Jaden 'The Karate Kid' Smith kicks high and how!

RSS Author RSS     Views:N/A
Bookmark and Share          Republish

Taking up a job change, Sherry Paker (Taraji P. Henson), a single mother from Detroit, shifts to Beijing, China along with her 12 year old son Dre (Jaden Smith). Dre's freewheeling spirit wins him the friendship of Meiying (Wenwen Han) but also ends up inviting the wrath of Cheng (Zhenwei Wang), a senior who happens to be a kung-fu expert. Cheng and his boys keep bullying Dre who is finally saved by Mr. Han (Jackie Chan), a washed out maintenance man. Han meets Cheng's teacher, Master Li, and requests him to keep his boys off Dre. Master Li refuses to comply and challenges Dre to fight Cheng. Han accepts the challenge and tells him that Dre would fight Cheng in an upcoming competition. Han, a secret kung-fu master, starts training Dre and teaches him that kung fu is more than fighting. In the journey to the tournament Dre learns the most important chapter of his life.

Besides deftly updating Robert Mark Kamen's twenty-five year old story, Christopher Murphey's screenplay manages to make The Karate Kid a very relevant tale. While the basic plot remains the same the story shifts to China, which incidentally adds a nice touch to Dre's cultural alienation, and also this karate kid, in fact, learns Kung-Fu!

The pace of the film slackens every now and then but that could be because the script aims to be more than just Dre learning to kick around. The back story of Mr. Han turns out to be a decent parallel plotline and allows Jackie Chan some room to act in a film that otherwise is a complete Jaden Smith show. Also due to the setting of the film some where it ends up being an unabashed promotional film for China. Right from the onset the screenplay leaves no stone unturned in representing China as the place to be.

On the whole this version of The Karate Kid is unmistakably a star vehicle for Will Smith's son and that's what it exactly does right from the first shot. Jaden Smith occupies most of the screen time and so much so that Jackie Chan, almost a living legend, gets a second billing to young Jaden. Irrespective Jaden Smith does, however, have an alluring presence and lights up the screen every time he appears on it. The Ralph Macchino-Pat Morita chemistry is still fresh even after two decades and while one doesn't know about how the Smith-Chan teaming will be remembered in as many years but for now it works just fine. Barring the leads Zhenwei Wang makes Cheng very enjoyable.

At over two hours the film might seem long but it's definitely entertaining and considering that remakes don't really enjoy respect, this one's surely one of the better ones. Harald Zwart's remake might rely heavily on the original the remake nevertheless has enough to stand on its own and will pleasantly surprise.

Cast: Jaden Smith, Jackie Chan, Taraji P. Henson, Wenwen Han and Zhenwei Wang

Written by: Christopher Murphey based on a story by Robert Mark Kamen

Directed by: Harald Zwart

Author Bio

Author has been writing content for sites, articles, movie reviews, venue reviews and blogs for the last few years. The author now covers events in New Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai plus 19 other cities. Visit few more interesting venue review articles of the author Kanteerava Stadium and Prithvi Theatre

Report this article

Bookmark and Share

Ask a Question about this Article