REVIEW: THE KARATE KID
SYNOPSIS: In Columbia Pictures' The Karate Kid, 12-year-old Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) could've been the most popular kid in Detroit, but his mother's (Taraji P. Henson) latest career move has landed him in China. Dre immediately falls for his classmate Mei Ying - and the feeling is mutual - but cultural differences make such a friendship impossible. Even worse, Dre's feelings make an enemy of the class bully, Cheng. In the land of kung fu, Dre knows only a little karate, and Cheng puts "the karate kid" on the floor with ease. With no friends in a strange land, Dre has nowhere to turn but
maintenance man Mr. Han (Jackie Chan), who is secretly a
master of kung fu. As Han teaches Dre that kung fu is not about punches and parries, but maturity and calm, Dre realizes that facing down the bullies will be the fight of his life.
REVIEW: When I first heard of this remake, like most people, I was not exactly excited about it. I am a fan of the original and I thought that it would not qualify as prospective remake material. I mean really, a remake of the Karate Kid? I just didnít think so, especially if casted with the very young Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan whose primary genre is action comedies. This would be a more serious role for him. Can we take Jackie seriously in a movie? And would a 12 year old be able to carry the story? I say yes! I have read some other opinions on this film and boy do they bash this movie. I can understand their point of view but I disagree. For starters, if you generally dislike remakes, then yeah, donít bother. If you didnít like the original Karate Kid, then yeah, donít bother. If you did not answer yes to either statement or if you have never seen the original and enjoy stories where you can cheer for the underdog, then there is a very good chance that you will enjoy this movie. This film retells this great story which is dramatic, inspirational, moving, and full of action especially in the form of good fight sequences. Having been filmed in Beijing, the cinematography is truly breathtaking. You get an eyeful of beautiful scenery from the busy streets and modern buildings of Beijing, to the vast green countryside and gorgeous mountains, to the jaw dropping Great Wall. And as far as remakes go, this one truly honors the original by keeping the essence of the story intact. Surely there are some differences, but it is still the same classic formula. You still have a single mother with a young son who are new in town, the humble maintenance man, the girl, the bullies, and a strong sense of hopelessness that turns into courage. This time however, itís ďput on and take off the jacketĒ instead of ďwax on, wax offĒ, itís Mr. Han instead of Mr. Miyagi, itís Dre instead of Daniel, itís China not Japan (actually itís the U.S. but Iím referring to Han being Chinese and Miyagi being Japanese), and itís Kung Fu not Karate. That in itself is a source of controversy. It technically should be called The Kung Fu Kid as per the martial art form used in the story but it is plainly a remake of The Karate Kid so the title is adequate, right? What a predicament. I say whatever, call it The Three Little Pigs, just enjoy the movie itself because it is a very well done remake.
Talk about culture shock, two Detroiters relocating to Beijing has got to be pretty extreme. Hey, Iím a poet and didnít know it (sorry). Regardless, youíve got to admire the Chinese culture; timeless and rich. These two played the part well. Overall, the entire cast did a good job. Taraji Henson brought a little more spunk to the kidís mother character. Believe it or not, Jackie Chan was sharp and believable with this serious role and he gave the character good depth. Granted, no one can replace Pat Morita as Mr. Miyagi, so as Mr. Han, Jackie was a good choice. Jaden Smith gets an excellent opportunity to show off some skills with this character. He can act and he can kick your ass. If nothing else youíve got to give Director Harald Zwart (One Night at McCoolís, Agent Cody Banks, Pink Panther 2) some credit for taking on the challenge of directing a remake of this movie. It is a tall order to fill but I think he got it right. From the looks of it, this is one of those movies that you are either going to love or hate. But hey, remember, multiple Oscar winner Hilary Swank got her first big break playing a lead role in The Next Karate Kid, so . . . (yeah, I know thatís irrelevant but I just wanted to throw that out there anyway).
By Cine Marcos
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People Movie Review
The Karate Kid
i really like the movie. but some how
inside me thinks that it could of been
made better. this movie made me feel
happy after watching it. i also learned
pretty lots of things watching this.
every time i feel like letting myself
down, im gonna choose to get back up
because thats what jaden did. not only
because he did that but i need to have
faith in what im doing too. i love
chan's movies. i always want to
learn kung fu whenever i watch his
movies. he is really smart too. he haves
alot of skills. i probably watched like
54 different movies of him. any ways i
really liked this movie. all these
fighting stuffs. i feel confidence in
doing stuffs now. and damn..jaden is
going to be really buff by next year, if
he keeps it up. he is so cute!!
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