Thursday, November 25, 2010

DVD--The Karate Kid

or: Little Smith's big movie.


One word to sum it up: Sloooooooow

Just a few months back, when there seemed to be a lack of good movies being released theatrically, The Karate Kid happened to be one of the best reviewed movies in the US Top 10. Well, it did have one of the higher Rotten Tomatoes ratings. I think all those loving critics must have been seeing a different movie. If anything, this modern day reboot needed the boot to try and get it going. The final twenty minutes or so pretty much could have been a movie by itself, without the need to go through boring back stories and a young love affair to get there.

12-year-old Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) could've been the most popular kid in Detroit, but his mother's (Taraji P. Henson) latest career move has landed him in China. Dre immediately falls for his classmate Mei Ying - and the feeling is mutual - but cultural differences make such a friendship impossible. Even worse, Dre's feelings make an enemy of the class bully, Cheng. In the land of kung fu, Dre knows only a little karate, and Cheng puts "the karate kid" on the floor with ease. With no friends in a strange land, Dre has nowhere to turn but maintenance man Mr. Han (Jackie Chan), who is secretly a master of kung fu. As Han teaches Dre that kung fu is not about punches and parries, but maturity and calm, Dre realizes that facing down the bullies will be the fight of his life.

For a supposed family movie, this is ultimately meddling and way too slow. It's rather large running time of 134 minutes certainly doesn't help its cause, as most of this time is spent trying to explain the paper thin characterizations and also trying to show us things we have seen thousands of times before: a kid who is out of his place and just wants to fit in. I haven't seen the original, but my mum, who has, said that this was definitely a disappointment. All I really wanted to see was the actually fighting. But that plotline doesn't come in until a fair way in to the movie. As I waited, the films petty distractions soon bored me to go and do something else. However, the ending was pretty cool, and somehow managed to make up for most of the lost time.

Jaden Smith is like a clone of his father, and his charismatic yet arrogant presence reminds us of the days of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. I couldn't help but feel like this was really just a Smith vehicle; Jaden in the lead role, both of his parents producing the film. Slap the Disney trademark on it and I feel cheated. This wasn't a family film at all. The way they try and manipulate you through Jackie Chan's character is a little absurd, and the love affair between Dre and Mei Ying was absolutely ludicrous. It's like it was trying to be older than it's age group, but doesn't fit to many other age groups as it is so boring. I hate calling any movie boring, but this one really was. Particularly because I didn't care for the characters, as Dre was a little too arrogant and Mr. Han was a little strange, and this was a mass characterization that focussed too much on that rather then all the exciting parts.


THE VERDICT: Cool ending, but unfortunately it hurts too much to get there.

4/10

5 comments:

  1. Good points. This movie focused too much on the main character's romantic relationship than the actual training. And the training wasn't that interesting either. "Take off your jacket" is nowhere near as good as "wax on\wax off." Weak and pointless remake.

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  2. Great post thanks for sharing such informative post.

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  3. The karate kid movie is excellent.So exciting movie.

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  4. Recently I have watched the movie "The Karate Kid". Personally I like this types of movies and I have a huge collection of this type of movies.

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  5. I've seen this movie several times and enjoyed each time with a new zest.I also have gifted a DVD of this movie to one of my friends who is learning for Best Karate in Connecticut . I feel it will inspire him.

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You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.

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