The Karate Kid - Harald Zwart
Another remake for the summer blockbuster season where Hollywood churns out the best films of the year with most profit as the kids are out on their summer holidays, the parents are going on holiday to lovely places and having time off work. And for 2010, it’s The Karate Kid that has been remade with a bigger budget and grander scale to hopefully gain a new audience as well as charm the fans of the old Karate Kid films. I’m a big fan of the original Karate Kid film with Daniel La Russo fighting against the evil Cobra Kai fighting crew with the evil master John Kreese who wants blood. It’s a classic teenager film with some iconic scenes and phrases that will never die in film history, and the man who makes the film is Mr. Miyagi played by the legendary Pat Morita and looking at the martial arts history, there aren’t many people who would be right to take over the mantle from him, but one of the names that will always pop up is the awesome and historic master of martial arts and action films, the one, the only, Jackie Chan. The dude is a powerhouse in fight sequences and his whole career features some of the best ever seen and i doubt they will be beaten. But with this and Chan’s recent turns in becoming a better actor, would this be enough to either relive the past or upgrade for the better in the future? And i was hoping that Chan would do a bit of both, fusing the two together to recreate something familiar but at the same time new and I’m glad to say he does that with a whole heap of charisma and talent.
The story is adapted slightly to base it itself in today’s society where the kid moves to Beijing to start a new life with his mother and he soon meets the maintenance man of the building he lives at, Mr. Han. Mr. Han helps Dre Parker, the 12 year old kid played by the upcoming and quite likeable Jaden Smith (son of William Smith) after he is bullied outside his house and in his new school which seemingly started with Dre showing some of his dance moves to a local girl who takes a liking to him. From there, random events happen where Dre is beaten up and gets further upset about the situation until Mr. Han teaches him some moves to stop the bullies. This only about an hour in so far and the build up for Dre to become the master of kung fu he is at the end is a great pay-off, you can defiantly see the struggle and pain of training. It’s like a 45 minute long montage which is just ridiculous.
And before i give the score, a couple of things to point out, the ending is very good with the final move from Dre fucking hilarious and insane and something that defiantly trumps the crane kick from the original, which i was hoping they wouldn’t use. Also you’ll find in many scenes that Dre will give a look that is ridiculously similar to his father, like uncanny in how this kid acts and portrays himself on screen, once you see the film, you’ll know what I’m talking about. A decent remake with good fight sequences but just lacking the original spirit and the age gap isn’t a good thing.