As a ridiculous fan of the original Karate Kid, naturally I was extremely disheartened to learn that Hollywood was going to attempt a remake of the 1984 film about a whiny kid from New Jersey who moves to California and gets his ass kicked a handful of times before learning karate from some wacky old Asian handy man. This new version would star Will Smith's kid Jaden (in the role originally populated by Ralph Maccio) with Jackie Chan taking on Pat Morita's role of mentor and trainer. Ugh, I know, but Yahoo just released the first trailer and I can't believe I'm actually saying this, but ... it doesn't look half bad.
Note: The Yahoo trailer doesn't seem to be working, but you can also watch it by clicking here, or by downloading one of the HD versions available here.
First off there are a slew of references to the original film, from whiny lines like "I just wanna go home" to Jackie Chan trying to catch flies with chopsticks. So far I'm kinda diggin' those little nods, and I like how they're still keeping it fresh by setting it in a different country with different rules and a whole bunch of new creative learning exercises ("paint the fence" is replaced by "take off the jacket"). It definitely feels a bit younger than the previous incarnation, which is my only real concern right now (it's a little awkward to watch Jackie Chan beat up a group of kids who look like they're 10), but the martial arts look solid, the cinematography is pretty striking (lots of bold colors and beautiful scenery), and I can already see Will Smith-isms oozing out of his son, which is a good thing (I think).
Check out the trailer after the jump (or over on Yahoo in HD) and let us know what you think. The Karate Kid hits theaters on June 11th, 2010.