Guest Author - Caroline Chen-Whatley
It seems like Hollywood has a love affair with remakes these days. Some may say that it is because there are no new ideas. But whatever the reason, we’ve been blessed (or cursed) with remakes like the Green Hornet and the Karate Kid. The Green Hornet was laughable at best. While Kato got an awesome upgrade in his technical toys, he still played second strum to the Hornet. The Karate Kid did a nice updating of the outsider syndrome by moving the family around the world to China. While I loved Jackie Chan in the movie, a large part of me missed seeing Mr. Miyagi, Pat Morito.
Supposedly, we will also be seeing a remake of Bloodsport and the Last Dragon in the near future. Bloodsport was one of the first Western movie about full-contact Martial Arts long before the likes of UFC became a household name. This time the story takes place in Brazil where an American is trying to get over the violence he experienced in Afghanistan. How this storyline gets to a Martial Arts competition, I'm uncertain but it should prove interesting as the director from Salt and the writer from Taken (two wonderful suspense movies) team up.
The Last Dragon was one of those movies that you either loved or hated. (I happen to love it!) The movie was a cult classic where a young Harlem student seeks the final level of his Martial Arts training known as "the glow" while he finds love and fights off the bad guy. The upcoming remake has attracted a lot of big names, including Samuel L Jackson as the bad guy Sho'nuff and pop star Rhianna.
This got me thinking of some of my other favourite Martial Arts movies and what an updating, or remake, of the movie would look like. Here are some of my thoughts:
Wing Chun, the retelling of the legendary female founder of this style, might bring more light to the hardships faced by women of that time and really emphasize how difficult it would have been to accept a woman fighter. Perhaps the barbaric bad guys would be more intimidating like the fighters in Ip Man rather than comical.
Fists of Fury (aka the Chinese Connection), Bruce Lee's character pretends to be different characters to infiltrate his enemy's headquarters. Perhaps in the remake, the main character would pretend to be an IT technician instead of a telephone repair man.
Kung Fu TV series follows a monk who travels across America seeking his lost brother and using his Tai Chi skills to help people along the way. An upgrade into today's society would have Caine Twittering his current location to all his #followers. He'd stop into an Internet café every few days to check his Facebook account and see if his brother posted on his wall.
Enter the Dragon, the iconic Bruce Lee Martial Arts film, is still a fitting storyline. Some of the technology might be updated and perhaps instead of heroin they might be trying to make a super-drug, but for the most part the storyline and most of the story would still work in today's movie-goers. This classic is one that I can't possibly ever see improving.