The Karate Kid


"It’s so sad how a lot of kids have lost their lives. You can thank the Karate Kid remake for that."

- Mighty Peking Man

The Karate Kid (2010)

AKA: Kung Fu Kid

Director: Harald Zwart

Writer: Christopher Murphey, Robert Mark Kamen

Producer: Jerry Weintraub, Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith

Cast: Jackie Chan, Will Smith’s son, Taraji P. Henson, Yu Rong-Guang, Wenwen Han

Running Time: 139 min.

Plot: Will Smith's son and Jackie Chan star in a remake of the 1984 classic.


NINGEN'S REVIEW: An updated Karate Kid which should technically be more of a remake of the second film than the first film, it's about a kid(duh) named Dre who moves to China, runs into some punks, gets beaten down by 'em, and then, with the help of a maintenance man named Mr. Han, confronts them one-on-one in a kung fu tournament.

So, I turned in my man badge, and bought a ticket for Karate Kid 2.0, because I was told this film didn't actually didn't suck. Well, that's true, if being mostly average, rather than absolutely crappy, is your measuring stick for quality. I actually don't have a problem with Jaden, since everyone who's saying, "OMFG! He's a little black boy with corn rows!" lost their cred when they hypocritically over-praised a certain nameless movie with a little girl dressed like Britney Spears who uses words like "cunt" a lot. [And don't tell me it's not a race thing, because your asses didn't nearly go as ape-shit with the Hillary Swank version of the Karate Kid-and that was DTV acting right there.]

So, yeah, back to Jaden. He's fine. His one-liners are flat, and his character needs more motivation to want to be in his new locale than just "dating" that "love interest". [And yes, I'm aware the last KK was just as "minimalist" in its approach, but the situation was more run-of-the-mill, and thus tangible, while this scenario seems a bit more of a wish fulfillment-type deal.] Personally, I think the problem is that the movie needed a Chinese equivalent to Bill Zabka. In that sense, I think CJ 7's the better kiddie film, 'cus it had child actors who didn't just act like bullies, but looked like 'em as well. The supporting cast could also use some work. The actress playing Jaden's over-bearing mom could be axed entirely, or at least put in the background. I was also hoping the teacher of the bullies would get into a fight with Jackie's character near the end, sort of like that show-down in the parking lot in the second film.

Plus, the film tends to drag, because it goes into pointless sub-plots, like Han's family life. I get why Jackie comes off a bit surly, especially after doing Spy Next Door, but the background info really brings the film down, when it's supposed to be an underdog story. And it seriously needs to be tighter, even though it has the same running time as the original. Fortunately, the music isn't as High School Musical/Glee-esque as I was afraid it'd be. In fact, they even insert some classic rock snips into later fights to appease old white "geezers" like myself. The fights themselves are sort of hard-core for their rating, but you rarely feel like they have the impact they should-probably because there are so many kids fighting in general. In fact, a scene where a martial artist stares down a (hopefully CG) cobra impresses me more than most of the other matches. [Too much "been there, done that" with the kids in Jet Li movies like Bodyguard From Beijing, I guess...] So, as a remake, Karate Kid's ok. But it's not really worth more than a quick Netflix rental. Though at least it'll keep Will Smith away from Oldboy.

5/10 - Story and characters. 6.5/10 - Fights. Overall - 7/10 if you haven't seen the original films. 6/10 if you have seen the original trilogy and Sidekicks

MIGHTY PEKING MAN'S REVIEW: I wasn’t going to review this film, but then, I started coming across critics who said things like: “this is the movie to show your, and believable... just left the theater, audience clapped and cheered throughout the whole move...”

Okay, now it’s my turn....

Karate Kid (2010) is FUCKING lame. For God’s sake, show your dumb kid the original, you moron. And while you’re at it, don’t try to use the film’s cinematography or beautiful Chinese culture as an excuse to think it’s a good movie, because it’s not. What the hell is wrong with everybody these days? Are they on drugs? Do they need to be on drugs? God, Lord, Jesus, Buddah, L. Ron Hubbard, if you do exist, in any shape, form, whatever, come back. End this world. Start all over again. Please. It’s not looking good for the human race. It's really not.

If you’ve seen the 1984 Karate Kid, no use going over the plot. It’s the same shit (main difference is the original has a fucking soul!), only in a different setting, with essentially, the same characters. Instead of Pat Morita, we get Jackie Chan; Instead of William Zabka, we get Zhenwei Wang; Instead of Martin Kove, we get get Yu Rong-Guang; And last, and definitely least, instead of Ralph Macchio, we get Will Smith’s son. I don’t know his name, I don’t care; but for his upcoming Rap album, for Bad Boys Part 8, for the Hancock prequel, for the ID4 reboot, and for the rest of his fucking life, he’ll be known, at least to me, as Will Smith’s son.

Oh yeah, almost forgot, instead of Elisabeth Shue, we get Wenwen Han. Let me tell you, out of all the billions of cute, little asian girls out there, THIS is the best they can do? I’m no pedophile, but for those who are, I’m sure they would skip her, and look for excitement elsewhere. Maybe they went over budget and finally had to pick the first girl who would work for a few boxes of strawberry Pocky Sticks?

Come to think of it, wouldn’t Will Smith’s son be into big booties instead? Oh wait, I forgot, he’s Will Smith’s son, so everything he does will be Will Smith-like. In other words, his co-star has to have no ass (Jada Pinkett Smith), white features (Jada Pinkett Smith) and below average looks (Jada Pinkett Smith). *By the way, I understand Wenwen Han is a child, but for the sake of consistency, just go along with me, okay?

Also, what’s up with Will Smith’s son and the way he delivers his dialogue? Almost EVERYTHING he says is a one-liner. Seriously, they could have taken any of his dialogue and spliced it in the trailer for that one-liner appeal. Once again, he’s just being Will Smith-like.

The saving grace to this film could have been the fight scenes, but most of them were all ruined due to being filmed way too fucking too close. And just as annoying are the shaky cameras. Who’s filming this shit, Michael J. Fox? For 15 years, I’ve been sitting through countless movies where cameras shake every time action hits the screen! Why do studios even bother spending millions of dollars on film equipment when they’re just gonna shake their shit around?? Why not save some money and use a VHS camcorder instead? And they wonder why this country is economically raped.

Back to Will Smith’s son and the showcasing of his talents: Are we supposed to be surprised that he knows how to dance? And what about his gymnastic skills? Okay, fine. Will Smith’s son does have some mean flips; However, that does NOT justify him doing some Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon shit during the film's finale.

You see why I'm annoyed here? How can anyone call this movie realistic? Was Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon realistic, too? What am I missing? Even the original Karate Kid’s fight scenes were realistic, or at least, believable. Unless there’s another Karate Kid remake I don’t know about?

If I was an elementary student in China, and a crazy Chinese guy came up to me with a knife to my kneck, and yelled, “tell me what you like about Karate Kid remake or I slash your neck!”, I would say:

Me: “Jackie Chan was good. He plays his own, unique version of Miyagi. His role is funny, dark and subtle. Besides having a cool John Oates mustache, he also gives us an inventive fight scene involving him vs. a bunch of kids. It’s short, it’s practically his only action scene, but it’s cool.”

Him: “Anything else?”

Me: “Zhenwei Wang. That kid is a badass, plain and simple. I rooted for him everytime he attacked Will Smith’s son. The movie should have ended with him KILLING Will Smith's son. That would make this movie better than the original.”

Him: “I kill you anyways!”

You see, not only did the crazy Chinese guy just watch and hate it as much as I did, but he was wondering why they still called it “Karate Kid”, when Will Smith’s son learns Kung fu from a Kung fu Master IN China. Crazy Chinese guy then spreads the word to his crazy friends, and before you know it, a bunch of schools are attacked by crazy Chinese guys with knives (if you want to get technical, this film was actually called Kung Fu Kid in China and Japan).

It’s so sad how a lot of kids have lost their lives. You can thank the Karate Kid remake for that.

That’s how bad this movie is, folks. It's also over 2 hours long, which makes it worse than bad. But then again, it’s still better than Avatar.