EMOL> Film> 2010> "Karate Kid"

Jaden gets tough and Chan goes girly

Review by Miv Evans

This film contains a lot of gratuitous violence, depicts a romance between a bi-racial couple, the theme of ‘no mercy’ features strongly and ‘revenge is good’ is the clear message. 

The original Karate Kid was 16 and on the cusp of manhood, the remake Kid is 12 and still a child and this disparity gives the film an incongruous feel, made worse when the young boy and his girlfriend talk and behave like sensible adults.  Equally bizarre is the fact that all the Chinese kids are taller than the American kid, including the girlfriend, and as any self-respecting 12 year old girl will tell you, dating someone shorter than yourself is a total no-no.

Dre (Jaden Smith) and his recently widowed mother (Taraji P. Henson) leave Detroit to move to Beijing where Dre struggles to fit in.  He finds a mentor in a local maintenance man (Jackie Chan) and the young American becomes empowered and is finally able to stand up to the bullies who brought torment to his life.

It is, of course, a classic underdog story, and Chan is the ultimate coiled spring, ready to pounce when the moment comes, which it does, but another moment comes soon after which is not quite so welcome.

This is in the form of a pretty cheesy scene when Chan opens his heart to his young mentee and has a good old sob. 

I’m not sure what the Chinese think of the fact that the average American is happy to bare his soul to any passing film crew, but I’m sure it’s not complimentary, and this display by an icon like Chan will probably have the entire Chinese race worried the next time he shows up in a movie it’ll be in a kimono and ankle stockings.

And while we’re on the subject of being girly, Dre’s mother is a difficult act to swallow. 

Karate Kid Movie Synopsis

In Columbia Pictures' The Karate Kid, 12-year-old Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) could've been the most popular kid in Detroit, but his mother's (Taraji P. Henson) 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 (Jackie Chan), 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.

Karate Kid Movie Trailer

Watch the Official "Karate Kid" movie trailer from Hulu. Click on the white triangle to start the movie.

Karate Kid Movie Reviews from Fandango

Click a link to read comments, reviews and ratings posted by Fandango fans. Join the discussion and post your feedback on this film online. Write a movie review and share it with others. Get the latest Fandango sweepstakes and promotional offers. Watch movies trailers of upcoming films.

Loading...

While assuming the role of a caring mother, she looks and sounds more like a hooker and when her young son is collapsed in the ring, physically broken and in tears, she’s there cheering him to get back up and fight which is the oddest behavior I’ve ever seen in a Mom.  I’m sure Jacqui Stallone would be appalled.

Jaden Smith delivers an outstanding performance, as expected, but he is nowhere near powerful enough to carry a film.  And is it such a great idea for celebrity parents to encourage their young to take this route?  Obviously Jaden’s parents think so and will no doubt lead standing ovations for their talented offspring, clearly ignoring the child-star syndrome, one of whom makes the news every week.  Is the desire to prove you have produced something of value really that blinding?

It’s hard to imagine where this film will find an audience.  It’s far too juvenile to appeal to adults, teenagers over the age of 16 don’t want to watch a film with a 12 year old kid as the star, and if parents take their young children to see this they are giving their approval to violent revenge and the next time there’s a tragedy in a school playground CNN will know where to point their finger. 

But of course, this won’t bother Mr. and Mrs. Smith, as they will be far too busy building their dynasty to have time to watch the news.   Oil?  What oil?  And Lindsay who?    

Rating: PG (despite violence and use of the s*** word).

To read more reviews by Miv Evans visit www.emol/org/reporters/evans

Films in 2010

Film Home Page | Entertainment Magazine

© 2010 Film Entertainment Magazine / EMOL.org. All rights reserved.

Film Entertainment Magazine

MOVIE RENTAL DEALS

250x250 Geo Key
Go Fandango!

Buy Fandango Movie Tickets Online

Buy advance tickets to the Toy Story 1 and 2 Double Feature in 3D and get points for posters, DVDs and more!

Buy 1 movie ticket on Fandango and receive a second ticket to the same show free when you use your Visa Signature card.

Blockbuster

Blockbuster Total Access - 2 Week Free TrialTry BLOCKBUSTER Total Access FREE! Get the convenience of renting movies online with a choice of how to return them: send them back by mail or exchange them for new movies or discounted game rentals at participating BLOCKBUSTER® stores.

Disney Store

125x125 Disney OutletLinks to online only deals on costumes and entertainment. Outlet store discounts. Save up to 60% on collectibles. See this weeks deals at the Disney Store

Warner Bros. Store

Official Shop of Looney TunesShop at the Warner Bros. Shop : WBShop.com

Toys, games, clothing, posters and more from your favorite Warner Bros. characters like Tweety & Superman and from your favorite WB movies like Harry Potter

RealPlayer Plus

RealPlayer PlusIt's everything people want in a media player including; pristine audio/ video playback, built-in music store, access to worldwide radio.

Receive RealPlayer Plus free with your free 14 day SuperPass trial.

Watch TV Online with SuperPass - 14 Day Free Trial

Hollywood Mega Store

Officially licensed products include celebrities, movies, sports, NASCAR, TV, Marvel, DC Comics and much more. Largest selection of Movie Night & Hollywood Theme Party Supplies, Decor, Favors, and unique items. Very popular Hollywood Trophies. Hollywood and Nostalgic Gift Sets and Gift Baskets. Favored Home Theater Decorations including Reels, Commemoratives, Cinema Lamps and more. Collector items including NECA Action Figures and Head Knockers, Shotglasses, Celebriducks, Tin Signs and Zippo Lighters. Most sought after Posters, Prints and Framed Celebrity Prints. Most popular celebrity, movie and music T-shirts. Hollywood theme T-shirts, Tote Bags and Caps. Very hot JH Design Jackets and Hoodies for men, women, and kids, in all sizes. Celebrity and Novelty License Plates. Rare Vintage License Plates. California Traffic & Street Signs.

MGM Movie Store

Official Shop of MGMShop for all of your MGM favorites at MGMStore.com - Rocky, Pink Panther, Stargate, and more! Celebrity and movie clothing, Toys & Games, Jewelry and more from MGM movie titles. Collectibles and Gifts.