The Karate Kid (2010)

The ‘new’ Karate Kid was so annoying that I started rooting for him to get his narrow ass kicked.

Yes, I already know I am a horrible person. I am well aware that I have tiny little rock where my soul should be…my husband actually told me so the other day. But seriously folks, how annoying was that kid? He was a whiny little bitch. He was so much of a bitch that 3/4 of the way through the film, my three year old kept asking “What’s that girl doing?” Yeah, she watched almost the whole movie thinking The Karate Kid was a girl. No matter how many times we told her that he was a boy, she was insistent, “No! That’s a girl!”

Now, I’m not going to go into a long tirade negatively comparing this remake to the original. Frankly, most of my objections would be based in nostalgia, not actual merit. The first movie was cheesy and full of stereotypes. If anything, the remake is more disturbing due to the use of younger kids. High school kids beating the shit out of each other is fairly normal, but showing the younger kids took balls. I’m wondering if that’s why the setting was shifted to China – no expectation of anti-bullying campaigns?

I do want to point out that “Wax on, wax off” is a lot catchier than “Jacket on, jacket off.”

I didn’t have a problem with Jackie Chan either. It’s not like he sold out or anything – have you seen The Tuxedo? Or The Medallion? This isn’t the worst film Chan has been in by a long shot. I do have to admit that I had trouble understanding his drunken, sad story. I couldn’t understand a word he was saying. The whole scene reminded me of Rambo’s soliloquy in First Blood…

So…I am not really sure if I liked this remake or hated it. Within the next few weeks, it’s likely that I won’t even remember having watched it or even writing this review. Ultimately, this film will be remembered as forgettable.

The Tuxedo

Whose idea was it to match up Jackie Chan with one of the worst actresses to crawl out of the depths Fox’s back lot? That individual needs to be dragged out into the street and shot, run over by a ice cream truck and then shot again.

Notwithstanding Jennifer and her “Hewitts,” the movie wasn’t that bad. Jackie played a regular Joe Schmo without any martial arts ability, although he was a badass driver. I guess his ego requires that he’s some sort of badass in every film he’s in. He ends up chauffeuring for a real spy, hilarity ensues and he gets to wear the spy’s special tuxedo, which enables him to kick ass, do zippo tricks and sing like James Brown.

Speaking of James Brown, he has been popping up in the strangest cameos lately – first Undercover Brother and now this? The entire film was worth watching just for Jackie Chan’s impersonation of James Brown. He definitely had the moves. However, I was not prepared to see him wiggling his butt like that, nor was I prepared to see that stupid chick stick her FINGER in his ASS CRACK! I could have lived the rest of my life without seeing that.

Another standout was Peter Stormare as the fucked up Doctor Simms. He was totally against type and I almost forgot about his woodchippering tendencies in Fargo. Almost.

The plot was stupid, but I could get over that. My biggest question? What the fuck happened to his best friend? His best friend was in the first scene of the film and then we never saw him again. What the fucking fuck?

Without Jennifer Love Hewitt, The Tuxedo would have gotten a higher rating. I’m pretty sure the same goes for ANY film she’s in.

 

Shanghai Knights

I had a migraine when I left the theater – probably because I rolled my eyes so many times.

It sucked…but it was on the better end of suckdom. It didn’t suck as much as Spy Game, but it was still miles below Shanghai Noon in quality. I’ll be generous and give it 2 BOBs – one for Owen Wilson, because he kicks ass and one for Lord Rathbone. (I said BONE. Heh.) He had that whole John Cusack eyes, Christopher Walken hair, I’m a sexy British dude thing going for him. Unfortunately, I think this role just confirms the Queer as Folk typecasting that Aidan Gillen must already be experiencing. Lord Rathbone was a far more interesting villain than whoever was in the first one. I don’t even remember who the villain WAS in the first one – some chinese guy?

I am not usually one to complain about anachronisms – I can sit through the entire Back to the Future series without batting an eyelash – but the script was ridiculous. The film is set in 1887 – Charlie Chaplin wasn’t even born until 1889! The Sherlock Holmes thing was even lamer. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a doctor. Blah blah blah, artistic license, whatever. Having real people pop up occasionally was funny in the first one, but it became tedious and contrived in this one. I was disappointed when Pancho Villa and Charles Dickens didn’t show up.

The one saving grace was the Umbrella scene. It wasn’t overly original, so I give it a 6 in originality, but a perfect score of 10 in execution. I expect I’ll be taking my grandchildren to see Jackie Chan movies, just to see the latest in Wheelchair Fu.

Did Rush Hour 2 suck this much? If so, I’ll continue to ignore it.

I am so pissed that I paid full price to see this crap. Definitely wait until it comes on cable for free.

 

Shanghai Noon

Better than Mission: Impossible 2. Yes – for once I am agreeing with critics…

There was a lot of ass-kicking action – though it was all rather tame, but unlike John Woo – it is okay for Jackie Chan to make a PG-13 film. Expected even.

The film should have been subtitled Dignan’s Next Score. Owen Wilson’s character, Roy, must have been the great-great grandfather of his character, Dignan, from Bottle Rocket. He was a wholly incompetent criminal with an even more incompetent crew. I keep wondering if the role was written that way from the beginning with Wilson in mind or if he was picked later to team up with Chan. I think they had much better chemistry than Chan and Chris Tucker in Rush Hour.

I don’t usually like Kid Rock, but his Cowboy Song actually worked pretty well with the film. The rest of the soundtrack was all classic rock like La Grange by ZZ Top and Back in the Saddle by Aerosmith. Actually, I think it was only those three songs on the soundtrack and they just alternated between those three.

I think I heard that there is a sequel in the works, which kind of makes me sad. So often, Hollywood thinks that if a movie works once, it will continue to work for further sequels. I am so sick of that bullshit.

Two weeks after opening, it’s probably already in the dollar theater. Go catch it quick…oh, wait. I’m sure it will be out on video in 2 months anyway. But it’s worth it to see Jackie Chan get all high and get laid…

Twin Dragons

Cheech and Chong did it better.

Another rehash of the Corsican Brothers, Twin Dragons has Jackie Chan playing twins separated at birth. The one who stays with the biological parents becomes a famous concert pianist and conductor, while the lost twin is raised by the alcoholic partygirl who found him. They meet when the conductor comes to China to conduct something. All of a sudden, they begin to feel what the other one is doing. It sounds better writing it than actually seeing it.

Don’t get me wrong – I love Jackie Chan. I even liked Operation Condor, which most people thought sucked. My boyfriend, the Kung Fu Master, said that Twin Dragons made Double Impact (similar twin film with the always effervescent Jean Claude Damme) look good in comparison. I think that something must have gotten lost in the translation – maybe a subtitled version would have made more sense. Maybe if I knew chinese, it would make more sense. Twin Dragons was lacking in plot, lacking in fight scenes (there were only four) and definitely lacking in special effects. I admit I have been spoiled by the great special effects that are standard in America, but The Patty Duke Show had better special effects than Twin Dragons.

The film isn’t all bad. The few fight scenes are great, as usual. The first scene in the film is almost a homage to John Woo’s hospital fight scene in Hardboiled. And even though the film is lame, it has pretty funny parts. I plan to rent Twin Dragons in a subtitled DVD version to see if it is the American dubbing that sucks, so hopefully this review will improve after that.