THE KARATE KID 2010 – Review.

By on 22 June, 2010

Director Harald Zwart brings together a martial arts legend and the son of a rapper / actor, in a remake of the classic 80s movie of the same name. Though this may sound like an unlikely pairing, let alone the drones that may sound upon the mere mention of a remake, viewers will find that it all comes neatly together on screen.  

Fans of the original will already be familiar with the basics – boy moves to new city with mum, boy meets a repairman, boy gets bullied, boy learns Karate (or Kung Fu, in this version), and boy beats the bullies. But viewers might not expect the modern twist..

In this version, 12-year-old Dre Parker (played by Jaden Smith) may have been the most popular kid in Detroit, but his mother’s (played by Taraji P. Henson) latest career move has meant that both of them move to China. Not knowing what to expect from his new neighbours, Dre immediately falls for his classmate Mei Ying (and the feeling is mutual) but cultural differences make such a friendship impossible. As if things could not get any 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 floors him with ease. With no friends in a strange new environment, Dre has nowhere to turn but maintenance man Mr. Han (played by Jackie Chan), who is secretly a master of kung fu. Taking on his first student, Han teaches Dre that kung fu is not about punches and revenge, but maturity and calm. Dre soon begins to realise that facing the bullies will be the fight of his life, in addition to going on a journey of self-discovery.

With a running time of 140 minutes, some might wonder whether this movie is goes on for longer than it should. There were times when I resisted the temptation to look at my watch, with the sweeping shots of China keeping my eyes peeled to the screen. But it’s not all about landscape, what the viewer needs to understand is that a boy needs to learn what looks like a complex set of Kung Fu moves in a short space of time. The director made it plainly clear on screen that you had to see Dre’s determination and passion (despite his initial lazy behaviour) and also understand why Mr. Han is the way he is, and the pain he tries to conceal.

It’s been a while since I’ve done a review like this and despite my initial dislike of remakes in general, I discovered a movie that has (for the time being) restored my faith in remaking a movie – especially one that is not even 30 years old. Putting both the original and this version side by side they offer the same kind of adventure, only this time for a new generation of fans.

I give this movie 4 out of 5

About Ed Bonilla

Ed is an entertainment news writer, and founder of TOMORROW'S NEWS. He always keeps a watchful eye on who and what's trending in the entertainment world. His articles focus on tomorrow's news today, including celebrity news, film news, music news and so much more!

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