This film seems like an odd choice to pull double-duty. Any double-duty, but especially the two jobs of pulling me back to posting about bad movies and holding a spot as Memorial Day post.
Let me explain the first part. Briefly. This movie is another bit of nostalgia. A call from the past when anything that had something to do with karate was automatically awesome. It didn't hurt that the main character is an inept kid who's more goofy than kick-ass. Really, just watching Daniel LaRusso stand is a lesson in how not to carry your posture. He holds himself awkwardly slack-jawed and crooked throughout the film, taking up shelter in his clothes like a homeless man wrapping himself in bed-sheets.
But he's my Ralph Macchio. He's the Daniel LaRusso from the time before I was old enough to be Daniel, yet I could see that's where I was headed.
More importantly, though, this film compelled me to post on Memorial Day specifically. Strange, you say? Let me expound upon my reasoning:
This film completely represents America and all of its freedom. It packages everything that our troops have fought for in just under two-hours of running time.
First, it represents our freedom to make absolutely any piece of crap that we want. The film still exists. Any self-aware culture would have wiped it from the slate long ago. Erased its existence with a governmental decree denying all knowledge and setting dark-suited men with slicked hair to the task of disappearing those who dared mention it in casual conversation.
|"I keep getting jobs because I can erase your memory of how bad my films are. You might remember my partner, Nic Cage. But if not, we're doing our job right."|
Here we, again, get Daniel LaRusso sucking at karate and then becoming triumphant.
|Now wait just a minute...|
|Seriously, the kid doesn't close his mouth throughout the entire film.|
So, basically, the movie convinces its audience that it is something new while giving us the exact thing that the previous version mostly already provided (See: any technology gadget "upgrade" of the past 7 years, romantic comedies, or government officials as further evidence).
If that's not American, then I don't know what is.
And finally, "The Karate Kid Part II" appropriates another culture for the entertainment of Americans. To be fair, the movie doesn't create laughable situations at the expense of Japanese culture. But it does use the unfamiliar setting, customs, and cultural standards to wring-out whatever use we can from it. The situations in the film generally don't represent opportunities to learn about the "others," but instead offer Americans a chance to see how different they are in some instances (fighting for honor to save a village, tea ceremonies) while illustrating similarities as punctuation (the inclusion of a rock-and-roll music club blasting Elvis).
If there's anything that Americans do best is amalgamate other cultures into what works well for them (See Cinco De Mayo, Toyota SUVs, and the horrid, vapid Godzilla film that made millions at the box office).
But really, the thing to focus on is that America hasn't been LaRusso's wimpy under-dog from the first film for quite a while. We live in a different American Century - American Century Part II. Where it's all about getting our hands-dirty in some other parts of the world by showing that we have what it takes to save little girls during hurricanes.
|He's hydrating and saving that child...at the same time.|