it's not the karate kid, dammit

Whether you like it or not, The Karate Kid remake is coming. And a lot of people aren't happy about it, for a variety of reasons. For some, remaking the '80s classic, which starred Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita, is cinematic sacrilege. Others scoff at young star Jaden Smith, who's superstar dad essentially bought him a movie franchise. And for many, it's simply the title 'Karate Kid.'

It just doesn't make any sense. The movie, which is set in China, stars Jackie Chan in the Mr. Miyagi mentor role teaching the kid kung fu, a Chinese martial art. Based on everything we've seen so far, the movie has absolutely nothing to do with karate, which originates from Japan. This basic fact has sparked all kinds of discussion over the movie's title: 'The Karate Kid' or 'The Kung Fu Kid'?
The new movie's detractors insist that the title of the remake should be "The Kung Fu Kid," while fans eagerly awaiting the release don't take issue with the name. Others just seem confused about the difference between Chinese kung fu and Japanese karate. (Kung fu and karate employ distinctly different movement techniques and each are steeped in their own cultural histories.)

On his official Web site, Chan himself refers to the movie as "The Kung Fu Kid" in postings last year during the filming. More recently, however, he acknowledged that the title is "The Karate Kid" but says the title in China will be "Kung Fu Kid."

The movie's official Web site explains it this way: Jaden Smith's character, Dre Parker, knows some karate before arriving in China where he subsequently learns kung fu from Mr. Han.

But as one person wrote on Facebook: "We get that he knows a little Karate, but he learns Kung-fu from a Kung-fu teacher, fights against people who know Kung-fu in a Kung-fu tournament, in the land of... yep, you guessed it - Kung Fu! It's like Batman being called Dog man, because he used to own a dog when he was younger."

Still other online fans ask: Why mess with a proven brand name if you don’t have to?
Heck, even Jackie Chan can't get the movie's title right. It seems that the movie's marketers are desperately hoping most moviegoers aren't really going to know or care about the difference. And chances are, they won't. Karate, kung fu -- it's all the same. It's all yellow people chopping and kicking each other, right. Hooray for the dumbing down of America. (Thanks, Michelle.)

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