Movie Review: The Karate Kid (2010)

Twenty six years after the first "Karate Kid" movie, the new generation gets it own underdog martial arts movie. But will it make the same impact as the original?

The Karate Kid follows the plot of the original, but it refreshes it by making it more attuned to the current times. The movie is set in China, as the main characters Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) and his mom (Taraji P. Henson) move there to get away from their dire economic situation in Detriot. The film also seemed to "sell" China as it gave more than enough attention to the exotic locations in China, such as the Great Wall and the Forbidden City. But thank goodness Jackie Chan was in the film-- it made the whole training scenes believable.

My main beef with the movie is not the story (which was pretty decent) nor the acting (Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan worked well together), but the concept itself. Folks who know martial arts will know the difference between karate and kung fu and in the film, the kid hero learns and uses kung fu rather than karate! A very huge misnomer here. One more thing: fans of the original Karate Kid film will be left hanging as the homage easter eggs in the film are quite few.

That said, the film still merits some props for being a likable story of a Detroit kid finding his place in Beijing China. The 2010 edition of The Karate Kid may be doing kung fu kicks, but it still a solid movie.

Rating: 3/5