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Archive for August 24th, 2010

The Karate Kid

The Karate Kid (1984) was a great movie, unfortunately looking back on it now it wasn’t. Don’t get me wrong it isn’t a bad film, it just isn’t as good as I remember it as a ten year old. So for that reason I actually don’t mind them remaking it, its not like they are messing with a classic. It does show a lack of originality but that’s another issue!

Single mother Sherry Parker (Taraji P. Henson) and her son Dre (Jaden Smith) move from Detroit to Beijing with her job. Dre is less impressed with China than his mother, something that gets worse when he gets into a fight with a local bully who also happens to be pretty adept at kung fu and kicks Dre’s Ass. The problem escalates until salvation comes from the unlikely person, building caretaker Mr. Han (Jackie Chan). Before he knows it he Dre has been entered into a Kung Fu competition.

Taking its time to get going without much character development, the movie does avoid a lot of racial stereotypes often associated with these fish out of water movies, it does however leave no stone unturned in its search for underdog sports movie clichés. The movie is split into three distinct parts, the final and shortest of these is the tournament that is actually very short and sort of rushed, like the rest of the movie it follows the plot of the original.

Jackie Chan is fantastic as Mr Han, unfortunately hen just doesn’t live up to Pat Morita’s Mr. Miyagi from the original movie, he was the best thing about that film and was nominated for and Oscar. Although Chan adds a certain gravitas and credibility to proceedings the real star here though is Jaden Smith who is sensational and at just twelve years old he is actually the same age as his character unlike Ralph Macchio who was 23 when he made the original movie. Even at such a young he is showing signs of the charm and charisma of his farther, who incidentally he is a perfect Mini-Me of.

Predictable and clichéd but enjoyable none the less! Due to the success of the movie a sequel is reportedly in the works, as the sequel to the original was set in Japan will they set the sequel to this movie in America?

Three Stars out of Five

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