I stumbled across a blog post which briefly compares the newer version of The Karate Kid with the classic version from 1984. I broadly agree with what is said, but it prompted me to add my own thoughts.
The original film is one of my favourites. Ralph Macchio is more than a little irritating, and the martial arts skills on display are laughable, but the film has a great story and a good feel to it. The 2010 Jaden Smith vehicle, by contrast, is an insult to my intelligence.
The sequels to the original film were poor, especially the one featuring Hilary Swank. Oh, yeah, that one was bad. However, none of them, to my mind, reach the depths of the 2010 film. Some of my problems with it are...
Karate does not feature, so the title makes no sense.
The mystical nonsense in the film contributes to a poor view of Chinese martial arts.
Two of the producers are Jaden Smith's parents. I smell nepotism.
The story is terrible.
As stated in the blog post I read, basic karate is replace by unnecessarily and unrealistically flashy moves.
I'd rather watch Kung Fu Panda. At least, with those films, you know they aren't meant to be taken seriously. The original film is a classic, and they shouldn't have touched it.