The Karate Kid
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[i][b]The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for The Karate Kid can be found here.

The Karate Kid is a remake of The Karate Kid (1984), which was taken from a script by screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen. This new version is taken from a story and script by screenwriters Robert Mark Kamen and Christopher Murphey.

It's called 'Dirty Harry (Schtung Chinese New Year Remix)' by Gorillaz. The rest of the songs in the soundtrack with their corresponding scenes can be found here.

Mr. Han takes Dre to visit Taoist monasteries in order to watch some of the adepts training in the martial arts and meditating. The scenes were shot at Mt. Wudang, Hubei. There are three temples that take prominence in the movie: The Golden Palace, The Purple Cloud Palace, and the Tianyi Zhenqing Stone Palace, where Dre saw an adept hypnotizing a cobra. The 2.9m dragon stone carving is real. It protrudes from the cliff-side temple passage and originally held a bronze incense burner. Legend said that placing incense here at dawn was a show of courage and an act of faith.

Cheng is primarily picking on Dre because Dre developed a crush on Meiying, a violinist, but it is implied that she is Cheng's love interest since his family is close to Meiying's. After Dre develops a powerful puppy love crush on Meiying and she reciprocates those feelings, Cheng becomes jealous and vindictive and left out. Even though they may not be in a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship (between Cheng and Meiying), they are still close family friends. From then on, Cheng and his gang continually bully Dre without showing or feeling any remorse, guilt, mercy or pity. As bullies usually do, they attack someone they perceive as being weaker and of a different culture/race, purely for malicious reasons such as this one. No matter how rebellious, hateful, and sadistic he appears to be, Cheng and his friends are not purely malicious at heart but are taught and forced to be so by their own martial arts instructor who treats them very badly and rewards ruthlessness. Master Li even uses the tag line used by John Kreese in the original movie: "No Mercy."

In this particular version, approx. 8 minutes are missing in comparison to the International Version. But then again, there is a little bit exclusive footage in it as well. Apparently, this version is only for the Asian market or - to be more specific - for the Chinese market because all the alterations have one goal and one goal only: to make the fellow countrymen look better. Especially the fight and bullying scenes are either much shorter or they have been completely removed. The romance between Dre and Meiying has been toned by one cut in particular: they do not kiss. Furthermore, a few statements about China and its culture have either been changed or added to the audio track. A detailed comparison between both versions with pictures can be found here.

There are a lot of similarities between this remake and the 1984 original, and so the film remains incredible faithful. The only differences are the setting, the age group, different character names and the addition of some Mandarin dialogue and text).

Aside from the obvious and most central plot points (Dre runs afoul of a bully, and eventually faces him at a tournament), the following similarities are seen:

--Mr Han and Mr Miyagi are both housing maintenance men and handymen with some broken English, and see Dre/Daniel trying to learn a martial art while trying to fix the main water systems.

--Dre lives in a single-parent household, raised by his mother, much like Daniel in the original> However, Dre's father is shown to have died due to unknown reasons. Daniel's father, Mr. LaRusso is never mentioned in the original so it is unclear weather he is dead or divorced.

--Cheng and his friends are not purely malicious at heart, but are taught to be by their own martial arts instructor who treats them very badly and rewards ruthlessness. Master Li even uses the tag line used by John Kreese in the original movie: "No Mercy."

--Mr. Han tries to catch flies with chopsticks, just like Mr. Miyagi in the original.

--Dre plays a prank on his bullies by throwing a bucket of dirty, slimy, oily rainwater water at them which causes them to chase him and beat him up and having Mr. Han come to his rescue. In the original, Daniel sprays water on one of the bullies in the bathroom stall during the school dance and is also chased and beaten up with Mr. Miyagi coming to the rescue.

--Mr. Han tries to reason, make peace and part on good terms with Master Li at his kung-fu school despite their rivalry but is coldly rebuffed and rejected. Mr. Han then arranges for Dre to participate in the tournament, with Master Li making the same agreement made between John Kreese and Mr. Miyagi in the original movie: That Cheng and his fellow students will stop bullying Dre in the meanwhile.

--Mr. Han teaches Dre basics by having him do repetitive mundane house-hold related tasks. His "Jacket on, Jacket off" exercise is clearly inspired and by and based on Mr. Miyagi's famous "Wax on, Wax off" from the original movie.

--Both Mr. Han and Mr. Miyagi perform some kind of mysterious medicine healing ritual technique to a wounded, beaten up and bruised Dre and Daniel, respectively.

--Mr. Han hides a painful secret involving his family that eventually comes out while he is drunk, like Mr. Miyagi. They are both shown to be alone, with their family (wife and kids) dead.

--In the tournament semi-finals, Master Li forces his student to sacrifice his place in the tournament by inflicting a severe injury on Dre's leg, resulting in the student's disqualification. Mr. Han helps him recover enough to face Cheng in the final bout.

--During the final match, Master Li demands that Cheng focus on Dre's hurt leg, and Cheng is heitant to do such a brutal, illegal and unethical move but reluctantly complies. Dre nonetheless wins using a fancy jumping move (much more flair and pizzazz than the 'Crane kick' used by Daniel in the original movie) and finally gains the two things he needed most by the end of the movie: 1) overcoming his fears, and 2) winning the respect of his nemesis.

--Similar alternate ending scenes, involving a battle between the two martial arts instructors, were removed from both the original and this movie. In the original, an alternate ending was scrapped, where John Kreese is roughing up Johnny Lawrence for losing to Daniel at the end of the tournament. Mr. Miyagi intervenes and badly humiliates Kreese in front of all his students (this scene was later added into the beginning of The Karate Kid Part II). At the end of this movie, an alternate ending where Master Li is infuriated at Cheng and his fellow students bowing respectfully to Mr. Han, and Mr. Han fights off Master Li and leaves him sprawled on the floor, was also taken out of the final theatrical release.

Harry quickly intervenes and desperately is trying to reason with Cheng. He is trying to talk some sense to the bully so he can stop Cheng from further beating up Dre. Harry is saying in Mandarin, "He just got here. He doesn't even know who you are" but the savage Cheng refuses to cooperate, hence he says "Go away" to Harry. Like most other friends, Harry says what any other friend would say (i.e. What the heck are you doing? This is bad. Don't do this, etc).

He could have dome some more. If Cheng told him to "Go away", he could run for help and inform an adult or higher authority figure on Cheng, and perhaps face the anger of Cheng for snitching. Harry also cold have stood up to Cheng and try to defend Dre by fighting Cheng, and face the consequences of getting beat up. As for why he didn't do it, there could be several reasons, which are never explained in this movie. If Harry were to snitch on Cheng, it would be difficult to do so. Usually, there are no police officers in parks, or if there were, they would be far away. And Harry doesn't know any karate so perhaps he is scared of getting beaten up himself. Now, all a helpless Harry can do, is watch and wait for it to be over.

At first, Cheng is aware of Dre's presence, but is totally uninterested in him because he doesn't know Dre. As tensions continue to rise, Dre provokes Cheng by picking up the music sheet and Cheng continously throws it away, saying "Leave it" at first and then "I said Leave it!" again. Finally, when Dre moves the music sheet away before Cheng can again throw it away, Cheng pushes Dre out of the way but Dre musters up some courage to fight Cheng using his kung fu skills causing Cheng to put Dre on the floor and bet him up with ease. In summary, it is Dre interference between Cheng and Meiying and in a sense, Dre is goading Cheng even though it is none of Dre's business.

Though it's never stated in the film, it is implied that Li was an ex Special Forces veteran and solider in the Chinese army and fought in various wars, like his American counterpart John Kresse in the original 1984 film. When one is taught and trained in the army and to fight in wars, they are taught to be ruthless and merciless and to be murderous and bloodthirsty savages towards their enemies and to always kill them as their enemies are considered dangerous. This is why he is evil at heart, because he was taught to be bloodthirsty and monstrous in the army.

"Xiao" in Mandarin Chinese literally means "small" or "little". In this case, like the original, Mr. Han is calling Dre "Little/Small Dre" becuase Dre is obviously younger than him. The answer may also be in the reason as to why Mr. Miyagi similarly calls Daniel "Daniel-san" in the 1984 original. It's to show that Mr. Han, like Mr. Miyagi in the original gives his student a nickname and that he is showing his student respect.


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