director: Harald Zwart
writers: Christopher Murphey & Robert Mark Kamen
starring: Jackie Chan, Jaden Smith and Taraji P. Henson
genre: Family | Sports
released: June 11, 2010 (U.S.)
As with every remake that comes out we wonder did we really need this film to be remade? I've seen already this year 4 remakes including this one and that's not counting re-imaginings of films like Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland". I cant say they were all bad or even some without reason. But what with the lack of ideas these days? But most importantly what with the lack of writers coming up with smarter updates of the films they are remaking? If comic books can run for 60 years with the same characters and still find new ways of developing them and continuing them on, couldn't the same happen for films?
The Karate Kid or most correctly the Kung Fu Kid (as it should have been called) is about young Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) and his Mom (Taraji P. Henson) moving to Beijing China for work. There he will be a fish out of water and be confronted cultural shock. As things get better for him he finds racism in school bully's that know Kung Fu and beat him up. To regain his honor he asks for help from the secret skills of his building's maintenance man Mr. Han (Jackie Chan). With Mr. Han's help he will regain his honor with Kung Fu skills by confronting the bully's in a Kung Fu tournament.
Besides the well known story from the original the main changes made are of locale and ages of the main characters. By keeping everything so familiar this remake does nothing to be different than the original. Their is no fresh take and no deviations to the story.
New viewers who haven't seen the original will be ok with it but everyone else will be sadly disappointed. The film isn't all bad despite its similarities to the original film. The acting is good, the fighting isn't terrible, the emotional level of the story and lessons are well played and written. But it's not enough to make this film good or worth seeing in the cinema.
Should I recommend this film and to who is the question? The film is a good option for a family that is without a option to see anything on a free weekend. But, for everyone else I couldn't recommend it as there are multiple better choices out there to choose from. People curious enough should wait for its DVD release or simply just see the original film.