Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters. Our study of the doctrine of God in the Summa Theologica will have to be put on hold yet again. This evening, I went to see The Karate Kid with a friend. It is an excellent movie I highly recommend. Thus, as is my custom, I offer a review. If you plan on seeing this soon, wait until after the movie before you come back and read this lest I spoil anything, which is certainly never my intent.
The movie starts out with the main boy, Dre Parker seeing wall markings of himself at his home of how he’s grown. Conspicuous by its absence is one event. “Daddy died.” I found this odd as nothing is ever said about this Dad. The kid never refers to him. His Mom never refers to him. He disappears just as quickly as he’s introduced.
I found this saddening as I have a deep concern about the disappearances of fathers in the culture. Men are disappearing from view. A boy can grow up without a father and no one thinks anything about it. However, this boy is not growing up well as he is twelve years old and he and his Mom are moving to China.
How this Mom gets the money, I have no idea. They live in luxury apartments and the only thing we’re told is her job has something to do with cars. The absence of a man in the boy’s life is apparent and he has is seen early on to be one with no work ethic, no respect, and no discipline. He doesn’t want to learn Chinese and he’s concerned because everything there is old. If only we could get our youth past this to appreciate the rich heritage of the past!
When he gets to China, early on, he starts trying to impress a girl, only to end up being bullied, and this bully is no ordinary bully. He’s a student of kung fu and Dre is outmatched. Later on, Dre gives him and his buddies a rude awakening by throwing a bucket of sludge on all of them.
Why would he do that? Well you have to understand the way a boy is and a man in turn. We have to fight something. We don’t like being beaten down and we will do what we can to fight back. It is often our manhood that is on the line. The bully, Cheng, and his friends chase after Dre and knock him down. One of the students tells Cheng that they’ve done enough, but Cheng reminds him of what was seen in Cheng’s class earlier under Master Li. “No weakness. No pain. No mercy.”
As Cheng comes in to add further injury, a hand stops him. It is Master Han, the maintenance man at the apartment Dre lives in, and singlehandedly, Han ends up defeating all of the bullies for Dre. They then go to Master Li’s studio where Han challenges Master Li on what his students did. Master Li says either Dre or Han must fight him since his studio has been disrespected. Han says Dre will fight at a kung fu tournament.
So begins the long trek of teaching Dre, Kung Fu. What happens? That’s for you to find out as a viewer, but it is a story of wisdom and determination and respect and attitude. Dre matures throughout all of this and watching him learn the art is an enjoyable part.
And yet, I wonder how often we take time to enjoy that part. We live in an instant society and we’re so busy looking on a destination, that we lose sight of the excitement of getting there. I can sadly read books checking to see how long they are and how much time till the end. We enjoy a movie, but we can still look at our watches. We want the gratification without the investment of time. For non-entertainment goals, such as goals of overcoming difficulties in our own life, we can spend so much time looking at how far away we are from our goal that we never spend time enjoying getting there.
Han wants Dre to focus. Maybe we need to do the same? Have we lost focus on what really matters and are so caught up in ourselves that we cannot truly enjoy the world around us?
Maybe we need to return to the past some. Maybe the past as in 2,000 or so years ago in an area called Palestine.
In conclusion, I highly recommend this movie. Enjoy!