new ideas when I first heard they were remaking the Karate Kid. Could anyone do it better than Ralph Maccio? Hillary Swank, an Oscar winner, certainly didn’t succeed with the 3rd one. Add in the troubling fact that the director, Harald Zwart, is best known for the classic (sarcasm) Agent Cody Banks and it seems like this was going to be headed straight to DVD.
I also questioned the choice of Jaden Smith for the lead. Young actors whose parents are famous always have to really shine in order to hush the calls of nepotism. Could Will and Jada’s little guy be any good? He seemed to do well in Pursuit of Happyness playing his real-life father’s son, but he had so few lines it was impossible to tell if he could hold up an entire film.
But you know what? After watching Jaden on Ellen, my fears for this flick are not only silenced, but have transformed into excitement to go see it. He’s got serious skills when it comes to karate chopping, doing the splits all the way down to the floor, popping and locking, and has a moon walk many a Michael Jackson impersonator would be jealous of. Click through to watch the clip. It’s impressive.
For those pressed for time, the Karate Kid segment starts around 3:00.