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Karate Kid for Millennials

  • May 21, 2009
  • by
Disclaimer: I only saw the middle third of this movie.

While my wife was watching American Idol, I was flipping around on another TV and came across this movie. I figure I watched about a third of the movie before switching the channel. Despite the limited view, I was struck by the amount of the plot that was taken from the Karate Kid and updated for the Millennial Generation.

First the similarities:
New kid in town, picked on by bully
Bully has attractive girlfriend turned off by bully's violent nature who ends up liking new kid
New kid gets really angry after getting his butt kicked
No father and the working mother had tough time dealing with son's anger
New kid decides to train with the wise master in the hopes of avenging his beatdown
Lots of homo eroticism between student and wise master
Big tournament coming up where bully and new kid will fight
New kid achieves peace and decides not to fight (from Karate Kid III)

Here is how they updated the plot for new generation:
Mixed Martial Arts instead of the Karate
Tournament is called the Beatdown and is broadcast on the internet instead of the All Valley Karate Tournament
Instead of playing soccer and riding Honda motorbikes, the bully and his friends go wakeboarding on the weekend
The fights are filmed and posted on video sharing sites
Instead of Mr. Miyagi, we get Djimon Hounsou as the wise master

Right before I turned it off, the new kid had 1) achieved peace; 2) was dating the girl; and 3) had decided not to fight. I will have to speculate that 1) he somehow got cajoled into fighting; 2) his master was against it and probably said something like "you don't have anything to prove"; 3) the master eventually came around and blessed the fighting; and 4) the new kid was victorious over the bully in a very public spectacle that required him to overcome an injury and demonstrate great heart (a la Daniel-san overcoming his leg injury and using the crane technique to vanquish William Zabka). A bonus number 5) would be if the bully ended up embracing the new kid at the end and uttered something as memorable as, "You're all right Larusso"

Overall it was a decent 30 minutes...but not decent enough to get me to stay until the end. I am surprised that energy drinks didn't play a bigger role in the film

Since I will probably never see the conclusion of this movie...will someone please comment and let me know how close I came to guessing the ending? Thanks

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May 27, 2009
I love the comparison of the old and the new. No kidding about the energy drinks-- would have been like the modern day equivalent of Rocky Balboa's raw egg beverage!
More Never Back Down reviews
review by . August 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
This is a REVIEW of the Extended, Unrated Cut That Was Not Seen in Theaters.      NEVER BACK DOWN is a teen-action-martial arts drama that has all the ingredients to entertain a VERY specific audience. The film isn’t going to win awards for its story, but then again, what martial arts film ever had? The film has a very formulaic and routine storyline but what caught my notice are its action sequences. Please note that this is a review of the film’s “Beat Down” …
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Ranked #89
I am a fan of healthy living, science fiction, the opinion page, Korean food, UCLA basketball and oatmeal.      I like to read reviews of restaurants, recipes and cooking products … more
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