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The Karate Kid [2010]

August 1, 2010

Microsoft PowerPoint - KarateKid05-03-10 (NXPowerLite).pptDirector: Harald Zwart 
Writer: Robert Mark Kamen 
Producers: Jerry Weintraub/Will Smith/Jada Pinkett Smith/James Lassiter 
Starring: Jackie Chan/Jaden Smith/Taraji P. Henson 
Year: 2010
Country: US/China
BBFC Certification: PG
Duration: 140 minutes

The Karate Kid is yet another movie in the line of remakes and yet this is very different from the other remakes Hollywood has delivered lately as this is actually surprisingly good thanks to brilliant performances, a great story, beautiful locations and fantastic directing. I use the word ‘surprisingly’ because it’s actually surprising that a remake would be this good and the fact the director had directed the mediocre Agent Cody Banks and the god-awful The Pink Panther 2 is a shock that he managed to direct something so good. So The Karate Kid is about Dre and his mom moving to Beijing because his mom has a career opportunity. Once there, he becomes a victim to a gang of bullies whose expertise lies in Kung Fu. After Mr. Han, a handyman, rescues Dre from them, he teaches Dre the ways of Kung Fu ready to compete in a tournament, which the bullies have entered. The Karate Kid doesn’t fail as far as action is concerned as it’s one of the good points about the movie, it was very well choreographed, worked fantastically and the movie wasn’t too dependent on the fight scenes. Jaden Smith, Will Smith’s son, proves that he’s worked very hard for this role and it shows in all of the scenes where he fights so I say well done to him for his marvellous acting and brilliant fight sequences. Jackie Chan is brilliant as Mr. Han as Chan proves that there’s more to him than brilliantly executed fight scenes. Chan makes for some great scenes from dramatic to humorous and definitely deserves some recognition for his work in this movie. The characters in The Karate Kid were great and I loved the friendship between Dre and Mr. Han. First, Dre thought of Mr. Han as a teacher as well as an idol and as time passes, he thinks of him as his best friend. It was also nice to see Mr. Han treat Dre like a son and it adds a lot more depth to the story and their characters.

Amidst of all the praise in this review for The Karate Kid, there were unfortunately some cons but it hardly spoils the movie in any way. The biggest problem with The Karate Kid is the runtime. It’s two hours and twenty minutes and you could have easily cut half an hour away, as there were some scenes that either went on for too long or didn’t affect the story in any way. Another con is the bullies and their Kung Fu teacher and how vile they all were. Okay, granted they’re bullies but they were seriously evil. The teacher was even worse, he was the vilest out of them all. I also didn’t like how the movie builds up towards a fight between Mr. Han and the bullies’ teacher and it never happens. Another thing that bugged me a little bit was the title of the movie, The Karate Kid. There’s nothing wrong with the title except for the fact that it never used Karate in the movie, it used Kung Fu all the way through the movie. It should have been called The Kung Fu Kid! These are tiny faults and they don’t affect the movie in any way. With brilliant performances, marvellous acting and great story packed with crystal clear messages, The Karate Kid is a very enjoyable movie that I’m sure the family will love.

Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan made a fantastic duo and I hope to see them in more movies in the future. If you can watch the movie and get over the fact that it’s a remake of a much-loved eighties movie, then you will love the movie. Jackie Chan fans and Kung Fu lovers should not be disappointed either!

7/10

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