12-year-old Dre Parker could've been the most popular kid in Detroit, but his mother's 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, 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. Written by
I decided to watch this one so that my kids could see what we experienced with the original in the 80's. Even though Ralph Machio was moderately annoying even back then, the movies did define an era for many of us. Boy what a disappointment with this remake, on so many levels. Generally speaking, I have to say that the producers were trying so hard to copy the original that many of the scenes seemed 'forced'. Even when they were trying to add a variation, it failed to produce the same conviction. Here is a list of my issues with the film: 1. Jaden Smith is simply too young for the role. Between his meagre acting skills and the odd childhood romance, it just didn't work. 2. Jackie Chan seemed very hollow in this role and lacked his usual spark and enthusiasm. I'd say he missed the mark and the potential this role had for him. The scene where Dre discovers his master's past pain is particularly lame. It didn't pull any emotional strings. 3. Dre's mom was really annoying. 4. The general age group for the kids was too young and forced mature concepts that didn't come off as believable. 5. The producers should have 'made it their own' and deviated further, instead of attempting a sad copy.
I don't recommend this film. Go and rent the original if you want to feel the inspiration from a 'coming of age / kung fu / feel good' flick. It didn't even suck my kids in.
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