After his mother (Henson) accepts a job in China, preteen Dre Park (played by Jaden Smith) is forced to move to the new country. He attempts to befriend others, but loses all of them except for Mei Ying (Han), his new girlfriend, after getting attacked by a bully (Cheng). After almost being killed, he is rescued by his maintenance man, Mr. Han (Jackie Chan), who does much more than maintenance. When Dre is forced to fight his bully, Cheng, in the upcoming tournament; Mr. Han steps in and teaches him Kung-Fu, and now Dre has to take matters into his own hands. Written by
After Dre and Mr. Han climb the mountain, when they enter the temple, we see people in white clothes moving slowly and methodically, as if dancing. The martial art they are practicing is Tai Chi Chuan (literal translation "Supreme Ultimate Fist"). See more »
Dre places his chopsticks on the left side of his food tray at the food court. But the next frame he has them in his right hand and placing them onto the food tray for the second time. See more »
While it does its best with the source material, and strives to be an engaging, character-focused drama, THE KARATE KID is nothing more than a bland reworking of the original classic that misses the mark on more than one occasion. The first film was all heart; this one's about attitude, and not much else besides.
It's not often I watch a film and cheer on the bad guys, but are the bullies in this film really so bad? In fact, the erstwhile lead, played by the bratty Jaden Smith, seems worse than his adversaries, deliberately provoking them and bringing himself a great deal of pain in the process. Smith fails to garner a moment's sympathy for his character's plight throughout the production, appearing to be a typical spoilt rich kid instead.
Now, the real reason I watched this film was for Jackie Chan, and needless he doesn't disappoint with his mentor role here. Sadly, though, Chan has little to do; his mentor schtick is good, but he's kept in the background for too long and also limited to a single fight scene, where he beats up a gang of children; hardly bathing in glory. I understand that a bout between Chan and screen rival Rongguang Yu was excised from the final print, which is a real shame. Who casts Jackie in a movie and REDUCES his fight scenes? The rest of the film is overlong and overblown, with needless romantic sub-plots that drag the running time down to a snail's pace and all the usual fish-out-of-water nonsense. The fight choreography is poor, too, with the climactic tournament scenes particularly disappointing and dealt with in a perfunctionary way. I'd rather watch the original, or something like Van Damme's BLOODSPORT, again.
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