We have yet another reboot on our hands but this time we are not talking horror films. We are talking about the reboot of the classic movie titled The Karate Kid which was made back in 1984. This reboot is directed by Harald Zwart whose two most well known works are Agent Cody Banks and The Pink Panther 2 which were both not good films.
Alright so the main character in this movie is named Dre Parker played by Jaden Smith. Dre and his mother Sherry Parker played by Taraji P. Henson move from Detroit to China because Sherry got a job transfer. When they first touch down in China Dre actually enjoys himself for he is quite the hit with the young Chinese girls. However, he picks the wrong one to take an interest in. The one he chooses is named Mei Ying played by Wen Hen Han who takes a liking to him. However, Dre is attacked by Cheng played by Zhenwei Wang, where he is beaten severely. Cheng is attacking and bullying Dre on a daily basis which leads to the intervening of Mr. Han played by Jackie Chan. Mr. Han tries to reason with the sensei of Cheng but the only deal he can come to is Dre must enter a kung fu tournament in order to prove himself. This leads to an evitable showdown between Dre and Cheng and of course all the expertise training of Mr. Han.
My total respect goes out to whoever did the choreography for this movie for its strongest asset is the fighting sequences. They are filmed in a way that makes the audience feel every punch and kick that is thrown. The cinematography is also great in this film as well. The audience gets great shots of the Great Wall of China as well as the overall landscape of China as well. It is hard to deny the talents of young Jaden Smith for his performance in this film is great. I also think that this movie will be responsible for the rebirth of Jackie Chan’s film career in North America for it has been stagnant for the last couple of years and a movie like this is the perfect way to rejuvenate his career. This movie is a little over two hours and normally I would criticize it for that but the way the film is paced it never becomes boring so it takes full advantage of its running time which is something that films usually get wrong.
Although I praised the action scenes for how well done they are believe it or not they are too well done. What I mean by that is they are just so vicious that they become too farfetched. For example there is a fight sequence in this movie where Dre literally gets slammed repeadtly onto concrete. Even kids will look at that scene and say “how come he is not unconscious or even dead.” Also you can call me picky if you want to but the name of this movie is wrong for Dre does not learn karate he learns kung fu. Karate and kung fu are different disciplines and if you ever told someone who practices both disciplines separately that they are the same it would almost be insulting. Even though it is just a movie I find it annoying that Dre can become a master of kung fu and beats the best in the entire country within a year. I am not spoiling anything we all know how this film ends and I do not have a problem with the movie’s predictability. I just do not like how the film makes it clear that Cheng is the best and has never been beaten.
CONCLUSION AND FINAL RATING
At the end of the day there are enough good qualities about this film and there are enough good emotional moments for me to recommend this film. However, with farfetched training periods and Dre coming across as Superman for being able to survive vicious beat downs the movie remains good not great.