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1/10
Master Miyagi would not be proud ...
Rat_2727 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I thought it was horrible. I will never watch this movie again. I think that it is a blasphemous insult to the original, which really should be watched again. There are notable life-lessons in the original, and they are paraphrased in the remake. The quote of "wax on, wax off" had meaning, and became embedded into pop-culture. As did the crane stance. This movie can be easily forgotten. Daniel learning the basic forms for blocking by washing cars, painting fences and sanding the floor makes a LOT more sense than Dre learning anything by taking his jacket off and picking it up off the floor any number of times. A constant repetitive motion done for hours is a lot more relevant than the infinite variations of the way one puts on and takes off a jacket.

The idea that any new practitioner of kung-fu could defeat a black sash like that is ridiculous. Period. It takes years to earn a black sash, and that sifu (the bad instructor) did not seem the type to give sashes away unwarranted.

Why use the name Karate Kid if the only reference to karate is that "it's not karate."? All in all, I thought it was a bad, over-promoted movie with a legendary name. I wonder how many people started karate lessons after they saw the original. Did you even consider studying kung-fu after seeing this?
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5/10
Be mindful of the PR reviews, including on this site
Screenplay Review18 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I don't envy writer Christopher Murphey's task in this reinvention of the original 1984 underdog tale.

Firstly, the second time scribe is dealing with source material which was dull at best, but strangely transcended that to become an absolute cult classic for all children of the 80s. This was in part down to Joe Esposito's 'You're the best around' inspired soundtrack mixed with an innocent fighting spirit which beat much of societies ills to the black belted punch - questions such as why is this old man taking such special interest in the Ralph Macchio character? Will all these kids become obese when they invent video games?

Karate as I remember it involved the fairly peculiar kids at school wearing white terry towelling suits under normal anoraks while standing at bus stops rather too late at night. Clearly Hollywood remembers something far different as we find Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) high kicking high above the Chinese landscape atop the Great Walls highest turret with Jackie Chan's Mr Han watching attentively.

Yes, the reimagining takes the action to Beijing where Dre's somewhat distant widower Mother has relocated their family to teach English. Her small part is all too evident as a bit part, under considered and stilted to Smith's Dre and almost entirely inconsiderate and sometimes rude. While the Chinese backdrop plays up the traditions and values of karate (almost entirely referenced as Kung Fu, which I believe to be different) it is repeatedly demonised by Americanisms whether that be the basketball court hustle Dre encounters on his arrival or the bonkers set piece where Dre's mother walks through a slummy shopping Market carrying a Bloomingdales style bag - give the girl a Starbucks latte in a takeout cup.

Hollywood interpretations aside, Karate Kid struggles with an average performance from debut lead Smith whose dialogue and regards to his largely Chinese co-cast are on the same time time delay that his character complains of early in the movie. Chan of course is his brilliant sole- choreographed self but even after so much time, is sometimes barely understandable yet the subtitles ignore him completely. When he's riffing with Dre's Detroit Street, it makes the entire film impossible to follow were it not for a plot lifted directly from the original.

Sure, wax on, wax off is now pick up coat, hang up coat and the action labours toward the tournament fight at the end which disappointingly relies on CGI and wire stunts unlike the early training sequences and conflict fights that are sparky and original - one of the only elements of this film that is. Knowing the plot, you'd think the script would rattle through at a 90 minute pace but instead labours to 2 hours where the first plot point - arrival in China - comes little more than 8 minutes in, but we wait 40 minutes before Chan agrees to train his protégé and beyond an hour before the classic training montage begins, demanded by a genre which just doesn't appear to allow snake training temples and Chinese festivals in some of the movies dullest moments.

I can't see kids enjoying this now in a world where it would be Tekken over training any day and it's just not kitsch or fun enough for their parents wanting a throwback experience with the kids. The pluses are definitely Chan and some elements of the fight production; far outweighed by a non-existent soundtrack, average acting, drawn out and unnecessary plotting plus dialogue which barely works said in English and translates even worse when presented on screen in subtitles - an interesting consideration and challenge for screenwriters and filmmakers everywhere - but one in which Murphey fails.

Of course this isn't all his problem but I wouldn't expect a sequel to be optioned anytime soon and we can be thankful of that.
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4/10
It should be: Kung Fu Kid
Mr-Gabriel3519 June 2010
Warning: Spoilers
From the previews I knew this movie wasn't going to do justice to the original. I mean, can anything? I wasn't planning on watching it, but my best friend wanted to see it and I gave in. Bad idea. It was a waste of my money.

First and foremost, let us point out what a lot of people have already mentioned. Jayden Smith cannot act. Like, at all. I don't care if he's Will Smith's son, it's not like acting is genetic. He was just trying too hard to be funny, and too hard to be serious. It didn't seem natural, like he was in the moment. Just him... acting. Of course, I can't say the same for Jackie Chan. He didn't do much, and that was good! Not that I don't like Jackie Chan, it's just it's good to see him as a trainer for once. I wish he would have fought more, though.

Secondly, the plot sucked. I mean, it was a bunch of middle-schoolers flying. Like, I get China is a little crazy on the Kung Fu, but come on! The fighting scene where "Dre" is running from the Chinese kids is not that bad of a scene, I'll admit, but it kept occurring to me that these kids are like 10 and 12. Then there's the whole Dre and Chinese girl romance thing. I was falling asleep every time they were together. I mean, you're 12! As someone else on IMDb said, there is no sexual tension! Sure it's family-orientated, but it's uninteresting to the rest.

Then the predictability. The friend who dragged me there told me half of the whole movie, and she's never watched it before. It's so boring sitting there knowing what's going to happen. Of course, he was going to win, of course he was going to run faster. Of course Jackie Chan would save him, like, I didn't even have to watch the whole thing to know what was going to happen.

Also, a lot of the scenes were pointless. I can see why the movie was so long. I can only imagine if they have an extended version! Dre drinking from the Dragon water or whatever, what did that do? I also didn't understand why Jackie was so reluctant to teach Dre at first. I imagined it had something to do with the crazy trainer, but with all the time they had, never developed a true story. Okay, so he got into an accident and killed his wife and kid... I'm sorry? Like, what does that have to really do with anything?

Overall, it wasn't worth watching. Or maybe it's not a movie you'd watch twice, because I sure as hell won't. God forbid they make a sequel.
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2/10
Waste of your time and money film
???9 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
OK so I'll give the movie some credit for trying to be a coming of age type story. If you can sit through the first half hour plus of Jaden Smith being a complete brat to everyone (especially his mother who just lays down and takes it), then maybe you get to Jackie Chan's short (and only) real fight scene, and Jaden learning some Kung Fu.

I grew up a Will Smith fan and the Fresh Prince and some of his early movies were good. But seriously Will does whatever he wants now, which is mostly complete garbage (can you say Hancock???). I respect what he does, but seriously him shamelessly buying his son into a movie is ridiculous. Maybe in 10years Jaden will have some actual acting skills, but for now this movie has been hyped up way too much and is way too crappy to be worth anyones time. I respect the effort Jaden put in to training for the Kung Fu in the movie, but maybe he should have spent a lot more time actually practicing acting. His acting is not good and he spends the movie trying to be a bad ass. A couple more beatings from the other kids in this movie and you think he'd be humble instead of thinking he was the toughest guy out there. The acting is pretty bad, and anyone who thinks the acting and script are good are idiots and probably blame it on a language barrier for the supporting cast. Will should've produced this entire movie in Mandarin and slapped subtitles on it so then its just a crap version of a Kung Fu movie and we don't notice the terrible acting that accentuates a bad script.

The only redeeming quality of this movie is Jackie Chan, and he isn't at his comedic best (because lets face it, we all love Jackie because he's funny). But if you like Jackie beating up a group of kids, then fast forward to almost the 40th minute, watch about 2 minutes of the movie and that's all you need to see. Then you can come and write a review saying how amazing the movie is and be ignorant to the fact that rest of the movie sucks.
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1/10
I want to ask to be totally refunded for the movie ticket
Alex26 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Last Saturday, I went to watch this movie with a friend of mine and his children. Actually his children wanted to watch the movie. But after 40 minutes the children couldn't stand anymore so we left.

In this remake of Karate Kid starred Jaden Smith the son of a very important American actor (that's how he got the part) and Jackie Chan. The remake is roughly two and half hour and his definitely not comparable even for just a sec with the original one.

In the original Karate kid starred Ralph Macchio and the late Pat Morita. The original was a good movie. With a lots of action, drama and love.

By the way, although the movie-maker have tried to cover up Jaden Smith poor acting, everybody can understand that he can't act.

Save your money and watch the original or watch something else.

Hopefully they don't do a sequel for Karate Kid 2
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4/10
An unbiased and honest review
Proctorism21 June 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I will be the first to admit that I am a major fan of the the first Karate Kid and not a fan of Jaden Smith. However, I went into this movie expecting to be disappointed in Jaden and walked away disappointed in 3 totally different things. After watching this film, I am convinced that Will Smith bought off the critics and those that voted this highly or said this was better than the original were 1 of 3 things 1) A plant of the studio or close friends. 2) under the influence, or 3) too busy getting physically pleasured to really focus. This film had 3 major flaws and Jadens acting ability or lack thereof was the least of this films worries and truthfully, though I don't think Jaden can act his way out of a paper bag, his performance didn't help or hurt the film, I think he was the same as he was in the others. with that said, I will say that his martial arts skills were good and it's obvious that he put in a lot of work and effort into learning the form. I'll give credit where credit is due and for that reason I give this a 4. However, this film lacks the 3 C's. Cohesion, Chemistry and Character development. Lets start with Cohesion.

Cohesion: For those that don't know what cohesion means, its the glue that holds and strings things together, makes it flow seamlessly. If you have A-C cohesion would be "B". There were a lot of A's and C's no B's.This film left you wondering many times "how did we get here?" Lets put aside the fact that Jaden is in a new country and doesn't know the language. I found it very interesting how he and his mother got around so well with just having got there. There was no explanation for much of anything at all and at times it appeared that things were thrown in just to have an excuse to have a love interest, or for Jaden to be bullied or for his mom to have some dialogue. Like the original Karate Kid or not, did you at any point feel "this movie is dragging along?" Which brings me to...

Chemistry: There was none AT ALL, it felt like a 1 night stand. No ones performance made me give a damn about their cause. Some say well Ralph Macchio didn't give an Oscar worthy performance. Well he didn't have to be Daniel Day Lewis in the film because he and Pat Morita had chemistry. Ralph was raw and natural and Pat's comedic timing and seriousness was on point every time. You cared about them. Billy Zabka and his croonies had personality you hated them and even cheered for Johnny at times, Daniels mom, Lucille had ridiculous personality, even sensei was personable. I felt too much was rushed and an attempt to include nostalgia. Chan was decent in here, but he and Jaden did not bond well at all, nor did Jaden and his mother. This was not a role for Taraji, Elise Neal would have been better. The girl was just thrown in for the sake of a cute girl and introduction to the bully, which takes me to my final point..

Character development: It is hard to have cohesiveness and chemistry if your characters are poorly developed. Yes this is a Karate Kid remake and don't lie and say its not, some of the exact same dialogue, exact same scenarios, changing the country and training/learning tools does not make it a re-imagining, a re imagined film doesn't use anything pre existing. But how you can not build the characters is beyond me. Again, Dre's mom was just in their for the sake of Dre having a mother. She did a lot of non sensible things. I mean where did she work for heavens sakes? We knew Lucille was working at the computer place and then the orient restaurant. She let him just do kung fu with Mr. Han without any knowledge of him. Han didn't fix a bike or anything. Lucille knew Miyagi he did a few things before befriending Daniel. Johnny the spoiled brat had great development, Ali from the hills, Sensei the Vietnam vet who was militant. Can you honestly tell me why the bully in this remake was the way he was and who in the hell was sensei, what is his background? The story telling was simply awful, everything was just plain rushed. So I am not going to bash this movie because of Jadens braids or his skin color or because of his rich daddy. I am recommending not to see this because its flat out boring. My 10 year old daughter finds joy in almost any film, she fell asleep on this one, we were at the drive in, people where driving away. Oh and Jadens dialogue near the end before his absurd comeback, sounded like he was tired of filming and just wanted to get the lines over with. Ralph may not be stellar, but at least you cared about his character and the supporting cast. Remove the characters from this film and see what difference it makes. Meaning, if you take out Ali from KK1, you will feel something is missing. Remove the chick from this one and any cause could replace her, not saying she wasn't good at her role, it just wasn't memorable or necessary.

I'll put it like this, when you walked away from the original KK and even to this day, you don't call Pat Morita, Pat Morita, you see his photo and you say "that's Mr. Miyagi" you see Ralph, you don't call him Ralph, you call him Daniel -san" Their characters were believable. you walk from this and its Jaden and Jackie Chan. I hope JW (Jerry Weintraub) got paid good for this, because this is beneath him. Poor character development, poor story. The end
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1/10
This movie is terrible.
acsmith197215 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Look, first of all, I grew up with the original, not the cheap copy. Second, just because you have a kid doesn't mean he can act or should be in movies. I saw the interview where Will said he read for the part and the director loved him, and unless the director has no brain, that just can't be true. Jaden is one of the worst actors I've ever seen, anywhere. Seriously. He sucked in the other movies his father put him in also. Will is a good actor, but it's obviously not hereditary. As for the movie, the plot's just all sorts of stupid. "Jacket off?" Sounds like some cheesy porn line. Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb movie. Go watch anything else but this.
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1/10
Very Very Poor Execution of the Exact Script of the Original
teddyunderhill1 January 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This film is a perfect example of how difficult it is to actually make a good film. Even using a proved script and story that led to a monumental film in 1984 couldn't save this reboot. It is simply awful in every way. Poor acting, poor cinematography, poor directing, poor editing, poor poor poor. The best scenes from the original are inexplicably absent. In the original, Daniel spends half the film working on Mr. Miyagi's house. He is forced to do the work because he made the promise of "i karate teach and you karate learn". In this film, Dre hangs up a jacket "a thousand times" and then knows kung fu. They had the opportunity to really cross the generational gap by coming up with some original takes on "paint the fence", "wax the car", "sand the floor". I remember as a kid spending hours joking around with friends mimicking these motions. Now kids just get to hang up their jacket? I'm sure their parents love that their kids hang up jackets now but they are just missing out. I'm surprised they didn't do "make your bed", "brush your teeth", "clean the dishes". If they are going to follow the original script then either fully commit or don't commit at all. This movie couldn't figure out if it was making fun of the original, redoing the original, or just going through some motions. What's shocking is how successful this movie was. It is obviously because of the terrific story and a whole new generation of kids watching this tale unfold for the first time. And i'm sure parents loved taking their kids to go see it because they can share something that meant so much to them 25 years ago. Let me save everyone from sitting through this mess and suggest that you can experience this story with your kids by watching the original. Even today, the original stands up much better than this disaster. this is easily my worst attempt at a review on IMDb and that's exactly what this film deserved. Long Live Daniel San.
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8/10
This is how to do a remake
Richard11 June 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This movie, more so than any film this year, has had the most "noise" generated. Mostly from people ignorant of the film and just exactly how good or bad it is. The discussion has been centered on why call it "The Karate Kid" if he is learning Kung Fu. It is easy; the name is recognition and "Kung Fu Kid" sounds like a ripoff, not a remake and this is a remake and they are not hiding the fact. Enough said, explanation done, go back to your bowl of cereal.

This film takes what was done in the original film and has nicely upgraded across the board. First, we have more of a threat from the kid doing the bullying this time around rather than a caricature. The mother/son dynamic is stronger and given much more screen time. The romance is more playful and innocent, with the friendship aspect ultimately being the plot focus. The student/teacher dynamic has an even stronger father/son underlying tone and finally, the action is much much improved upon.

All of the above is due to excellent performances across the board. Jaden Smith shows to be a more than capable actor in the making and with no doubt observation of Chan, who we FINALLY get to see in a dramatic role rather than action/comedy role. Smith and Chan have a fun chemistry that helps make the film enjoyable.

I was afraid through the ads that Smith's abilities would be over the top great, but through an excellent training montage and philosophical lessons, we buy that this kid is as good as he is in the tournament.

A standout moment for me was the final bonding scene between Chan and Smith. It is during a moment reminiscent of the original film's scene where Daniel finds out about Mr. Miagi's family. Here, we have a similar scene, but it is what happens after it that establishes their relationship and seals the audiences relationship to these two characters. Excellent excellent scene.

One other standout moment is the climax where they do a great job of ending the movie on a pitch perfect note. I had heard of audiences literally standing up and cheering, but I figured that was embellished. That is until the very same thing happened at the showing I caught this afternoon. You literally do want to stand up and cheer. They also take the moment a step further than the original did and provided an close to the lesson that Jackie's Mr Han was teaching Smith's Dre. It became a full circle lesson and really helped the movie have an even more satisfying end.

The extended scenes of life in China really help to ground this film in the philosophical realm, even more so than the original. There is a richness and texture to everything that takes place against the backdrop of China. It has an even more "fish out of water" feel that lends to the believability and desperation of Smith's character. We also have a lot more character building time spent in this film that gives it about 13 more minutes run time than the original, but those extra moments really pay off in a big way. As I mentioned previously, we get more of Dre and his mom. They don't just show up and then she gets thrown into a few scenes like in the original. She is an important part of Dre's life and it is shown.

The one thing I noticed the most about this film was the amount of families that attended it. I think it is the first film of the year where adults and kids can go and enjoy a film together and both come out with the same emotions and lessons learned. That would be a reflection of the film itself as it shows Mr Han learning from his student, something that gives the film a welcome twist when compared to the original.

Those that have pre-judged this film or gotten caught up in the name game really need to see the film before they make any judgments. This film is a VERY welcome surprise and more than holds it own against the original. It stays loyal to the lessons and relationships of the original film and brings them forward 25 years later.
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1/10
If Disney made Karate Kid.
Nocturnous16 June 2010
Clumsy exposition that is trying to be subtle, but ends up being super direct, in that intellectually insulting way. From the beginning to the end, this movie really talks down to its audience, even if the demographic aimed at is children. I found myself laughing at serious scenes which were not only bizarre but ridiculously overreaching. I really hate it when stories explain directly what is painfully obvious, or try to insert it, in unrealistic and absurd ways.

Jacket on and Jacket off is no wax on wax off. At least in the original film, Daniel thought he was being put to work, here it's just outright bizarre. Jaden's character seems to be oblivious of the obvious, and unquestioning of the ridiculous.

Ralph Macchio's performance was far more believable. Jaden Smith goes way to far way too quick, from wimp to kung fu champion. The exaggeration and elaborate fight scenes really removed me from a sense of realism, that its predecessor had.

I found the mother character to be at odds with this move. I would have preferred if her role was downplayed. She was ultimately lacking chemistry with Jaden and not an interesting character, mostly annoying.

Just a quick comparison with Pat Morita and Jacky Chan. Chan is flash with Chinese superstition. Pat was subtle with universal wisdom and was far more endearing.

There is just far too much mundane filler, it really slows the movie down and in conclusion when this movie wasn't extremely bizarre, I found it to be more flash than substance.
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2/10
Bad bad bad
Brinley Ang1 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I'm a fan of the original Karate Kid, this remake is just disappointing. Firstly, there isn't any karate in this movie which makes the title look silly. Secondly, while I'm also a big fan of Jackie Chan, he only had 1 fight scene with a bunch of kids and that lacked his usual comedic and well choreographed fight sequences. Its either his age has finally caught up with him or the kids just didn't have enough training.

The next problem with the movie is Jaden Smith was just not suitable for this role. Although he showed promise as an actor with a bright future, He lacked the strength and the skills to be the Karate Kid. I know Ralph Macchio wasn't exactly muscular either, but at least he was not as tiny and fragile looking as Jaden.

Lastly, I could not quite see the chemistry between Jackie and Jaden that everyone was raving about, throughout the first half of the film it just looked like a dirty old man plotting something sinister on that innocent little new kid in a foreign country.
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2/10
Bad scripts & Poor acting
nsanefire12 February 2011
After renting the movie, I was definitely not impressed with the script, nor with the acting. Being a fan of the original that came out when i was a kid, I'm a little biased but looking at it apart from the original series, it still REALLY SUCKED. Of course, one of the biggest fouls is they're labeling it the "Karate" Kid, the Japanese martial art, when in the movie Jaden Smith's character learns Kung Fu, the Chinese martial art. Even for franchising purposes, it's still pretty stupid. For me, the movie painted several very unrealistic scenarios. The biggest one was the casting of Taraji P. Henson to play the role of Sherry. The whole movie, she presents her character as a complete idiot who knows almost nothing about the world or her son and has somehow miraculously survived layoffs & firings to be transferred to the same job in Beijing. She portrays her character so poorly it makes the plot extremely unbelievable in that no one would ever move someone this dumb to what would presumably be a somewhat important position, or any position for that matter, half way across the world. Somehow they must be short of workers in China and need ours for some reason or another. Another unrealistic scenario was the portrayal of the Chinese students portraying than a group of Americanized thugs completely removed from their parents & their culture. I've been many places in the world but there's no other place on earth where respect & honor are held in such high regard and the extent of their actions are far beyond what you would even see here in the U.S., . Not only that but the script makes it seem like everyone in Beijing looks the other way when this kid is getting the crap beat out of him. It's really an insult to the Chinese culture on many levels. And are to believe that Jaden Smith's Character learned several months, if not a years, worth of Kung Fu & strength training in the matter of days, only by hanging up a jacket on a mere peg? NO, NO WAY!!! It's about as stupid as thinking you will learn a martial art from Diamond Dave, "The Redneck Ninja". I get they're trying to recycle the "Wax on, Wax off" example from the Karate Kid 1 but this is just ridiculous. As for the acting of Jaden Smith, his interaction with every cast member is flaky at best and so was his acting overall, especially with his Chinese love interest which seemed more like two 10 year olds trying to carry out a teenage relationship. As a whole, the script is downright terrible and the acting was extremely weak if not dreadful. Although it was entertaining enough and it's definitely not the worst movie I've ever seen, you should save you money & look for something else.
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5/10
A pale comparison to the Original.
dorthensensens2 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Despite having good acting performances from Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith, the screenplay destroyed the actors' ability to give the audience a meaningful connection with the characters. The original Karate Kid had an ability to tell a dramatic story that gave great impact to that film. So much so that the "Karate" was incidental to the film. Not so in this modern incarnation.

Case in point:The final "jump kick" performed seemed to have come out of nowhere and lacked any impact as to how he learned it, why he did it, how difficult was it for him to learn etc...where as in the original, all of these elements were craftily placed in the story line giving the Daniel Larusso's final jump kick a powerful climax to the film. This film should have been its own film with less hearkening with verbatim lines from the original. They should have called it the Kung Fu Kid and created a better story (or perhaps just have better story tellers) that made it's own memes.
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1/10
You gotta be kidding me
eza341113 June 2010
What a waste of 36 bucks. And that doesn't count the popcorn and drinks. Somehow I got dragged into this movie by my kid and was prepared to see a Will Smith horror of a remake but figured I take one for the team.

It was worse.

Not only was the charm and creativity of the original completely absent from this gratuitous Smith family showcase, but the whole premise was preposterous. Although they claim he is 12, the actual actor is 10 going on 11 and so frail that you fear his limbs are actually going to snap should he land a blow in real life. Totally miscast project with such a offensive plot to actual Chinese culture that I have to believe it will be changed dramatically for Asian release or simply only available on bootleg in China.

Even if there was no original charismatic "Karate Kid" to compare this to, it was way too full of Will Smith ego and nepotism to be seriously considered as a piece of legitimate, quality film.

Simply put...awful.
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1/10
Shockingly BAD
nico_syd15 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This movie compelled me to write a review.

I cannot believe how bad this movie is, this would have to be the worst movie I have ever seen.

I cannot believe I wasted two hours of my life watching this, my friend and I spent our youth watching Action/Kung Fu movies, we only stayed to the end in anticipation of a show down between Mr Han (Jackie Chan and Rongguang Yi (Master Li). That didn't happen.

Literally the only thing good about this movies, is it reminded me that I have to run the Great Wall marathon in the Tianjin Province before I turn 40.
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1/10
An insult to movie-lovers everywhere
Jaymay12 September 2010
It's truly a pleasure to be able to give this movie the lowest possible rating of one star.

The remake of the Karate Kid really does represent everything that is wrong with Hollywood today. Columbia pictures has taken a great, beloved film and recycled it for cheap profit.

The original Karate Kid film is a beloved gem for several reasons. Pat Morita, a beloved character actor and a fine man, was given the chance to be the star of a movie and he delivered beyond anyone's wildest dreams. The relationship between Morita and Ralph Macchio's Daniel was touching and perfectly done.

Part of what made the original movie work is that it was about class differences. You really believed that Daniel was a poor kid from the wrong side of the tracks who was struggling to fit in at a new school. And you believed in the awkward puppy love with rich girl Elizabeth Shue. With Jaden Smith, the son of a multi-millionaire actor, you don't believe in for a millisecond. This kid has never had to struggle for anything in his life. The entire emotional premise of the film doesn't work at all.

Everything that is any good in this disgusting Jaden Smith/Jackie Chan remake is lifted out of the original film. There is nothing redeeming about it beyond that. Jaden Smith can't act, he can't emote, and you don't believe him for a second. Beyond that, he's too young and too small to play the role. You simply don't believe for a moment that he could actually beat these other kids in a tournament. It's ridiculous. The scene where Jackie Chan breaks down crying has to be one of the worst-acted, horrible dramatic moments ever put to film.

Like the remake of Willy Wonka, The new Karate Kid movie is an instance of Hollywood cannibalizing its own best work for short term profit. There were dozens of original, creative, magical new stories that were turned down so that this movie could be made. We are all the poorer for it.
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9/10
No wax-on wax-off but this Karate Kid would make Mr. Miyagi proud
cliffgold-113 June 2010
Over the years, I have taken a lot of grief from friends for making The Karate Kid, the 1984 movie directed by Rocky Oscar winner John G. Avildsen, one of my five favorite movies of all time. So it was with apprehension and low expectations that I went to see the remake.

Wow, what a magnificent job of re-creating the first film while modernizing it, setting it in China, and bringing all the tension, man-love, and depth back to the big screen. This time, Dutch director Harald Zwart added wonderful scenic views of China and lost a bit of the sometimes-cheesy dialog. But to his credit, he kept a great deal of the original plot intact. Mom is transferred to Beijing and takes her son with her without much worrying about his feelings. Dre immediately finds trouble as the American outsider who befriends the beautiful Chinese girl. There is the evil sensei of the trained-to-maim thugs who rule the school that our hero, Dre Parker (Jaden Smith), has been thrown into. The bad kids target him, and he gets the heck beat out of him.

To the rescue comes the maintenance guy in the apartment building in which he lives. Played by Jackie Chan, Mr. Han isn't quite as sage as Mr. Miyagi but he uses almost the same technique (not exactly wax-on-wax-off, paint-the-fence, and sand-the-floor but close). His personal secret remains essentially intact, too, which when discovered by Dre, motivates him to work harder. The role of Dre's mom, played here by Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), is beefed up from the part that Randee Heller played in the original. The young girl, Meiying (Wanwan Han in her first role), looks vaguely like Tamlyn Tomita, who played the love interest in The Karate Kid: Part 2. The rest of the film plays close to the original as well but I won't tell you if he wins (as Daniel LaRusso did in the original) or loses (as Rocky did).

Jaden Smith proves that he may be a force in the business for a long time. His parents, of course, are Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, and they have created a natural. That was evident in The Pursuit of Happiness. Hand it to the kid: he worked really hard to learn kung fu (it's not karate). And while I preferred Ralph Macchio because he was so raw and not talented as an actor, Jaden Smith knows the camera is always there, which I think he will grow out of over time. Jackie Chan is really quite good here, shedding the recent tongue-in-cheek comedy roles. This part fits him perfectly and Morita would have been proud had he lived to see it.

After my disappointments with so many other remakes, I was pleasantly surprised. The director and cast clearly found the balance.
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1/10
Shocking
milly333310 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Went to see this last night in the cinema, and ohh no I cannot believe they have yet again ruined another movie.

To begin, what was the point in calling it Karate Kid it was kung Fu! Call it something else. The fighting also in the movie, they are saying that you learn Kung Fu for yourself not to fight and clearly many of the scenes were about hurting someone. Bad form for a kids movie i can imgine the amount of kids watching it who think oh yeah I can flip my sister or brother over my head and they fall on their back and they will be fine. Really thought the violence was a little bit much, in the original yes there were fight scenes but never to this nature. Plus mm why are the kids so young in it found that really odd a little sad. Wills son too not the correct role for him at all he just comes across as annoying and cocky. What was with the wall of China also they just tried to do too much with such a simple and perfect movie to begin with in the first place. Lots of silly mistakes in the movie too, where does Dre school bag go too when he throws the bucket of skunk over the bullies head, and how did he get a new change of clothes when going to the puppet show I have more but I will say nought. The end was just the icing on the cake, first why would a tournament be held where all the kids are different ages some of them were toddlers, then if the moves the badies done were real then they would have been disqualified, the stupid kick not even possible for a human to do it and the silly eye thing I think thats when I nearly cried in pain... If companies are so made into their remakes why not just re-release the older version of the movies get a lot more for them
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1/10
Jaden Smith couldn't act sick if he had the flu.
theoneis15 June 2010
First and foremost I failed to see any level of charm or charisma in Jaden Smith. For the first part of the film I thought it was a little girl not knowing who the actor was. I don't believe that if it were not for his father he wouldn't be trying to acting.

The only saving grace I found in this film was Jackie Chan who did a fair job, but very possibly could have added much more to the film had he been allowed to be funny.

The stunts were very good as they appeared to be done by very competent stunt people.

The story line didn't seem to hold the same charm of the original such as the wax on and wax off. The coat, come on that was as bad a joke as could be done to parody the original.

Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita were cute and charming, but compared to what I watched in this version they should be getting Oscars. Not many remakes shine better than the originals and this one is no different, except that it does much to make the original look like a super nova.
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2/10
So bad, it's funny.
princekelso10 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
**SPOILER**

I came into this theater knowing it wouldn't be very good, but not very bad since most remakes of original movies are never that good. I was wrong. It was TERRIBLE.

I want to start this off with the acting. Jackie Chan did a wonderful job. Everyone else didn't. Jaden Smith was extremely annoying. He is whiney and cruel to his mom the entire movie, and this movie wants you to feel bad for him. It isn't easy making a movie without the kid being annoying, but it can be done (e.g. Role Models).

The next section is the emotions the movie brings out of us. It didn't. I had a blank face the entire movie. SPOILER: Even when Jackie Chan tells Jaden that his family died because of him, I had a blank face. It didn't make me sad, happy, angry, or anything. A good movie is supposed to bring emotions out of you, and it didn't. But then again, I am a male and the two girls I went with loved it, but they also liked The Last Airbender and the Twilight series.

The soundtrack was awful. The soundtrack of a movie is a MAJOR part of it, since music can bring out emotions in you, but it didn't.

The relationship between Jaden Smith and Wenwen Han was completely unrealistic. For example, do any of you remember Padme and Anakin's relationship in Episode II? It was worse than that. I made me LAUGH how pathetic it was. Jaden: My mom says that if you stand while eating, it gives you gas! Wenwen: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Pathetic, right?

This is what made me laugh, though. Jackie Chan made Jaden take his jacket on, off, and hang it up, take it off, drop it, and repeat. In my mind, I was thinking "You've got to be kidding me." Those scenes were sad and pathetic attempts at making Karate/Kung Fu mysterious.

Lets end this review on a somewhat positive note. The fight scenes were pretty cool, even if they were between two undeveloped children. 2/10
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8/10
A story worth seeing again
Warning: Spoilers
(Synopsis) Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) is a 12-year-old living in Detroit when his mother Sherry (Taraji Henson) gets a job in China. Once in China, Dre misses home and wants to go back to the US. His mother tells him that China is home now, and he must learn to accept his new home. Dre begins to like China when he falls for his classmate Mei Ying (Wenwen Han). Dre's feelings for Mei Ying are seen by Cheng (Zhenwei Wang) the class bully who is out to stop it. Cheng puts Dre to the ground with ease using his Kung Fu training. Dre doesn't have a chance using the little karate that he knows, and Cheng proves it the next time he sees Dre. Dre is getting beaten badly when Mr. Han (Jackie Chan) the maintenance man, secretly a Kung Fu Master, stops the fight. Dre persuades Mr. Han to teach him Kung Fu. With this knowledge, Dre must now face down Cheng in a fight to win his respect in a Kung Fu tournament.

(My Comment) This is somewhat of a remake of the Karate Kid. The script brings an international flavor to the screen in this bully-victim who turns martial arts expert and eventual hero. The storyline is the one where the underdog must fight to prove himself, and in the meantime everyone learns a lesson about life. The film belongs to Jaden Smith, the son of Will Smith, who dominates about every scene of the film. His screen presence is simply amazing for such a young person. Jackie Chan's portrayal is rather awesome as Dre's teacher. The film can stand on its own, because the setup is totally different than the original. All mothers will love it when Dre learns to hang his jacket up and not leave it on the floor. There are some beautiful mountain and Great Wall of China scenes that are used in getting Dre into shape. You almost begin to wonder if the story was changed, and Dre may not be able to finish the match by the end of the movie. The film was simply fun to watch with some touching moments and the Kung Fu was outstanding. This is a go to movie. (Columbia Pictures, Run Time 2:06, Rated PG) (8/10)
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1/10
A truly awful movie
machnaop18 June 2010
I went with my kids to see this movie and my kids and I most certainly did not enjoy the movie at all. I went in with very low expectations and, sadly, those were still too high for this movie. I really like Jackie Chan and, I believe, he did a good job in the movie, but his overall participation did most certainly not compensate for the almost non-stop appearance of Jaden Smith who:

1. Can't act. 2. Has an attitude problem which makes him extremely unlikeable 3. Is too young for this role 4. Certainly did not pay much attention in the martial arts lessons apart from being able to perform a split and kick high... 5. I am sorry to repeat myself, but Jaden Smith is extremely annoying and his attitude exudes from the screen like ugly green goo and that simply distracts from every other aspect of the movie.

It was painful to watch this movie with Jaden Smith in almost EVERY single frame. The only reason I am giving this movie one star is because of Jackie Chan... otherwise, if I could have, I would have given it minus points for wasting 2 hours of my life which I would have spent much more productively watching paint dry.

Indeed, the only reason I have registered at IMDb today was to convey my dismay and to warn people not to waste the money, time, and nerves watching this unbelievably and devastatingly obnoxious and annoying Jaden Smith for almost 2 hours non-stop.
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7/10
Like it - or - Hate it
thieniscool16 June 2010
Before watching this movie, I read the reviews online and there has been a harsh division between 1 and 10 rating.

Honestly, this movie does not deserve a 1 or a 10, whether it is: Acting, Cinematography, Music, or Story.

Objectively, I think this movie is worth watching. Definitely not the worst, but not the best. Its content is interesting and is a visible step above the original Karate Kid, even though this movie does not feel like a remake (so stop comparing >0).

The movie entertained and left me with a satisfied reminiscence of the experience.
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6/10
See it, or Flee it?
t-burke513 June 2010
Currently, with a 5.1/10 rating, this is a very underrated film. I don't understand why Jaden Smith is getting so much hate, whether it is because he was "pushed in" to the movie business or if it's because he's playing a black person who moves to China, where in the original, the main character is white. I can tell that a large amount of people that voted haven't even seen this before. This film contains beautiful cinematography, great fighting scenes, and fun music for the audience to listen to.

Let's forget that the main character is black, and is moving to China, for a second. Do you think this movie would still have gotten 5.1/10? I truly recommend this film to everyone. Children and even adults will like this movie. Before you go to the movie, don't base it on the IMDb rating, because most likely, you'll go into the film thinking it's bad, then going with the crowd. First, check the IMDb message boards, or check a website with real critics like Rotten Tomatoes, or AOL movies.

This is one of the my favourite films (though not the best) of 2010, and should not be missed by anybody. So should you ask the question "See it, or flee it?" I will, and as will many others respond with a "see it". 7/10.
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1/10
Poor Remakes
wbialas12 June 2010
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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