The Karate Kid (2010)

The Karate Kid 2010 Poster
Poster design by Vox and Associates (with thanks to IMP Awards)

Let’s get this straight, yes this is called The Karate Kid, but it is a movie about Kung Fu. It’s a remake of the 1984 hit of the same name. The Karate Kid (2010) takes the concept from the original and brings it to 2010. Let’s not forget that Kung Fu is probably the more popular art form of the current times, so makes sense to make a movie about Kung Fu and not Karate.

Actors/ Characters

The teacher and pupil role still applies here, with Jackie Chan’s Mr Han being the mentor and his troubled student Dre Parker being Jaden Smith, the son of Will Smith. Some mighty big shoes these two have to fill, as the original has reached some sort of a cult status, and whether this one does too remains to be seen. The other two key roles are of Mei Ying (Wen Wen Han) who provides the cute romantic angle, and Cheng (Zhenwei Wang) who’s the lead bully.

Plot

Much to the dismay of young Dre Parker, his mother (Taraji P Henson) decides to start a new life, all the way in Beijing. Dre soon realises it is nothing like back home in Detroit, but tries his best to settle into his new life.

He catches the eye of young violinist Mei Ying and it’s not long before he has a crush on her. This also attracts the attention of the local bully Cheng, who beats him, and continues to harass and humiliate him at every opportunity due to the cultural differences as well his affections for Mei Ying.

During a severe beating by Cheng and his friends, Mr Han comes to the rescue, and Dre discovers that he’s really a Kung Fu master. Although they try the peaceful way to get the bullies to stop, it doesn’t work and instead Dre gets challenged to enter a Martial Arts tournament.

A scene from The Karate Kid 2010
Courtesy of IGN Movies

So begins Dre’s training in the art of Kung Fu in preparation for the tournament, his only chance to be able to walk with his head held up high and redeem some respect from those that bullied him.

Verdict

I’m a big fan of the Kung Fu genre, so it comes as no surprise that I loved this movie. You could see shades of the original Karate Kid in this movie; however with this one the locations are fantastic, and the Kung Fu training was excellent, and once the tournament came round, you really knew who you wanted to root for. Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith have done justice to the Karate Kid franchise, and I hope it spawns a sequel or two.

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