Daniel accompanies his mentor, Mr. Miyagi, to Miyagi's childhood home in Okinawa. Miyagi visits his dying father and confronts his old rival, while Daniel falls in love and inadvertently makes a new rival of his own.
12-year-old Dre Parker has moved to China, and finds himself like a fish out of water. He befriends a fellow classmate, Mei Ying, only to make a rival, Cheng, who starts to bully and attack Dre. Soon, Mr Han, the maintenance man of Dre's apartment, fends off Cheng and his friends when they are attacking Dre and signs Dre up to fight in the Kung Fu tournament in return for the bullies laying off of Dre. Dre realizes Mr. Han is much more than a maintenance man, when he's revealed as a master of Kung Fu and Dre soon learns that Kung Fu is about self defense and peace, instead of violence and bloodshed.Written by
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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