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The Karate Kid (2010)

A Remake of the 80's original film.

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Putting the original aside, how does this work?

  • Jan 3, 2011
  • by
Having not seen the original Karate Kid for many years, the content, story and overall feel of the original is simply lost in the annals of time as a result of my terrible memory. So with that, I'll say that my review will be written as if the original Karate Kid movie had never been made and this was an entirely original piece. For me to try and make a comparison would create a review based on false ideas and comparisons, which is not what I want my reviews to be.

The film came as a surprise as Jackie Chan took on a role which I am totally unfamiliar with him playing, and that is the serious role of a man who is deeply traumatised by his past, and looking for something to make his life better. Jaden Smith, son of the fantastic Will Smith, is a young actor I wasn't entirely impressed by with his role in the remake of "The Day The Earth Stood Still", but also surprised me in his role as Dre Parker.

The film focuses around 12 year old Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) and his Mom who move to China to start life anew. Struggling to settle in, Dre encounters maintenance man, Mr. Han (Jackie Chan, and also an entirely unintentional rhyme) who saves Dre from a beating by a gang of Kung Fu bullies. There's nothing more dangerous than a Kung Fu bully I'll have you know. After saving Dre, Mr. Han agrees to help train Dre in the art of Kung Fu to prepare him for a tournament which will get rid of the bullies once and for all.

The false advertisement of calling it "The Karate Kid" aside, this is actually a really good film. They acknowledge that it is not Karate but Kung Fu that Dre is learning, but whatever the martial art, it is still done really well. The setting of China couldn't have been more perfect for a number of different reasons. The fish-out-of-water plot, the cultural and scenic perspective the film is told from works perfectly and allows the plot and its characters to truly flourish.

Jaden Smith, from a family of acting royalty couldn't have been more perfect for the role. He's clearly a kid who feels comfortable in front of a camera and has a bright future ahead of him; some of the beatings he received from the bullies in the film were a bit too harsh to be comfortable viewing considering he's a 12 year old, but he's a very good actor all the same. Chan performed well as the quiet, tormented and mysterious Mr. Han and this is without a doubt a great stepping stone to a more serious career for Jackie Chan.

Overall, the film was great. It dragged at times and I didn't really feel the chemistry between Smith & Chan, although they performed well individually. The Chinese setting presented some breathtaking shots and managed to portray Dre's awkwardness starting a fresh life really well. The supporting cast, including Dre's love interest, were a simple tag on to the main plot and help you become more emotionally invested in the young life of Dre Parker.

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January 03, 2011
I liked this one. I thought it was a good tribute film to the original. Did you know this was called "Kung Fu Kid" in Asia?
More The Karate Kid (2010) reviews
review by . June 18, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
3 ½ Stars: An Unnecesary Remake But Yet Proves To Be Very Entertaining!
2010’s remake of 1984’s “Karate Kid” has been titled different in different countries. Director Harald Zwart’s film was called ‘The Kung Fu Kid” in China, “The Best Kid” in Japan and South Korea while U.S. audiences are stuck to the original film’s title “The Karate Kid”. My first complaint with the film’s title is that why call a film “Karate Kid” when it is clearly about a teen who learns Kung Fu and yet …
review by . June 12, 2010
An Homage To The Classic Karate Kid?
Many of us grew up watching The Karate Kid and I fall into that category. It has many beloved characters in Daniel Larusso, Mr. Myiagi, and the infamous Cobra Kai dojo and their students and  their merciless instructor. So why remake this classic? What's in it for those who grew up with the original and those who are seeing this reboot for the first time?      Before the Karate Kid purists get mad that things were changed it's important to remembered what actually …
review by . June 11, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
"The Karate Kid" is very much a worthy counterpart to the 1984 film on which it's based, not only in terms of story, but also in terms of quality; the excitement, humor, warmth, and themes of friendship, maturity, and overcoming adversity have been left intact, and better still, there's no sense that any of it has been cheapened or simplified to the sake of appealing to a mass audience. The only exception, and I'm really just nitpicking here, is a glorious but contrived aerial shot of martial arts …
Quick Tip by . July 18, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Entertaining & quite clearly a movie made for the western audience. Proven formula of the underdog emerges victor. However, for someone who has lived and/or is familiar with the landscape of China, it is most unsettling to see how a scene jump from one locale to another that's thousands of miles away! Reminded me of what they did with scenes from Mission Impossible III where Tom Cruise ran from Xitang (a watertown about an hour drive from Shanghai) to Shanghai!!! Truly quite impossible ;-) Beijing …
review by . November 04, 2010
Pros: Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith     Cons: If a kid really got hit like that, his jaw would be dislocated...     The Bottom Line: A good movie for the family, despite some of it's issues.     There were three movies my dad wanted to see.  The Karate Kid.  How to Train Your Dragon.  Predators.  I'm not sure what went on in his brain for the second one (I guess he wanted something silly and fun), but whatever.  I …
review by . September 11, 2010
Having not seen the original Karate Kid for many years, the content, story and overall feel of the original is simply lost in the annals of time as a result of my terrible memory. So with that, I'll say that my review will be written as if the original Karate Kid movie had never been made and this was an entirely original piece. For me to try and make a comparison would create a review based on false ideas and comparisons, which is not what I want my reviews to be.    The film …
Quick Tip by . July 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I feel sorry for Jackie Chan thinking back to the films he worked so hard on to where his career is now. At least the money's good. Can we have another Rush Hour please?
Quick Tip by . July 19, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I loved the new version because it offered a new take on the remake. Very awesome :P
Quick Tip by . July 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
No Ralph Macchio or Larry B Scott? What the Hell? How rude...
Quick Tip by . March 17, 2010
posted in Movie Trailers
Hanging a jacket on a coat hanger and taking it off isn't the same as painting a fence. Macchio got things done!
About the reviewer
Steven Stewart ()
Ranked #95
Currently studying Law at University, my main interests revolve around Politics. I read quite a lot and love learning about History. Not just the history of a specific time, place and person, but I'm … more
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About this movie


Poster art for "The Karate Kid."

The Karate Kid, known as The Kung Fu Dream in China and Best Kid in Japan and South Korea, is a 2010 martial artsremakeof the 1984 film of the same name. Directed by Harald Zwart, produced by Willand Jada Pinkett Smith, the remake stars Jackie Chanand Jaden Smith.
Principal photographyfor the film took place in Beijing, China; filming began around July 2009 and ended on October 16, 2009. The Karate Kid was released theatrically in the United Stateson June 11, 2010 and Singaporea day earlier on June 10, 2010.
The plot concerns a 12-year-old boy from Detroit who moves to China with his mother and runs afoul of the neighborhood bully. He makes an unlikely ally in the form of his aging maintenance man, Mr. Han, a kung fu master who teaches him the secrets to self-defense.
12-year-old Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) and his mother, Sherry (Taraji P. Henson), arrive in Beijing from West Detroit to start a new life. Dre develops a crush on a young violinist, Mei Ying (Wen Wen Han), who reciprocates his attention, but Cheng (Zhenwei Wang), a kung fu  prodigy whose family is close to Mei Ying's, attempts to keep them apart by beating Dre, and later harassing and humiliating him in and around school. During a particularly brutal beating by Cheng and his friends, the enigmatic maintenance man of Dre's building, Mr. Han (Jackie Chan), comes to Dre's aid, revealing himself as a kung fu master who adeptly dispatches Dre's tormentors.
After Han mends Dre's ...
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Director: Harald Zwart
Genre: Family
Release Date: June 11, 2010
MPAA Rating: PG
Runtime: 140 Min
Studio: Columbia Pictures
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