Author Topic: The Karate Kid (2010)  (Read 7612 times)

Najemikon

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The Karate Kid (2010)
« on: June 27, 2010, 09:08:28 PM »
The Karate Kid (2010)
4 out of 5




You can’t judge a film by its title. And you mustn’t in the case of The Karate Kid, should you become confused and cynical! After all, it’s set in China and features Jackie Chan, so Karate is never even mentioned. It’s just a slightly offensive marketing ploy to live off the back of the 1984 hit, which makes you question the motives of making it at all and dismiss it out of hand. They really should have proudly named it “The King-Fu Kid”, because despite being a near step-for-step remake, it’s actually very good and deserves a chance to stand on its own.

It’s a story about Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) who moves with his mother (Taraji P. Henson) from Detroit to Bejing. Struggling to fit in, he tries and fails to stand up to a crowd of bullies led by Zhenwei Wang. He becomes afraid of even going to school until meeting Mr. Han (Jackie Chan), the quiet maintenance man who knows Kung-Fu and who reluctantly agrees to teach Dre. A local, ruthless Kung-Fu teacher has agreed his students will leave Dre alone, so long as he fights in an upcoming tournament.

Jaden Smith does really well in the title role and has clearly put a lot of work in that demands respect. As well as the physical aspects, he also has his father Will’s cheeky humour and timing. Importantly, all the young characters act very well with the adults. Often this kind of film underwrites the grown-ups and the relationship between Dre and Mr. Han especially is very real.

As Mr. Han, Jackie Chan is just magic in what might be his best English speaking role. Through no fault of his own, he doesn’t have Pat Morita’s natural unassuming calm (well, he is Jackie Chan!) that made Mr. Miyagi so iconic, but he is just as poignant and brings a beautifully judged humour to the character. The moment he rescues Dre by disabling six bullies without throwing a punch is wonderful. It’s brilliantly choreographed; thrilling and very funny in that Chaplin-esque way Chan is so good at. From that point on, he keeps the film alive and proves why he’s one of the biggest movie stars around. As with the 1984 film, the last half is predictable, but that’s the curse of sports based tournament movies and you’ll nevertheless be on the edge of your seat!

The film doesn’t flow as nicely as the first version, and that could be an effect of over-familiarity, but this version does lack some potential by using a much younger cast, despite their considerable ability. While Zhenwei Wang brings a convincingly vicious ferocity to the role of the main bully, Wen Wen Han as Mei Ying (the girl Dre has a crush on) is awkward and the story loses momentum in those sequences. They are just too young to convince for a romantic angle. The original plot worked as a coming of age story that teenagers could identify with, so the test will be if the young audience take to Jaden as their Karate Kid as much as my generation took to Ralph Macchio.

So you might be cynical about why it was made and how it was marketed, but give it a chance, because it’s honest and likeable. The Karate Kid has had a very good reception in the States and has confused people by beating The A-Team, but it’s easy to see why. This is a children’s film that respects its audience, including the adults, and outside of Pixar animation, that is rare and very reassuring.

The Karate Kid is a great family film, with a solid message and deserves to become as loved and as inspirational as its reassuringly cheesy predecessor. If only it hadn’t have been let down by the silly title.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2010, 10:05:13 PM by Jon »

Offline Jimmy

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Re: The Karate Kid (2010)
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2010, 09:15:51 PM »
Not a chance that I will ever see that :yucky:
Just the trailer was enough for me to know it's a pieces of shit. It's just an untalented kid full of himself who used his father's money to be in a film... Sorry not even a four stars review from you will make me see this...

Like I've read not too long ago this isn't the movies that need to be remade but the audience of today :whistle:

Najemikon

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Re: The Karate Kid (2010)
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2010, 09:18:29 PM »
Jimmy, that was a bit strong.  :(

I went in quite cynical, especially considering the title, but Jaden is very good. Certainly comparable to Macchio. And Jackie Chan gets the character he deserves finally in American cinema.

Not all remakes are bad and cinema is bereft of entertainment like this.

Offline Jimmy

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Re: The Karate Kid (2010)
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2010, 09:47:49 PM »
It's about the movie, not your opinion Jon.
I just find it's a good presentation of how the audience now just eat every shit that is forced feed to them. It's absolutly ridiculous that a movie like this is 2 weeks at the top of the box-office.

Sorry the film is about a teenager not about a little kid. BTW the great performance in the original is from Pat Morita not Ralph Maccio (who is way more talented than the kid of a multi-millionaires anyway).

Offline goodguy

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Re: The Karate Kid (2010)
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2010, 09:55:20 PM »
Sorry not even a four stars review from you will make me see this...

Beware of Jon's infamous 4-star reviews... :hysterical:
Matthias

Offline Antares

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Re: The Karate Kid (2010)
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2010, 09:56:14 PM »
 :couch: :popcorn:

Najemikon

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Re: The Karate Kid (2010)
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2010, 10:02:09 PM »
Sorry not even a four stars review from you will make me see this...

Beware of Jon's infamous 4-star reviews... :hysterical:

Don't you start! :redcard: Just for the record, lets keep some perspective. Four stars doesn't make it almost-Godfather status! It's basic three star entertainment with a couple of moments that lift it up. Not least a truly beautiful cameo from Michelle Yeoh. Stunning moment.

Jimmy, I know you were talking about the film, and you certainly have a point about its conception which I share, but the result is almost beyond reproach. But whatever, Jackie Chan is a legend! It's down to him as much as anyone why this is still number one in the States. What's the alternative? A remake of an 80s TV show? Some half-arsed comedy? Have they got Jackie Chan in? No.

By the way, have you actually watched Jaden Smith in anything? You're very quick to dismiss him. However he got in front of the camera, he works his arse off.


Offline Antares

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Re: The Karate Kid (2010)
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2010, 10:04:32 PM »
Four stars doesn't make it almost-Godfather status! It's basic three star entertainment with a couple of moments that lift it up.

So wouldn't that make it 3 1/2 stars? :hmmmm:

snowcat

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Re: The Karate Kid (2010)
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2010, 10:10:09 PM »
I quite liked Jaden in the Pursuit of Happiness, I think regardless of how well he acts alot of people will see him the way Jimmy does, and I guess hes right, I doubt he would have made it big without his dad, but that doesn't stop him from being talented.

Jimmy, do you have bad experiences with remakes? Ive seen a few I have enjoyed... not necessarily better then the original but it doesn't mean they are bad.

Also, Jimmy what do you mean by a "Movie like this" ... do you mean because its a remake? or because of its genre?  :stars:

Offline Jimmy

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Re: The Karate Kid (2010)
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2010, 10:10:48 PM »
By the way, have you actually watched Jaden Smith in anything? You're very quick to dismiss him. However he got in front of the camera, he works his arse off.
No since the only thing he was in is The Poursuit of Hapiness (or something like that) and it isn't my genre of cinema. But I've seen enough extract from this movie and enough interview of him in TV shows to see he doesn't have talent, he is full of himself and works in the industry only because of his father money and name.

snowcat

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Re: The Karate Kid (2010)
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2010, 10:11:28 PM »
I believe he was also in The Day the Earth Stood Still

Offline Jimmy

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Re: The Karate Kid (2010)
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2010, 10:25:37 PM »
Jimmy, do you have bad experiences with remakes? Ive seen a few I have enjoyed... not necessarily better then the original but it doesn't mean they are bad.
I've seen some who are good also and I don't dismiss them just because of that. The Thing, Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1976) or Aurore are good ones, but most of them are uninspired, just make because of the name and had no reasons to exist. For me it's the symptom of everything who is wrong in the american mainstream industry in the last 15 years. There is no talent anymore in front and behind the camera, nobody can't write an original script and nobody can't make a movie without CGI effects (do you realize how the car stunt look ridiculous in the trailer from the last Tom Cruise movie?)

Also, Jimmy what do you mean by a "Movie like this" ... do you mean because its a remake? or because of its genre?  :stars:
The two reasons : it's a kid movie and the fact it's an unecessary remake.

Even if I haven't seen it and probably won't (because of the trailer full of CGI) the A-Team would make more sense if it was at the top of the box office.

Najemikon

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Re: The Karate Kid (2010)
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2010, 10:35:20 PM »
Four stars doesn't make it almost-Godfather status! It's basic three star entertainment with a couple of moments that lift it up.

So wouldn't that make it 3 1/2 stars? :hmmmm:

I don't do things by half!  :P But yes, if I did, 3.5 would be about right. Just like Eagle Eye, Matthias!  :laugh:

I quite liked Jaden in the Pursuit of Happiness, I think regardless of how well he acts alot of people will see him the way Jimmy does, and I guess hes right, I doubt he would have made it big without his dad, but that doesn't stop him from being talented.

Exactly.

I'm sure he might be a bit of a brat in interviews and we can question the legitimacy of Will Smith producing a starring role for his Mini-Me all night, but the fact remains, it does work. To be fair, of the current line-up of mega-stars, Will Smith tends to be the most liked and grounded, so in retrospect, I can see why this would work and why he would get Chan's involvement. He understands what it needed to be different so it wasn't just a money spinning retread. Jimmy, your argument is so frustrating because you haven't seen it! You have to judge remakes on a case-by-case basis. This is a great story and it deserves to be told.

The title is annoying and the cast are too young, but that makes it all the more fascinating why it actually worked. You forget, I sat and watched it, expecting to complain bitterly, yet, I enjoyed it. :shrug:

I'm pretty confident that Pete could take Britt to this and they'd both get a kick out of it. That's what matters.

Offline Antares

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Re: The Karate Kid (2010)
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2010, 10:40:10 PM »
So wouldn't that make it 3 1/2 stars? :hmmmm:

I don't do things by half!  :P But yes, if I did, 3.5 would be about right. Just like Eagle Eye, Matthias!  :laugh:

I've always wondered why you don't do it. I have to admit that I agree with Matthias, sometimes your ratings make my  :o



 ;) :whistle:

Offline Jimmy

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Re: The Karate Kid (2010)
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2010, 10:46:17 PM »
Jimmy, your argument is so frustrating because you haven't seen it! You have to judge remakes on a case-by-case basis. This is a great story and it deserves to be told.
Jon I won't spend a single penny on this, but if you really want me to watch this send me the DVD when it will be out in a month and I will do the effort of watching it :whistle: