Kid moves to China, finds an enemy after showing interest in a girl, gets beat up, and realizes facing his enemy is the only way to earn respect. That’s all you really need to know if you have been under a rock and never seen the original. Though it is another Karate Kid movie, not a remake.
Geared towards a younger audience than the Ralph Macchio / Pat Morita version, micro Will, Jaden Smith (and I call him that because it was astonishingly like watching mini-me on the screen; acting, manurisms, etc) does a good job in his role as Dre Parker from Detroit. His timing is good, he’s charismatic on screen, and it’s easy to tell that he will follow in his parents’ footsteps for quite awhile.
Kevin: I found it hilarious that Jaden crying on screen was so much more believable than Jackie Chan.
Pat Morita was sorely missed as the mentor, but Jackie Chan as Mr. Han was a better fill in than anyone else out there at the moment, and it was good to see Chan on the screen again. His martial arts stunts are always stunning. The rest of the cast was decent as well but the only other stand out was the “bad kid”, Cheng, and not for his acting but for his overall mean persona. He looked like a prick!
Gina: I wanted to slap that kid for being such an asshole, but I guess that was the point.
Now, other than the fighting scenes, there was a real lull throughout the film. You really feel the two and a half hour running time, and that is never a good thing. As much as it tried, it just didn’t have the emotional impact of the original; it was just following steps for the most part, and took awhile to get really into it.
Kevin: I thought Dre was going to be taking his jacket on and off for the entire movie!
Gina: Kids will like it if they don’t have ADD and can stick through the talking.
Kevin: It’s definitely geared towards more younger kids than the original, which I guessed when I saw Jaden cast for the Karate Kid, or should I say the Kung Fu kid.
Gina: And Mr. Han’s family story just came out of nowhere! It was just there and then he was over it.
Overall it was decent, but with the abundance of American remade movies you just can’t help but compare them to their originals and this just didn’t live up, even with its ludicrous budget. Kids will enjoy it for the most part, but it really is just average.
Gina: Just a modernized version of the original, but not as good. 6 of 10 stars
Kevin: The original (and the sequel, but don’t kid me with that Hillary Swank trash) was one of my all time favorite movies, and this just didn’t do it. 5 of 10 stars.
Chad: I didn’t see it because Gina and Kevin didn’t share their pre-screening pass, but here’s my pre-review. Just for the knockout kick alone that is showing in the new trailers, 4 out of 5 beers.
Overall rating comes to 6.33 of 10 stars.