HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Mercy, The
Kickboxer: Retaliation
Molly Maguires, The
Party, The
Dante's Peak
Housemaid, The
Vendetta
Brimstone
Boys in the Trees
Once Were Warriors
Red Planet Mars
Blade Runner 2049
Devil's Express
Belko Experiment, The
Flashback
War of the Arrows
One-Trick Pony
Cloverfield Paradox, The
Beach Rats
In Between
Flesh Feast
Gerald's Game
Crocodile Dundee II
Baaghi
Bat People, The
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Tower
Message from the King
Street Smart
Mountain
   
 
Newest Articles
The House, Black Magic and an Oily Maniac: 3 from 70s Weird Asia
80s Meet Cute: Something Wild vs Into the Night
Interview with The Unseen Director Gary Sinyor
Wrong Forgotten: Is Troll 2 Still a Thing?
Apocalypse 80s UK: Threads and When the Wind Blows
Movie Flop to Triumphant TV Revival: Twin Peaks and The League of Gentlemen
Driving Force: The Golden Age of American Car Chases
Madness in his Method: Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman
Music, Love and Flowers: Monterey Pop on Blu-ray
The Melville Mood: His Final Two Films on The Melville Collection Blu-ray
   
 
  Karate Kid, The The Chinese WayBuy this film here.
Year: 2010
Director: Harald Zwart
Stars: Jaden Smith, Jackie Chan, Taraji P. Henson, Wenwen Han, Rongguang Yu, Zhensu Wu, Zhiheng Wang, Zhenwei Wang, Jared Mins, Shijia Lü, Yi Zhao, Zhang Bo, Luke Carberry, Cameron Hillman
Genre: Drama, Martial Arts, Romance
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) enjoyed living in Detroit because all his friends were there, but now his father has died and his mother Sherry (Taraji P. Henson) is bringing him up on his own, she finds that she cannot get a job sufficient to support them and is forced to move to China: Beijing, to be exact. With this new position all set, she packs up and practically has to drag Dre onto the plane such is his reluctance, though once they arrive Sherry hopes he will be caught up in the excitement of embarking on a fresh start in a new country. But her son sticks out from the crowd here, and bullies are not far away...

This Karate Kid was notable for having not much to do with Japanese martial arts at all, as once they had Jackie Chan on board for Pat Morita's mentor Mr Miyagi role, it was obvious to make this a co-production between China and the United States. They kept the original title of the eighties cheese favourite, however, because it was recognisable in their target markets, but also because the makers of Kung Fu Panda had bought up a bunch of "Kung Fu" related titles, including The Kung Fu Kid, so Columbia were not able to secure the revamped name due to copyright issues. Not to worry, the karate name was explained away by having young Jaden try out a few of those moves for about a minute near the beginning.

Jaden being the son of Will Smith, which generated some resentment in the notion that daddy had bought a movie role for his boy as if it were a birthday present, but as far as justifiying his presence as a martial artist, Jaden could have kicked Ralph Macchio's twenty-four-year-old ass fairly easily on this evidence. As for the acting, well, he was twelve years old and gave the performance you'd expect, nothing to be ashamed of but nothing spectacular either. Actually - and perhaps predictably - it was Chan who stole the scenes; he had made it clear at this stage in his career he wanted to be a Chinese Robert De Niro, and while some were sceptical that he could make such a transition, this effort went some way as a statement of intent.

Dre finds his life falling apart when he is victimised by a bunch of local boys who can beat him up thanks to their teachings at the nearby kung fu school: janitor Mr Han (Chan) points out that these boys have a bad tutor Mr Li (Rongguang Yu) to make them use the skill in such a oppressive manner, just the beginning of a string of life lessons the film wanted to impart as if we were watching an adaptation of a self-help manual rather than an action flick. Among those were the importance of good friendship, not only between Dre and Mr Han, but between Dre and the girl who has taken a shine to him, Meiying (Wenwen Han), interrupted by her determined practicing of the violin (to show she's classy).

But Dre's existence is a misery until Mr Han teaches him the rules of kung fu, and if nothing else this Karate Kid demonstrated how difficult it was to admit you were being bullied, never mind take steps to deal with it. There is, as before, a tournament coming up that Dre is put forward by his new pal to compete in and thus prove himself no pushover, with Mr Han telling him it's the taking part that counts while Mr Li tells his students it's the taking apart that counts, but we're in little doubt the American has to win this bout to save face. In the meantime, how about a trip to the Great Wall and a bunch of training montages (you can take the story out of the eighties, but...) as the plot noodles about as if reluctant to admit that we have a tournament to get to at all. The results were a combination of the first two Karate Kid movies and a hefty dash of Rocky IV, with Communist China substituting for the Soviet Union, though thankfully we were spared any inspirational speeches to the crowd. As these things go, it was as good as could be expected. Music by James Horner.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1125 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Robin Askwith
Mark Wahlberg
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
  Andrew Irvine
Ian Phillips
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: