12-year-old Dre Parker could've been the most popular kid in Detroit, but his mother's latest career move has landed him in China. Dre immediately falls for his classmate Mei Ying - and the feeling is mutual - but cultural differences make such a friendship impossible. Even worse, Dre's feelings make an enemy of the class bully, Cheng. In the land of kung fu, Dre knows only a little karate, and Cheng puts "the karate kid" on the floor with ease. With no friends in a strange land, Dre has nowhere to turn but maintenance man Mr. Han, who is secretly a master of kung fu. As Han teaches Dre that kung fu is not about punches and parries, but maturity and calm, Dre realizes that facing down the bullies will be the fight of his life. Written by
The American title for this film was kept as "The Karate Kid", to maintain the connection to the earlier films it is loosely based on, even though this movie takes place in China and the martial arts used are forms of kung fu. The difference is referenced in the film when Dre's mother describes a team as practicing karate, and Dre quickly corrects her. See more »
When Dre gets beat up at the park Meiying and Cheng alternate positions between the camera being focused on Dre and focused on the two. See more »
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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