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The Karate Kid (2010)

A Remake of the 80's original film.

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The Karate Kid - in China (except "karate" is Japanese so...)

  • Nov 4, 2010
  • by
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 wanted to see these too, so it worked out.  The Karate Kid ended up being first.

For those who don't know, this is sort of a remake of the 1984 movie of the same name.  You know, "Wax on, wax off" with Mr. Miyagi?  The premise is almost the same (get beat up by bullies?  Learn to fight back so they'll leave you alone and maybe even respect you), but with a few differences.

Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) is just a kid.  Maybe 10 years old.  (oh, wait, he's supposed to be 12?  ...Really?)  So moving to China from Detroit is a big change.  But due to his mother's job, they have to relocate to Beijing.  It might not be so bad if things weren't so different.  Obviously, most people don't speak English.  He and his mother don't know all the ins and outs of the culture and getting it right when it comes to wearing the school uniform on uniform day.  Things still might not be so bad, especially after Dre meets a cute girl - except for the bullies that Dre runs into.  They're relentless in both their teasing and their fights.  They know some serious Kung Fu, and if Dre is to stand up to them, he'll have to convince the seemingly indifferent Mr. Han (Jackie Chan) to teach him real Kung Fu.

It takes a while for Dre to finally get into a position that starts his training with Mr. Han - a beating by the bullies which, I might add, would probably have put him in the hospital.  The first 30 or so minutes of the story is Dre being unhappy, pushed around by the bullies (who are, of course, taught by a Kung Fu master who drills "No mercy, no weakness" into his students), and trying to be cool with the cute girl.  While my dad got impatient ("Get on with the training already!") I knew that this was a kid's movie (due to Dre's age) and they were actually the intended audience.  Older folks like us want to see how it compared to the old movie - and because we all like Jackie Chan.  So in that light, I thought it was fine.  Kids who've ever moved will be able to relate at least a little bit to Dre's predicament (minus the super Kung Fu).  Though I do say, I don't think you're going to be kissing at that age.  And if you are, why?  But that's just my inner parent (and I don't even have kids).

Anywho, there are of course some great shots of China, the gorgeous mountains, the Great Wall, and naturally, the Olympic stadium.  Though it did sort of bug me that the movie made China out to be this super awesome place (Dre's mom was all yippy-skippy about everything throughout the movie...which actually made it pretty cool when Dre called her on it), that's the adult in me who knows there's more to it.  Kids won't care.  And the shots are really cool.  Especially of the Kung Fu temple that Dre and Mr. Han visit at one point.  Don't know if those places and people really are there still (ok, the places maybe, not so sure about the people), but it's nice to think that they might be.

However, what I think really made this movie was Jackie Chan.  Let's face it - he's awesome in virtually everything he does.  You find out why Mr. Han is the way he is, and at one point he cries over his past loss.  And seriously?  When Jackie Chan cries, you cry.  He's sad Jackie Chan!  How can you not?  You don't see a lot of his skills like in other movies, so if you think this is going to have a bunch of Jackie Chan fight scenes, you're sorely mistaken.  This movie is about the kid, remember, not the master.  Though I have to say, the end could have really benefited from Mr. Han getting faced with the villain Kung Fu master and taking him down a peg or two (like in the original for those who remember).

It's a cute movie.  A little slow in the beginning, I think it could have benefited from just an eensy bit more training scenes - as in Mr. Han showing him how to do certain things since it seemed like after a week of "Jacket on, jacket off" Dre suddenly knew a bunch of moves.  And this is nitpicky, but "karate" is a Japanese word and martial arts style, so it really has no meaning in this movie, but whatever.  I guess The Kung Fu Kid doesn't work.

And yep, I do think that Jaden Smith really does know martial arts.  It wouldn't surprise me if his parents got him classes long before this movie began because this kid is just too good.



Movie Mood: Family Movie

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More The Karate Kid (2010) reviews
review by . January 03, 2011
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 …
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 . 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!
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Nicole ()
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Age: 27 Currently: Freelancing my butt off and querying my other novel, Blood for Wolves. Who likes seriously factured fairy tales? =D      Like books? Then take it from a real, live … 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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