: Loosely based on the 1984 original
, Jaden Smith
is Dre Parker, a 12-year-old from Detroit who moves to Beijing because of his mother's (Taraji P. Henson
) job. Not fitting in with the kids in Beijing and being harassed by bullies, Dre takes up karate, taught by Mr. Han (Jackie Chan)
: Remakes are risky territory. Very few films get it right. Sometimes the era of that particular film is gone no matter how good the script. But, judging by the $56 million the flick brought in opening weekend, The Karate Kid
overcame the remake curse.
While the 2010 version doesn't have the heart of the original, this is a joyride flick that establishes Jaden Smith as a star in his own right. Expect several sequels, however, beware; the original Karate Kid
was a box office and pop culture success that garnered an Oscar nod for Pat Morita, while the Karate Kids
that followed were commercial and critical bombs.
Directed by Harald Zwart
and produced by Will and Jada Smith
, this is a well-executed film. Furthermore, the two hours and 40 minutes seemed to fly by due to the stellar action sequences. Jaden Smith clearly gave it his all and has now created a franchise that can go into his late teens.
At times, the violence was a little extreme. To see children broken and bloody was unnerving. The original had characters in the last couple years of high school; while in this version the kids haven't even reached high school. Nonetheless, this is all movie-making magic.
The Karate Kid
is a crowd-pleasing family film that has already proven successful. Let's see what the sequels hold.
The Karate Kid
is in theaters now.