The Karate Kid: Movie Review

The 1984 film "The Karate Kid" was such a big classic that almost anyone from Nineties or even the early Naughties has either watched it already countless times or at least heard of it in some shape or form. Definitely, it takes guts for someone to remake such a classic. Will Smith and his whole family dared to do such a bold move. At the helm as producers are Will and his wife Jada Pinkett. The star of the show is Jaden Smith who you might remember from "The Pursuit of Happyness". In addition, they are also getting a big boost of confidence from a living legend of martial arts - out there to play as the new master is no other than Jackie Chan himself. Can the Smiths succeed in translating the original's magic straight into the 21st century?

Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) is living in Detroit with his mom Sherry (Taraji Henson). Life seems to be going okay for both until the recession hit. Dre's mom is forced to get a new job in Beijing to make ends meet and as such, Dre is also forced to move to China. As soon as Dre arrives, he already gets into trouble with Cheng, a bully from his school. Unfortunately for Dre, Cheng is a top student at one of the well-known kung fu clubs in town. One day, Dre is cornered by Cheng and his gang. Out of nowhere, Han (Jackie Chan), the apartment's maintenance man helps Dre. Dre with Han's help try to confront Cheng's kung fu master and soon discover that the aggressive nature of Cheng is due to his teacher's ways. Han, unknowingly a master of kung fu, decides to teach the art to Dre after he was forced into joining an open kung fu tournament. Can the maintenance man teach the stubborn kid from the West kung fu in time to defeat his greatest foe Cheng?

The revision of "The Karate Kid" is a complete success in our books. It did pay homage to its fore bearer but it also separated itself in such a way that old fans and new viewers would find it a refreshing film to watch. In short, this is a completely new beast - and what a beast it is.

First and foremost, we are completely astounded with how much talent Jaden Smith has in him. Acting wise, he was almost perfect. He danced, he sang and he was god-like being a kung fu kid as he was able to pull off awe-inspiring moves. It just excites us when we think of this kid and what he is capable of a couple of years from now (father and mother genes for the win?). Jackie Chan was also perfect playing as the new master. Although there were less action scenes from him, he is still the funny and quirky man that will give you a laugh from time to time. Second, the story was great. Some might say that it somewhat borrows from the original but we completely believe that it has differentiated itself enough. We also liked how the story was developed although some people will feel that the film is going to be too long with a running time of 2 and a half hours. For us, it's going to be a less pleasant experience if they trimmed off some of the story elements. To cap things off, "The Karate Kid" might not be as big as the 1984 film but we feel that it is truly a worthy remake. It still encapsulates what the original film stood for while bringing the film closer to the minds of the modern audience. This movie is guaranteed to be worth a look for almost everyone.

Rating: 4 and a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- the film showcased how talented Jaden Smith is and the supporting cast was splendid like him
- the story feels new while borrowing key elements from the old film
- action-packed, serious yet funny; this is definitely a complete package from start to finish

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the movie might feel quite long for some

Catch "The Karate Kid" on all cinemas starting June 11, 2010. This film is brought to you by Columbia Pictures.

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  1. Pretty nice post. I just came across your blog and wanted to say that I’ve really liked reading your posts. Anyway I’ll be subscribing to your blog and I hope you post again soon!

  2. Pretty nice post. I just came across your blog and wanted to say that I’ve really liked reading your posts. Anyway I’ll be subscribing to your blog and I hope you post again soon!

  3. Hi Ridvan,

    Yep! With an ATTITUDE! :P

  4. You've got to be kidding me. 4 1/2 stars on this crap? As if this kid would have ever gotten an acting job if his father wasn't Will Smith.

    This movie is a travesty and should have never been made. It's as bad as the remake of "Can't By Me Love" that escapes my mind.

  5. It is always Anonymous people that make ridiculous comments. I thought it was a great film! Well written review :-)

  6. great post. and thanks for the clear well defined view... (it's something that is completely lost in most 'reviewers' these days, glad to see some people still know their target audience)

    going to see Karate Kid tonight.. so stoked!

  7. Just came back from watching this awesome movie. My four year old enjoyed it as much as I did. It is a GREAT movie. Four and a half reels is not enough ;) Proof: We Canadians are typically stoic, but the spectators clapped for it spontaneously at the end.

    The story elements from the original are there as a proper homage, and yet this movie truly adds a new dimension to the Karate Kid saga.

    The Smiths have done well to produce this.

  8. I was expecting this movie to suck big time. For some bizarre reasons, I actually liked it.

    Not melodramatic, touching, and feel-good. And it does deliver more than what I expected.

    Great work.

    I bet anonymous hasn't seen the movie yet.

  9. @Anonymous

    Well, we liked it and too bad you did not. And so what if he is the son of Will Smith? The kid is talented. He was just lucky enough to get a headstart from the beginning. We sense some bitterness here?

    @Jamie, Steven, Ahmed and Neil
    Thanks for taking our side on this. It clearly shows that majority of viewers definitely love The Karate Kid. We hope to hear from all of you soon.

  10. It isn't often a remake of any film is good. It is less often that a remake improves on the original.

    The character archetypes (I'll call it this, as the characters are different than in the original saga) are fleshed out more, while still keeping beat by beat with the original.

    Besides, IMHO, kung fu is a lot more of a balletic art than karate, so the actual combat sequences show a beautiful choreography lacking in the original.

  11. Hi John!

    We are glad that they are able to bring justice to the first movie :) We are so happy with this remake

    Thanks for visiting!

  12. I am so excited when this movie was still coming soon... After I have seen it, there was no single regret that I waited in a long line for this movie.. Thanks with attitude

  13. Hello,
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