Another remake of a classic 80’s film? Really, Hollywood? Really? Well, this film isn’t going to change that trend anytime soon. Many people are going into this film with expectations and opinions on deck. The Karate Kid is a good film…that they weren’t expecting.
With a 26-year gap between this film and the original it almost make sense that they would produce and create a new version. One thing to be considered is the audience this film was made for. It wasn’t made for diehard fans of the original; it was produced for a new younger generation that can connect with the age group of the actors. With that in mind, place yourself in that age and you’ll realize this Karate Kid is exactly what you’d have enjoyed when you were ten through twelve-years-old.
Another huff that seems to escape the lips of many people before they see it is, “Is that Will Smith’s son?” Of course it is. The same son that acted alongside him in The Pursuit of Happyness, the same son who has spent countless days on professional movies sets and has an A-list actor for a father who has instilled in him a strong work ethic. Yeah, it’s Will Smith’s son, and he gives a performance that will make you believe Jaden Smith has such a huge career in front of him that one day his father will be living in his shadow.
Jackie Chan is the biggest name in this film but he does not attempt to steal the show in any way. His appearance in The Karate Kid is that of the perfect supporting actor. He’s humorous, caring and lovable but he still has all the charm that made him the huge actor star that he still is to this day. There is a fight between him and several twelve year olds that is beautifully choreographed.
The story mimics the original but more so in that it was the skeleton for this representation and was fleshed out in a more modern touch. After moving from Detroit to China, young Dre Parker tries to start a new life in a new country. Before he can get his footing a group of bullies step in his life and teach him a lesson for talking to a young girl.
This beginning act was beautifully written because it takes its time. So many films, especially studio films, will rush through the beginning to get to the action. This film was a refreshing change of pace.
After getting the assistance of the local maintenance guy to teach him Kung Fu, Dre Parker has to train for a Kung Fu tournament. Sure the film more or less lacks any form of karate but the spirit and long montage sequence are still true to the spirit of the original. Its nostalgia will remind you of the first time you watched Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita training and told yourself you were going to learn martial arts.
Rated PG for bullying, martial arts action violence and some mild language.