After his mother (Henson) accepts a job in China, teenager dre park (smith) is forced to move to the new country. He meets some friends, but loses all of them except for mei ying (Han), his new girlfriend, after getting attacked by a bully (wang). After almost being killed, he is rescued by therapist mr. Han (chan), who does much more than therapy. When dre has to fight his bully, Cheng, Han teaches him Kung fu, and now dre has to take bad matters into his own hands
At the very beginning of the movie, one of the markings on Dre's wall says 7/8/07-9th birthday. This is the actual 9th birthday of Jaden Smith, who plays Dre. See more »
The newspaper clipping on the hood of Mr Han's now-beat-up car is covered with pieces of windshield. Dre picks it up, removing the glass. When the camera shows the clipping right after, the pieces of glass are back on the clipping. See more »
The original Karate Kid (and its remakes) were classic films, which is why they have stood the test of time. Today's remakes have little to do with the original inspirations behind the films. The original Karate Kid was a "coming of age movie", which had Karate as a means to set the characters in motion. The casting was brilliant, Morita was the old, unassuming teacher that imparted more than just how to block with his famous "wax on-wax off" lesson. Macchio was the perfect teen counterpart - he was every teen, not one with super human or special effects induced skills. The original focused on development of the movie characters, not the action - and it is the simple basics of Macchio's Karate that made his character work and be strong against the more highly skilled Cobra Kai team.
I can buy into the current movie's location in China. With a child as the protagonist it no longer is a coming of age film. And, while Chan is a great action actor, he is not the aged, all knowing teacher like Morita. The current movie focuses on action - to begin cultivating Smith's kid into the next action hero incarnation. This completely misses the point of a remake! Really there is no need to use the Karate Kid title!
Lastly, the shift to Chan teaching Smith Kung Fu is just annoyingly inconsistent with the movie title, although that will likely be lost on the masses. Karate is from Japan; Kung Fu is from China. Although they share roots, they are different. I think to have Smith learn "Karate" would have been an ingenious story line given the China location, contrasting the martial arts and the cultures and ultimately showing the similar underlying goals of each form. Ah, but that would mean the movie needed more than just action to make it work, something lacking in most scripts today and something the director just does not get.
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