Unsolicited Advice: An Open Letter to Will Smith  

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Dear Will,

I'll see your remake of "The Karate Kid." The fact that you and your wife put up the money for this movie so your son could have a starring role opposite Jackie Chan is pretty damn shameless, and he looks like a pretty wretched actor, but the trailer makes it look more creative than I would have expected from a remake.

That's why I'm writing to you. It looks like you're trying to best Ralph Macchio for realistic martial arts, and that's great, but I can't help but assume from your trailer than this means you have thrown over the famous "wax on, wax off" training. Don't get me wrong, I too question the practical application of waxing the car and painting the fence, but this means that an entire generation of young moviegoers are going to be without the unadulterated hilarity of t-shirts that read "Mr. Miyagi Wax Off."

But I can't complain, because you haven't killed the legacy of sophomoric masturbation humor derived from improvised methods of kung fu instruction, you've added to it. In this trailer, Jackie Chan's new Mr. Miyagi -- reimagined as Mr. Han -- teaches the new Daniel-san -- reimagined as Dre -- by having him take his coat off and put it back on again, at one point delivering this instantly immortal cinematic gem:

Don't listen to much Blink 182, do you, Will? Ok, so the obvious cut in the sound makes me think that this line won't be in the final film, but I've viewed this trailer on enough legitimate film websites to make me think it is, actually, in the trailer, and even that is a great gift. The "Mr. Han says jacket off" t-shirts will be even funnier, even if no one is going to know who Mr. Han is.

So Will, I'm not sure what kind of audience you're hoping to attract by featuring Jackie Chan yelling "jacket off" to an 11-year-old boy in your trailer, but I know one movie blog that will forever appreciate your contribution to kung fu puerility.

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