The Karate Kid Movie Review
admovieso | April 6, 2012 | No comments
This remake of the 1984 film of the same name is longer and much more expensive than the original but it has little of the charm of the earlier movie. Oddly enough, the very capable leads are the biggest problem in the movie.
Jaden Smith, who debuted in “The Pursuit of Happyness”, is the son of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith, two of the film’s producers, is so over-the-top handsome and charismatic that he fails to capture the vulnerability of the character first played by Ralph Macchio.
Jackie Chan does a great job as the eccentric sensei Mr. Han, but we know from the start that Chan is a serious Kung Foo threat. When Noriyuki “Pat” Morita, who was nominated for an Oscar for his performance as Mr. Miyagi, first showed his amazing fighting skills, viewers were amazed and delighted.
The biggest difference between the new Karate Kidand the original is that it has been transplanted from California to China. The plot of the new movie is very similar to the plot of the first movie.
Twelve year old Dre Parker (Smith) becomes the butt of school bullies and finds himself being repeatedly tormented and beaten up until one day his building’s maintenance man, the shy, middle-aged Mr. Han (Chan) shocks the bullies with an amazing show of martial Kung Fu.
Dre and Mr. Han become friends and Mr. Han mentors Dre in the ways of Kung Fu so that he can fight the worst bully in a tournament of martial arts’ skills. Dre’s arch enemy, Cheng, is being coached by a nasty man who teaches his students to harm their opponents in terrible ways.
The technical elements of the film are spectacular and there is lots of great use of Chinese scenery. The screenplay, by Christopher Murphey is loyal to the original Karate Kid while introducing some new variations on the old themes that refresh the movie for young audiences and old fans.