The Karate Kid (2010)

June 19, 2010

The Karate Kid (2010) – Review by Isaac

-Trailer at

Synopsis: Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) is a 12-year-old boy from Detroit who moves to China with his mother and incurs the wrath of a school bully. Dre makes an unlikely ally in the form of an aging maintenance man, Mr. Han (Jackie Chan), a martial-arts master who teaches him the secrets of Kung Fu.

This is the best kid’s movie I’ve seen in years. (Besides Pixar, of course). Don’t let me calling it a “kids movie” turn you off, because even though its a PG movie about, well, a kid, I had a wonderful time.

Jaden Smith is truly a delight. Jaden does some impressive work for an actor of his age; his transparency and believability drew me into the film right away. His fluid charm and comedic timing allow a young girl to become taken with him, and invokes the jealous wrath of a rival school boy, Cheng (Zhenwei Wang).

“There are no bad students, only bad teachers.”

The ensuing fight is painful to watch as Dre’s limited Karate skills are no match against the skilled and brutal Cheng. I saw Dre’s eyes fill with tears as he was repeatedly slammed into the pavement. Later, Cheng and his friends chase Dre through the crowded streets with violent intent. I couldn’t help but watch, mouth open, as these skilled students of the martial arts hurdle obstacles in search of their prey. What thoroughly convincing villains these children are! And their violent pursuit is held in juxtaposition with Dre’s innocence. This entire sequence works because of Jaden Smith’s acting. He’s thoroughly convincing as a humiliated young boy in a strange land, an underdog with no-one to turn to, and most of all, no-one to teach him how to be a man.

Fathers and Sons: The Karate Kid is many things; a Rocky story, a “stranger in a strange land”, a coming of age motif, a teacher and student journey, a youthful romance, and a martial arts action flick. But above all of that, it is about Fathers and Sons.
When secret Kung Fu master Mr. Han (Jackie Chan) intervenes and makes a fool of the attacking students (my favorite sequence of the film, “When fighting angry blind man, best to stay out of the way), Dre is overjoyed. Mr. Han goes to speak with Cheng’s instructor on Dre’s behalf, and we are introduced to the true villain of the film, Master Li. This Kung Fu master teaches his students to fight brutally and without mercy, revealing to the audience who is truly to blame for Cheng’s conduct. To prevent further injury, Mr. Han agrees to train Dre in the art of Kung Fu, building to a final showdown between rivals at the martial arts tournament.

Mr. Han becomes more than a teacher to young Dre, he becomes the father figure this boy desperately needed. This mythic bond between father and son may focus on Kung Fu, but a pact is made that heals the heart of both characters. Mr. Han’s lessons direct Dre to be focused, respectful, and moral. Similarly, the widower Mr. Han realizes he has something of value to pass onto Dre, and his identity as a father is reborn in the process. In the end of the film, Dre has not only learned he “has what it takes” to fight in the ring, but how to be a man.

In juxtaposition, we witness the father-son relationship between Master Li and his students, particularly the bully Cheng. They are equally selfish and wicked inside and outside of the ring. In the end, the true colors of each father are made known through the actions of the sons.

Remake Status: Some of you are honestly wondering – Is this remake as good as the original? – Considering that I never saw the original Karate Kid, I can’t tell you. I know, I know, shame on me. This “remake” is considered ‘not quite the masterpiece that was the original, but a good film that stands on its own two feet”. My question: is ANYTHING as good as the original? – Because I’m pretty sure nothing ever is. Especially in the eyes of critics. Whether this is due to nostalgia, expectations, or a generational slide in quality (which I highly doubt), this is a phenomenon we movie-goers have to deal with.

To the Internet Critics: “Boohoo, I’m a whiny critic who is upset because the original Karate Kid features a Japanese instructor who teaches Karate, whereas this 2010 version takes place in China where the hero learns Kung Fu. It should be called The Kung-Fu Kid.”

-Dear Internet Critics, Shut Up and Watch the Movie.
~Sincerely,  Isaac

Rating: 4/5 Zipped Lips – Fantastic movie for the whole family.

The Karate Kid, (even though it doesn’t feature any Karate) soars with memorable performances by Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan. Humor, action, and meaning are all found here.


14 Responses to “The Karate Kid (2010)”

  1. I loved the original but will see this remake, when it opens here. In terms of remakes, I thought the Chris Rock “Death at a Funeral” was better than the original. So the original isn’t always better.

    • eFen Hilman Says:

      I loved the original but will see this remake, when it opens here. In terms of remakes, I thought the Chris Rock “Death at a Funeral” was better than the original. So the original isn’t always better.

  2. Sophiya Says:


  3. eFen Hilman Says:

    wooooooooow cool……..

  4. Hannah Says:

    I love this movie…I love Zhenwei wang and Shijia lu

  5. ain winnie Says:

    i love zhenwei wang and the movie

  6. danica Says:

    karate kid rules!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111111111 ilove jaden and zhenwei!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111

  7. cheyanne Says:

    i think cheng on THE KARATE KID was very very very cute!

  8. faye mayor Says:

    wwooooo it is so cool
    ZHENWEI WANG is so cool and so handsome i like him

  9. MAYARA Says:


  10. Lx Says:

    ZhenWei Wang seems to be a villian in the movie, bt at the end, where he passes the trophy to “Dre”, I find him cute! OMG! :O

  11. gamezhut Says:

    Great blog dude Its fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

  12. Riya Roy Says:

    i learn most important things through this movie.

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