Last night to the flicks, for a preview screening of the Jackie Chan Karate Kid remake, in which I make the following observations:
1. It is, perhaps, the least accurately titled movie of all time, being, as it is, a film about Kung Fu
2. It's far too long, and takes over an hour before said Kung Fu kid even gets a sniff of the martial arts
3. Jackie Chan only gets involved in one fight, in which he beats up some kids. Way to go, Jackie!
4. Completely forgets the story's heritage - it's as if the original Alan Bennett version, The Ecky Thump Kid, a dour northern kitchen sink drama first screened as a BBC Play For Today in 1978, never happened
At last, we are able to put this glaring omission right, as we present in exactly 558 words:
Karate Kid: Hello, I am the Karate Kid and I am excellent. Today, I shall be happily living in Blackburn in Lancashire, where my mother works at the pie factory
Karate Kid's Mum: In fact, today we will be mostly moving house to Leeds in the Peopl'e Republic of Yorkshire, where the pie factory have sent me to work at another pie factory
Karate Kid: NOOOOOOOOOO! Yorkshire's, like, another country. NOOOOOO!!!! Oh, hang on, what's this beautiful vision I see before me
Hetty Bickerstaffe: By 'eck, I'm practising me tuba so I can audition for t'brass band. Then my family will be able to afford to eat. PAAAARP! TROMMMP! BLOOOOOOP!
Karate Kid: I think I'm in love
Chadwick: Hey! You! You're from Lancashire, aren't you? Leave our Yorkshire lasses alone
Karate Kid: Oh yeah? Want to fight over it?
Chadwick: Ecky THUMP!
Karate Kid: Ouch, that really smarts. In fact, it is now several hours later, and I have only just regained consciousness, where I find myself alone, naked and smelling of black pudding. Also, a ferret has eaten one of my toes.
Jack Chanersdike: By 'eck! If you want to beat Chadwick and win the love and respect of the lovely Hetty Bickerstaffe, you'd do reet good by learning the ancient Yorkshire martial art of Ecky Thump
Karate Kid: Will you teach me the ancient Yorkshire martial art of Ecky Thump so I can beat Chadwick and win the love and respect of the lovely Hetty Bickerstaffe?
Jack Chanersdike: Yes. Yes I can. But first, you must paint this fence
Karate Kid: Is this so I can gain some deeper understanding of the disciplines of the martial arts through the sweat and drudgery of hard labour?
Jack Chanersdike: No, if you don't get it done by teatime, I'll break your legs. Also, I am haunted by a secret family tragedy of which I NEVER SPEAK. Apart from just now, obviously
Karate Kid: Yes, Master Chanersdike
Jack Chanersdike: Now excuse me while I beat up these kids. Ecky THUMP!
The Kids: You bastard! We're calling Childline
Some time later...
Karate Kid: Master Chanersdike - how much longer must I have these ferrets down my trousers?
Jack Chanersdike: It's ...err... an important part of your learning. Do not question the ways of Ecky Thump
Karate Kid: Also, I've got that takeaway curry and six pack of cheapest lager, just as you requested, Master Chanersdike
Jack Chanersdike: Aye lad, just stick it on t'pile with all t'others
Karate Kid: I was also wondering when you'd teach me some proper Ecky Thump. The big tournament's tomorrow
Jack Chanersdike: Nowt to worry about, lad. As soon as you put on t'flat cap, it'll all come naturally. Now, be a good lad and take t'whippet for a walk to t'canal, and tell me if the pigeons are back yet
The next day:
Jack Chanersdike: Now, get out there lad and help me bury the family tragedy of which I NEVER SPEAK.
Karate Kid: Yes, master. I have my black pudding ready to go. That evil cur Chadwick won't know what hit him.
Chadwick: Ecky THUMP!
Karate Kid: Ecky THUMP!
Chadwick: Ecky THUMP! THUMP! THUMP! THUMP! THUMP!
Hetty Bickerstaffe: I think he's dead, and I can never love another
Chadwick: Fancy coming round my place for some mushy peas?
Hetty Bickerstaffe: PAAAARP! TROMMMP! BLOOOOOOP!