The Karate Kid

The Karate Kid

In Columbia Pictures’ The Karate Kid, 12-year-old Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) could’ve been the most popular kid in Detroit, but his mother’s (Taraji P. Henson) latest career move has landed him in China. Dre immediately falls for his classmate Mei Ying - and the feeling is mutual - but cultural differences make such a friendship impossible. Even worse, Dre’s feelings make an enemy of the class bully, Cheng. In the land of kung fu, Dre knows only a little karate, and Cheng puts “the karate kid” on the floor with ease. With no friends in a strange land, Dre has nowhere to turn but maintenance man Mr. Han (Jackie Chan), who is secretly a master of kung fu. As Han teaches Dre that kung fu is not about punches and parries, but maturity and calm, Dre realizes that facing down the bullies will be the fight of his life.--©Official Site 2.7 out of 5 based on 16 reviews
The Karate Kid

Omniscore:

Certificate
Genre Family / Children, Action / Adventure
Director Harald Zwart
Cast Jackie Chan, Taraji P. Henson Jaden Smith
Studio Sony Pictures UK
Release Date July 2010
Running Time 142 mins
 

In Columbia Pictures’ The Karate Kid, 12-year-old Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) could’ve been the most popular kid in Detroit, but his mother’s (Taraji P. Henson) latest career move has landed him in China. Dre immediately falls for his classmate Mei Ying - and the feeling is mutual - but cultural differences make such a friendship impossible. Even worse, Dre’s feelings make an enemy of the class bully, Cheng. In the land of kung fu, Dre knows only a little karate, and Cheng puts “the karate kid” on the floor with ease. With no friends in a strange land, Dre has nowhere to turn but maintenance man Mr. Han (Jackie Chan), who is secretly a master of kung fu. As Han teaches Dre that kung fu is not about punches and parries, but maturity and calm, Dre realizes that facing down the bullies will be the fight of his life.--©Official Site

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Reviews

The Los Angeles Times

Bertsy Sharkey

A kung fu kick of a film that hits more than it misses, with its fresh prince of Beijing in Jaden Smith, its scene-stealing grand master flash, Jackie Chan, and a shiny-happy China travelogue thrown in for good measure, or tax incentives, one of the two.

11/06/2010

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The New York Times

A. O. Scott

The relocation turns out to make a big difference. “The Karate Kid” is very long ( 2 hours 12 minutes), dramatically thin and unevenly acted, but it was filmed almost entirely in China, mostly Beijing, and it has an unexotic, lived-in sense of place unusual in current Hollywood movies.

11/06/2010

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The Guardian

Steve Rose

You could argue that this is all predictable kids' stuff, but it works hard to earn its emotional payoff, and, let's face it, the story is no more ridiculous than Rocky.

28/07/2010

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Empire Magazine

James White

Smith might be the focus, but while he’s got the charisma and the moves, it’s Chan who makes it punch above its weight. Nice scenery too.

01/08/2010

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The Guardian

Andrew Pulver

...a wonderfully winning performance by Jaden Smith as the kid, one Dre Parker. To possess such heavy-lidded charm at the age of 11 is almost miraculous. Admittedly, he's the son of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett, so screen charisma may be in the genes (and I doubt he had much trouble getting an agent), but Smith Jr is really a natural. I don't think anyone's played a likable, wise-ass teen as well as this since Edward Furlong in Terminator 2.

18/06/2010

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The Times

Wendy Ide

It’s corny, but hey, it works.

30/07/2010

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The Sunday Times

Edward Porter

This drift towards some sort of junior-school Fight Club is kept within acceptable limits, and the film generally provides decent entertainment for children. Its main weakness is that it drags in places and ends up too long.

01/08/2010

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Total Film

Mark Samuels

Less a re-imagining of a popular franchise than a live-action cousin to Kung Fu Panda, this overlong but entertaining guilty pleasure thrives on the charisma of its two leads.

30/06/2010

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Variety

Justin Chang

Often flatly formulaic but ingratiating enough to lure family audiences.

03/06/2010

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The Daily Telegraph

Sukhdev Sandhu

The basic narrative arc is as dynamic and elemental as it always was. The chase scenes through hutongs are exhilarating, the kung fu battles more than competently choreographed, and Chan, though he’s a little creaky these days, is as effortlessly charming as he’s always been. There’s life in this franchise yet.

29/07/2010

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The Observer

Philip French

The new film is even longer than the original and far more violent. Jaden Smith (whose movie-star parents are the film's co-producers) is less likeable than Ralph Macchio, and Chan has the pawky humour but lacks the gravitas (or the significant backstory) of Pat Morita in the 1994 version.

01/08/2010

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The Independent

Anthony Quinn

The deadly pace and the unappealing brattishness of Smith Jnr are mildly offset by the film's surprise positioning of China itself front and centre: forget the tyrannical oppression and feel the cultural history in its glimpses of the Great Wall, the Forbidden City and the lively new architecture of Beijing... What saves the film is another great Oriental institution by the name of Jackie Chan.

30/07/2010

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The Independent on Sunday

Nicholas Barber

A number of questions. Why is the film called The Karate Kid when it's all about kung fu? And what job could Dre's mother have had in a Detroit car factory that led to her being transferred to China? Alas, the film can't find room to answer these questions in its 140-minute running time, nor can it fit in any surprises, any obstacles in Dre's path, or any depth to the characters.

01/08/2010

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The Evening Standard

Derek Malcolm

Smith is tiny and slight with a mournful little face: he has presence but no great range. As for Chan, this is his most dignified Hollywood role yet, but one that barely showcases his balletic prowess. The script is a lumbering, ponderous thing.

30/07/2010

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The Financial Times

Nigel Andrews

...a waste of time and space, although Jaden Smith (son of Will) has star quality at 12.

28/07/2010

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Time Out

Tom Huddleston

But the makers have made one giant misstep, and it sinks the film: in reducing their hero from streetwise teen Daniel-san to gobby 12-year-old Dre (Jaden Smith), they’ve completely altered the tone of the piece, changing it from a goofy, uplifting coming-of-age drama into a distressing, queasy tale of bullying and retribution.

29/07/2010

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