Karate Kid, The (2010)
Jackie Chan, Jaden Smith
When his mother moves from Detroit USA to China, Dre Parker (played by Jaden Smith) feels lost in a country very different to the one he left behind.
When he is bullied and beaten up at school, Dre is befriended by his apartment's handyman Mr. Han (Jackie Chan). Mr Han decided to teach Dre Kung Fu so that he can defend himself.
Martial Arts Styles Used
If the storyline sounds familiar, that will be because it is. This is a modern take on the 80s classic, also called The Karate Kid.
The first niggling problem with this film is the title. Yes it takes its storyline from the original, but the film is about Kung Fu. The fact it retains "Karate" in the title is an annoyance which you may or may not be able to forgive.
Another niggle with this film is Dre's mother. What mother would ever let her young son spend so much time out the house in a foreign country with the local handyman, learning Kung Fu to enter a local tournament? She does not seem to care in the slightest, which seems a little far fetched. In the original Daniel was older, in his own country, and his mother seemed to care a bit more.
The remainder of our niggles, in no particular order, are:
- Dre's love interest looks literally twice his age
- The Kung Fu looks far too graphically enhanced
- "Jacket-on, jacket-off" - no comment
A big positive is that it's nice to see Jackie Chan back in a movie where there is no tongue-in-cheek comedy involved. Chan is a martial arts legend and it's good to see him a little closer to that status again.
Overall this is a good attempt to modernise a classic, but there are too many things lacking. The original was gritty, Ralph Macchio was likeable, and you were totally engaged even though at times parts of the film were outrageous (a crane kick that is not possible to defend against, and Miyagi's "magic healing hands" to name but 2).
Here, Jaden Smith is too young for such a big role, you never really side with him like you do with Ralph. He is clearly a good actor, from a good pedigree, and will be a big star in the future. But it was too soon for him to play such an iconic figure, and that is probably the biggest fault with this film.
Author: The Bear Martial Arts Team