As stated in my A-Team movie review an 80’s renaissance is definitely upon us in Hollywood for 2010 lol! This version of the Karate Kid (based on the 1984 original) stars Jaden Smith as Dre Parker & Taraji P. Henson as Sherry Parker, Dre’s mom! When a new job opportunity arrives and moves the Parker family from Detroit to China, it is not easy trying to make the culture shock adjustment! Dre struggles initially when after meeting and trying to defend a new female friend named Meiying, gets into a fight with one of the her male friends and classmates! Needless to say the fight doesn’t go to well for Dre and starts off a long and torturous cycle of abuse at the hands of the bullies looking to teach Dre (the new kid) a lesson about not messing up the order of things!
Like with the original 84 film it takes the meeting and training from a kind, wise and skillfully trained in Kung Fu gentlemen (Mr. Han played masterfully well by Jackie Chan) to help Dre find his way and learn how to better treat others and defend himself! Mr. Han after preventing another beat down for Dre at the hands of his schoolyard bullies, tried to reason with the boys teacher Master Li about leaving Dre alone, but fails miserably! So Mr. Han decides to take matters into his own hands and trains Dre about the true aert of Kung Fu!
It has been well documented how extensive and serious Jaden Smith trained for this role, doing 3 months in china training before the movie even started filming, and the hard work showed and paid off! This young man played his role and fighting scenes to perfection! All of the young kids involved did actually! The fighting was probably the most impressive upgrade from the original film, but the message and philosophy remains very much the same! Everything from the lessons of discipline, honor, respect, belief in one’s self and fruits of labor from hard work are all there and then some! The relationship with Dre & Mr, Han were especially touching and at the heart of the film as we got to see the respect and love they gained for one another as they really learned from and about each other throughout the film.
The love interest shared between Dre & Meiying followed the similar path from the original film also and was charming as it was endearing to see their innocence and caring for one another shine so bright even amongst so many factors tearing them apart (Meiying’s classmates, her overprotective Father, etc.). Overall I think it was a really enjoyable film with beautiful scenery, really exceptional fighting scenes and shots, and solid heartfelt performances that should do Mr. Miyagi & Daniel San proud! And you can definitely tell that Jaden is every bit his Father’s son (Will Smith incase you were living under a rock the last 6 months and didn’t know, just kidding) as everything from his work ethic in training for the film to his loveable charm and witty sarcasm are just as infectious as dear old Dad’s! So on a scale of 1-5 I give The Karate Kid 4 ½ stars. Till next time be safe and stay blessed!