The new Karate Kid starring Jaden Smith, the son of Will and Jada Smith is not necessarily a remake, but a revision of a theme that is so much more powerful and creative than the original Karate Kid film that starred Ralph Macchio.The premise of the film is the same as the original, which revolves around a young boy who in response to being bullied trains in martial arts to defend himself. However, besides this premise the new Karate Kid charts new and exciting territory as far as storytelling. This film actually takes place in China, following the story of Dre who has to move to China because his mom’s job has been relocated. While traveling with Dre, we discover that this movie is more than a kid’s kung fu flick. This film explores Chinese culture, friendship, bullying, parental relationships, loss, love, redemption and oh yea…action packed martial arts action!
This film moved me emotionally, like no film has in quite some time. Jaden aka Dre played his emotional parts so well that I yearned to protect him from the bullies as they beat him senseless during his first day in China. I could feel his loneliness as he tried to fit into a foreign society, which raised my level of respect even further for people who come to our country to live and try to adapt to our ways. Jackie Chan who plays the maintenance man/martial arts master plays the role of a lifetime as far as I am concerned, and he definitely proved to me that he is not just a martial arts comedian. The caring that he shows for Dre seems genuine and his own personal demons, makes him a strong character in his own right.
Of course, this is a martial arts film and man oh man, does Dre put the original Karate Kid to shame. This boy must do martial arts for real because his stuff was legit! Jaden convinced me that he can handle business. This movie is a must see for kids because it deals with bullying and the fears that kids face, but it also shows how one boy deals with it.
Kameron loved the film, and he said we must definitely add it to our martial arts collection.
PS- I saw the Prince of Persia a couple of weeks ago. I am not even going to waste electronic character space with a full review.