For those “Karate Kid” fans still skeptical about this summer’s remake, Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith would like to offer their assurance that the movie is something fresh worth giving a shot. MTV News caught up with the stars on the orange carpet of the Kids’ Choice Awards to talk about how their redo compares to the popular 1984 original, which starred Pat Morita and Ralph Macchio in the respective lead roles.
“They should see this because it’s a great movie,” said Smith, the charismatic 11-year-old son of rapper-turned-actor Will Smith, who also co-produced the remake. “We have our own little twist to the movie, the fact that we’re in China. But it’s just a great, great movie.”
What the young actor appears to be saying is, let’s forget that this is a reboot of the martial-arts franchise that previously spawned three sequels, including “The Next Karate Kid,” which was a sort of restart itself, and approach the movie instead as a stand-alone story about a young boy relocated to China where he learns the art of kung fu from an unlikely mentor.
Chan, who plays that mentor, thinks both time and plot changes factor into the remake’s separation from its source.
“I think it’s different from the first one,” he said. “You will see the difference. Of course, today’s technology and filming — things are always better than 30 years ago. But ['The Karate Kid'] is a traditional classic. We just pay it tribute. I think everybody will like it.”
And if everybody likes it, you can bet there will be another couple sequels, at least a few of which could star a more pumped-up and physically skilled Smith.
“Before the movie, he’d been training for three months,” Chan says about his co-star’s preparation. “Now, he’s still training every day. I just see him getting better and better, his muscles bigger and bigger. Pretty soon, three more years, he’ll become a master.”
Check out everything we’ve got on “The Karate Kid.”
For breaking news, celebrity columns, humor and more — updated around the clock — visit MTVMoviesBlog.com.