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
For The Great Wall sequences, all the camera equipment had to be hand-carried as helicopters were not allowed. The helicopter shots were finally achieved before sunset. The wait was due to military exercises in the area. See more »
The Qixi Festival that Dre attends with his mom and Mr. Han falls on the seventh day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar. Though the exact date in our modern calendar varies from year to year, it is usually sometime in August. However, a few scenes after this festival, Mr. Han says the date is June 8th. This is not possible unless 11 months had passed in those few scenes. See more »
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.
10 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?