I never wanted to write a review for this movie. I am not in the habit of belaboring the obvious and I respect other people's opinion. I usually don't recommend movies to my friends -- even if they ask me to. They have their own tastes and sensibilities and they may like or dislike a movie of which I have thought otherwise. Public opinion doesn't make me change my opinion and I am not anxious to have everyone share my point of view.Enough is enough already. This is supposed to be a review.But the reason I have harped on so long about my temperament and way of thinking is that I <more>
wanted to make it clear that I am not reactive to people's opinions. Some of the reviews of this movie, however, made me react.I do not understand why so many of the people had given this movie so negative reviews considerably more have given it excellent reviews though . I cannot comprehend what were these people looking for when they went to see it: education, enlightenment, high-concept, philosophy of a lifetime or simply entertainment? In my opinion, this movie can be seen for several reasons, for example: You can watch this movie for Jackie Chan, the eternal star.You can watch this movie for Jaden Smith. Curiosity factor, you know? 'Lets see how the Smith kid has done' kind of thing.You can watch this film because it is the remake of a classic of your youthful days.Or you can watch this film simply because you want to be entertained. And that's the real point of this film. It entertains you and does so without being cheap or 'lofty'.If you want to find an emotional identification with this film, you may try the bullying aspect, 'fish out of water' aspect, or the father-son, student-teacher relationship aspect.This is a beautiful movie made in a very simple manner. And it proves, yet again, that simple is beautiful.
This Film is Exceptional - Ignore the Negativity (by thetheori)
First and foremost if you see D and F reviews, they did NOT see this movie. This film was exceptional in every aspect. It sticks true to the Karate Kid formula, while taking a life of its own. This is not a remake, its a re-telling.Visuals - The entire film is shot on location. no green screens It show the beauty and ugliness of China perfectly. The camera shots were typically timely and the editing gave the sense of Dre's Jaden Smith desperation. The wide shooting style enhanced the idea of his feeling of isolation in a huge and over crowded country. Especially breathtaking were the <more>
scenic shots of China giving contrast to the crowded city views.Direction - Jackie Chan has never been in a movie that gave as much thought to every single scene as this one. Every scene had purpose. The fight scenes weren't just to show off moves and advances in wire choreo. There was a story being told with each fight, and to see such young performers successfully convey such intensity was a breath of fresh air. Especially given the accolades that are given for such shallow performers these days. Particularly poignant was the use of every day objects to symbolize the characters potential/struggle. jaden's coat/pools of water , Jackie's Car Acting - Jaden was ELEVEN YEARS OLD when he shot this. Give the kid a break. Yes he is very raw, and he still needs to learn how not to anticipate his co-stars lines. But he is also talented and has a much better grasp of nuance than his father did when he broke into acting at age 22 . He is charming and able to go from adorable to agitating instantly. Still you find yourself drawn to him as a character. Jackie frankly gives the best performance of his life. I am an AVID Jackie Chan fan and I have seen nearly his entire body of work. He has never acted so well. The underlying sense of loss as a motivating factor was well perceivable throughout the film. He carried out the role of surrogate father flawlessly. The emotional reveal was pitch perfect. *** Notes and Summation***I loved how they touched on racism between minorities without sounding like an after school special or being anti-anyone. Yes they call it Karate Kid and he does Kung-Fu. So what. Its called artistic license. Most of the fighting in the original came from several different disciplines as well. Will did help his son get this role that's what a father should do . But, Jaden earned it. You can tell he worked hard for this. His physical conditioning and form showed. Because his father is famous and wealthy doesn't mean that he can't have dedication and commitment to his craft. This was a solid movie. I loved it from top to bottom. I hope that Will continues to mentor and guide Jaden on to bigger and better. Jackie did an awesome job and I hope he continues to influence more young actors. Great great movie.
The original movie is nothing in front of the new movie. (by yashwanth-260990)
This is a movie which has some scenes which make us jump from seats. From the starting itself, we normally wait for Jackie Chan to show up, but Jaden Smith proves that he can provide us entertainment to an extent that we even forget Jackie Chan is present in the film. I am not saying that Jaden smith exceeds Jackie Chan, but he is simply superb with his acting skills. Jaden Smith not only is in par with his acting skills, but he has done quite a good job in his fights. The film starts at a normal pace, with good fragments of humor, but in the interval it slightly looses its pace. The director <more>
then puts up his skills in the film, as he brings some good fights in the ending. Overall the film is comprised of comedy,action and even some pieces of tragedy. Jackie puts up a good performance as usual. I recommend it is a must watch film for all.
No wax-on wax-off but this Karate Kid would make Mr. Miyagi proud (by cliffgold-1)
Over the years, I have taken a lot of grief from friends for making The Karate Kid, the 1984 movie directed by Rocky Oscar winner John G. Avildsen, one of my five favorite movies of all time. So it was with apprehension and low expectations that I went to see the remake.Wow, what a magnificent job of re-creating the first film while modernizing it, setting it in China, and bringing all the tension, man-love, and depth back to the big screen. This time, Dutch director Harald Zwart added wonderful scenic views of China and lost a bit of the sometimes-cheesy dialog. But to his credit, he kept a <more>
great deal of the original plot intact. Mom is transferred to Beijing and takes her son with her without much worrying about his feelings. Dre immediately finds trouble as the American outsider who befriends the beautiful Chinese girl. There is the evil sensei of the trained-to-maim thugs who rule the school that our hero, Dre Parker Jaden Smith , has been thrown into. The bad kids target him, and he gets the heck beat out of him.To the rescue comes the maintenance guy in the apartment building in which he lives. Played by Jackie Chan, Mr. Han isn't quite as sage as Mr. Miyagi but he uses almost the same technique not exactly wax-on-wax-off, paint-the-fence, and sand-the-floor but close . His personal secret remains essentially intact, too, which when discovered by Dre, motivates him to work harder. The role of Dre's mom, played here by Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson The Curious Case of Benjamin Button , is beefed up from the part that Randee Heller played in the original. The young girl, Meiying Wanwan Han in her first role , looks vaguely like Tamlyn Tomita, who played the love interest in The Karate Kid: Part 2. The rest of the film plays close to the original as well but I won't tell you if he wins as Daniel LaRusso did in the original or loses as Rocky did .Jaden Smith proves that he may be a force in the business for a long time. His parents, of course, are Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, and they have created a natural. That was evident in The Pursuit of Happiness. Hand it to the kid: he worked really hard to learn kung fu it's not karate . And while I preferred Ralph Macchio because he was so raw and not talented as an actor, Jaden Smith knows the camera is always there, which I think he will grow out of over time. Jackie Chan is really quite good here, shedding the recent tongue-in-cheek comedy roles. This part fits him perfectly and Morita would have been proud had he lived to see it.After my disappointments with so many other remakes, I was pleasantly surprised. The director and cast clearly found the balance.
In "The Karate Kid" Mr. Han Jackie Chan tells his student Dre Jaden Smith , "Everything is kung fu The way you put on a jacket. The way you treat people." This envisioning of the original "The Karate Kid" is inspired. "The Karate Kid" is awesome. Director Harald Zwart and screenwriter Christopher Murphey basically follow Robert Mark Kamen's 1984 story reset in China. The distinguishing difference is Jackie Chan as kung fu teacher Mr. Han. Chan is a martial arts master and the real deal. He commands an emotional and authentic gravitas. Jaden <more>
Smith Will Smith's son possesses his dad's charisma and presence. Smith trained intensely, and looks strong in martial arts action. This "Karate Kid" has the same message, and now the exquisite martial arts to match. We see bright students practicing at the legendary Shaolin Temple. In a breathtaking scene an elegant woman demonstrates the snake kung fu style with a cobra on a beautiful mountain temple ledge."The Karate Kid" filmed in China for about 60 days. So we also get a spectacular glimpse of China be it the Forbidden City or The Great Wall. I had a new appreciation of this "Karate Kid" being now a martial arts teacher. "Everything is kung fu." That is the way. "The Karate Kid" is about reclaiming one's courage and power. At the story arc Mr. Han tells Dre, "Always strong!" I think "The Karate Kid" surpasses the original in form and spirit.In "The Karate Kid" 12 year-old Dre Smith and his mother Sherry Parker Taraji P. Henson move from Detroit to China. Sherry does this to continue working for car manufacturer. We find out that Dre's Dad recently died as well. Dre is not happy about the move, having to learn Chinese, and going to a new school. However, he falls for a cute Chinese girl Meiying pretty Wenwen Han , a violin protégé. Turns out Dre becomes the punching bag for bully Cheng Zhenwei Wang who may be protecting Meiying. Dre is all heart and Cheng is a skilled kung fu student. Consequently, Dre gets his ass kicked horribly. Making matters worse Dre also has to contend with Cheng's crew. Dre is hating life.Just as Cheng and his crew are about to pummel Dre to nothing, the apartment maintenance man Mr. Han Chan dispatches the pack with incredible martial arts prowess. Mr. Han reluctantly agrees to teach Dre "real kung fu". He really sees that Dre is tired of being afraid—of others and himself. At the story arc Dre confesses to Mr. Han, " I just don't want to be afraid anymore." I recall that is what first got me into martial arts as a kid. "The Karate Kid" resonates on that very human level. We all have to reclaim our honor and strength in our own way. For Dre this starts with taking off his jacket, dropping it, and picking it up. This is a clever homage to "wax on, wax off". Everything is kung fu.In the meantime, Han tells Cheng's teacher Master Li arrogant Rongguang Yu to leave Dre alone until the big Kung Fu Tournament—to allow him to train. However, at the tournament all bets are off. Master Li teaches his student mercilessness and only physical prowess. Han reminds Dre, "There are no bad students, only bad teachers." This is dead on.Much of "The Karate Kid" is predictable, even given its homage to the original story. Though particularly with Chan, we are won over by great heart. He and Jaden have a magically chemistry. Chan really displays depth and range in Han, who guards a painful secret. Smith has great spirit whether he is enduring great pain or stumbling with pretty Meiying. Life is in the paradox. Han commands Dre in the tournament, "Focus. No mind." Always strong. And it is very touching when Dre hugs Han, and tells him that he loves him. Everything is kung fu—courage, honor, and love. "The Karate Kid" honors this with great compassion, humor, and heart. It is about seeing the greatness in others.
I suppose the original Karate kid proved to audiences that Pat Morita could do something other than comedy. In this new Karate Kid, Jackie Chan proves he can be a serious actor. The smiling jovial marshal arts master type that made Jackie Chan a star is not in this movie at all. Yes, he does fight, and yes, he does not disappoint. What you never have seen before is Jackie Chan playing a tortured down and out character. And surprisingly he pulls it off brilliantly. Jaden Smith shows once again that he can act, but he has actually played more dramatic rolls in his short career then Jackie Chan. <more>
This movie first shows that Jackie Chan can act, and second that Jaden Smith has star potential.While, I love the original movie, this new movie is better. The original was a great b-movie that reached cult status. This new one is much broader in scope. It shows the cult clash between east and west that was never in the first movie. Of course that movie was set in LA, and this new on in China. The film takes full advantage of being shot in China. The new movie also shows the clash within China between more modern and old fashion.
This movie, more so than any film this year, has had the most "noise" generated. Mostly from people ignorant of the film and just exactly how good or bad it is. The discussion has been centered on why call it "The Karate Kid" if he is learning Kung Fu. It is easy; the name is recognition and "Kung Fu Kid" sounds like a ripoff, not a remake and this is a remake and they are not hiding the fact. Enough said, explanation done, go back to your bowl of cereal.This film takes what was done in the original film and has nicely upgraded across the board. First, we have <more>
more of a threat from the kid doing the bullying this time around rather than a caricature. The mother/son dynamic is stronger and given much more screen time. The romance is more playful and innocent, with the friendship aspect ultimately being the plot focus. The student/teacher dynamic has an even stronger father/son underlying tone and finally, the action is much much improved upon.All of the above is due to excellent performances across the board. Jaden Smith shows to be a more than capable actor in the making and with no doubt observation of Chan, who we FINALLY get to see in a dramatic role rather than action/comedy role. Smith and Chan have a fun chemistry that helps make the film enjoyable.I was afraid through the ads that Smith's abilities would be over the top great, but through an excellent training montage and philosophical lessons, we buy that this kid is as good as he is in the tournament.A standout moment for me was the final bonding scene between Chan and Smith. It is during a moment reminiscent of the original film's scene where Daniel finds out about Mr. Miagi's family. Here, we have a similar scene, but it is what happens after it that establishes their relationship and seals the audiences relationship to these two characters. Excellent excellent scene.One other standout moment is the climax where they do a great job of ending the movie on a pitch perfect note. I had heard of audiences literally standing up and cheering, but I figured that was embellished. That is until the very same thing happened at the showing I caught this afternoon. You literally do want to stand up and cheer. They also take the moment a step further than the original did and provided an close to the lesson that Jackie's Mr Han was teaching Smith's Dre. It became a full circle lesson and really helped the movie have an even more satisfying end.The extended scenes of life in China really help to ground this film in the philosophical realm, even more so than the original. There is a richness and texture to everything that takes place against the backdrop of China. It has an even more "fish out of water" feel that lends to the believability and desperation of Smith's character. We also have a lot more character building time spent in this film that gives it about 13 more minutes run time than the original, but those extra moments really pay off in a big way. As I mentioned previously, we get more of Dre and his mom. They don't just show up and then she gets thrown into a few scenes like in the original. She is an important part of Dre's life and it is shown. The one thing I noticed the most about this film was the amount of families that attended it. I think it is the first film of the year where adults and kids can go and enjoy a film together and both come out with the same emotions and lessons learned. That would be a reflection of the film itself as it shows Mr Han learning from his student, something that gives the film a welcome twist when compared to the original.Those that have pre-judged this film or gotten caught up in the name game really need to see the film before they make any judgments. This film is a VERY welcome surprise and more than holds it own against the original. It stays loyal to the lessons and relationships of the original film and brings them forward 25 years later.
Synopsis Dre Parker Jaden Smith is a 12-year-old living in Detroit when his mother Sherry Taraji Henson gets a job in China. Once in China, Dre misses home and wants to go back to the US. His mother tells him that China is home now, and he must learn to accept his new home. Dre begins to like China when he falls for his classmate Mei Ying Wenwen Han . Dre's feelings for Mei Ying are seen by Cheng Zhenwei Wang the class bully who is out to stop it. Cheng puts Dre to the ground with ease using his Kung Fu training. Dre doesn't have a chance using the little karate that he <more>
knows, and Cheng proves it the next time he sees Dre. Dre is getting beaten badly when Mr. Han Jackie Chan the maintenance man, secretly a Kung Fu Master, stops the fight. Dre persuades Mr. Han to teach him Kung Fu. With this knowledge, Dre must now face down Cheng in a fight to win his respect in a Kung Fu tournament. My Comment This is somewhat of a remake of the Karate Kid. The script brings an international flavor to the screen in this bully-victim who turns martial arts expert and eventual hero. The storyline is the one where the underdog must fight to prove himself, and in the meantime everyone learns a lesson about life. The film belongs to Jaden Smith, the son of Will Smith, who dominates about every scene of the film. His screen presence is simply amazing for such a young person. Jackie Chan's portrayal is rather awesome as Dre's teacher. The film can stand on its own, because the setup is totally different than the original. All mothers will love it when Dre learns to hang his jacket up and not leave it on the floor. There are some beautiful mountain and Great Wall of China scenes that are used in getting Dre into shape. You almost begin to wonder if the story was changed, and Dre may not be able to finish the match by the end of the movie. The film was simply fun to watch with some touching moments and the Kung Fu was outstanding. This is a go to movie. Columbia Pictures, Run Time 2:06, Rated PG 8/10
It is definitely a remake - and it stands on its own two feet (by GeneR777)
Minor spoiler about the story: the story structure of this film is pretty closely modeled after the original. That said, it still is a pretty fun film with some touching moments and laughs along the way. The story is well told, the tone is very consistent and the performances were believable. And the martial arts action in itself was pretty outstanding. Of course, what did you expect? Jackie Chan is in it. To tell you the truth I am a die-hard fan of the original movies okay, the first two movies. Never saw the third one... but I think I'm okay with saying that and when I heard about <more>
the original being remade two thoughts occurred to me:1. WHY? as in "Why on G-d's green earth would anyone want to remake such a fantastic film that still stands up even today?" I was to say the least, a bit "annoyed." I probably even stamped my feet but I was definitely pretty upset with this idea. 2. IF IT IS TAKING PLACE IN CHINA WHY "THE KARATE KID" AND NOT "THE KUNG-FU KID" Okay, this question was and still is a mystery to me, but after seeing how closely this film takes after the original one I figured, "Okay, I can live with the same title. It's not Karate, it's Kung-Fu and Jaden Smith is NOT Ralph Macchio. But it sort of makes sense to not call it "THE KUNG-FU KID" because it's rather unapologetic it honestly does not need to apologize IMHO about the fact that it is a remake. If you love the original movie you will probably actually appreciate how well this remake flows. Most of the same plot points are there and it does not take any weird turns in the story to make itself distinct from the original. It simply is a "Karate Kid" remake. Period. As far as Kung-Fu goes in this film, did I say it was outstanding? I think I did, but let's say it again. The kids both Jaden Smith, the Chinese kid is his nemesis are pretty tough. I would not want to mess with those kids in a dark alley... ha ha ha. Yes, I'm safe here on my computer so my chicken-like nature can be expressed. ; But anyway the martial arts do make the original sort of pale by comparison. And that is a good thing. The movie benefits from it. It's not the same ol' Jackie Chan routine which we have seen him so many times before in other movies... waitaminute. Maybe it is... but it's still pretty outstanding. And Chan's portrayal as Mr. Han is rather awesome. You feel for the guy and as I have probably seen a ridiculous number of Jackie Chan movies over the years I think I can say I think this is one of his best performances. When the original movie came out kids across the US were inspired to take up martial arts -- probably Karate. I am suspecting that this movie will do surprise surprise the same thing for kung-fu. Over all I give this an 8 out of 10. I reserve 9's and 10's for films that are pretty epic in scope and which I have probably watched a few dozen times. So an 8's a good indication that this is a solid, fun movie. I hope you go see it with an open mind. If you are a fan of the original movies you will probably enjoy it as much as I did. Sort of a walk down memory lane with some nice thoughtful surprises. If you are new to The Karate Kid, just be prepared to put aside some allowance if you are young because you will probably want to start saving up for some kung-fu lessons after the movie.