KARATE KID 2010 Movie Review. KUNG FU FIGHTING in CHINA?
KARATE KID 2010 PRESS PREVIEW
For a majority of the die-hard armchair critics, especially those from Greater China, THE KARATE KID is bound to create some major upsets.
For one, this isn’t a film on KARATE and no, it’s not happening in JAPAN.
Rather, the setting is in BEIJING and it’s all about the KUNG FU martial arts.
So where is the focus?
THE KARATE KID is, in fact, a remake and borrows heavily from the original, very successful 1984 classic that starred RALPH MACCHIO and PAT MORITA (RIP) about a bullied youth who learnt to fight back his bullies with the help of an eccentric mentor. It was then about KARATE.
This time around, it’s JADEN SMITH who steps into the shoes of Ralph Macchio with JACKIE CHAN playing the Pat Morita’s role to teach the disciplines of the KUNG FU martial arts to the whizz kid.
Isn’t it great to have powerful parents such as WILL SMITH and JADA PINKETH SMITH as producers who bought the rights to refashion THE KARATE KID film as a star vehicle for their son JADEN SMITH?
Long live nepotism!
To bridge geographical conflicts, the producers are naming the feature as:
THE KARATE KID in USA and certain parts of ASIA.
THE BEST KID in JAPAN
THE KUNG FU KID in CHINA
THE KARATE KID provides wholesome family entertainment for Jackie Chan’s and martial arts fans, a far cry from the current deluge of 3D and animation offerings.
DRE (JADEN SMITH) is a much sought after kid in his district of Detroit. His confidence takes a beating when his single mother is relocating to BEIJING in the course of work.
In CHINA, DRE has an eye for pretty school student MEI YING but his attempts at friendship are thwarted by big bully CHENG and his fellow cronies who attempt to make his new life unbearable for him.
He learns KUNG FU from MR. HAN, a building maintenance man who takes him under his wings in the hope of getting him in shape for an upcoming martial arts tournament.
MR. HAN is a man of staunch principles. His way of KUNG FU is all about self-defense and not the art of fierce punches and parries.
He imparts the practice of focus, obedience, inner strength and in doing so, this East-versus-West barrier is lifted as the film’s sincerity and poignance paves the way over gaps in plausibility and logic.
JACKIE CHAN is memorable as MR. HAN, and could be his best acting role in Hollywood to date.
JADEN SMITH may be pint-sized for his age, but he is a cutie who delivers the chops!
We are also treated to colorful Chinese backdrops of rural villages, temples, the scenic Wudang Mountains and the unmistakable Great Wall.
And JACKIE CHAN is didactically inspiring when he impresses with his deliverance of Buddhist aphorisms, always with warmth and humor.
It’s like telling us that we are so used to seeing external training that we forget inner training, the training of ourselves.
We like to train other people and forget to train ourselves.
We tend to take it for granted that we are always right, and others are in the wrong.
Kudos must be accorded to film director HAROLD ZWART for this 2 and half hours of family action drama that stays close to the principles of KUNG FU.
Not easy for a Hollywood director to empowers the “ASIAN” mind, but he does it with aplomb where many failed to tread.