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The Kung Fu Kid Overbrook Entertainment/JW Productions/China Film Group/Columbia Pictures, 2010 Directed by Harald Zwart (Agent Cody Banks, The Pink Panther 2) Written by Robert Mark Kamen (The Karate Kid I-III, The Transporter trilogy) Running Time: 140 minutes Rated PG for martial arts violence. (Author's Note: I refuse to call this film The Karate Kid, as it has absolutely nothing to do with karate.) Cast Jaden Smith (Christopher Jr. in The Pursuit of Happyness) as "Shao Dre" Parker Jackie Chan (like nobody here knows who he is...) as Mr. Han Taraji P. Henson (Shug in Hustle & Flow, Queenie in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) as Sherry Parker Wen Wen Han as Mei Ying Zhenwei Wang as Cheng Yu Rongguang (Han De in Three Kingdoms, Po Kwang in My Father is a Hero) as Master Li Michelle Yeoh (like nobody here knows who she is...) as the Cobra Woman Synopsis Dre Parker and his mother move from Detroit, MI, to Beijing, China, to start a new life. There, Dre falls in love with a local girl named Mei Ying, but quickly becomes a victim of the local bully Cheng, who studies Master Li's merciless kung fu style. One day, when Cheng and his gang are about to kill Dre at his apartment, Dre is saved by Mr. Han, the maintenance man. Han has Master Li tell his students to leave Dre alone, but at the same time, he enters Dre in an upcoming kung fu tournament. And thus, until the day of the tournament, Han teaches Dre the ways of kung fu. Lowdown If this all sounds very familiar, it's a complete remake of the 1984 classic The Karate Kid - only with different characters and settings. Just replace "Cobra-kai" with "Red Dragons" and "wax-on, wax-off" with "jacket on, jacket off". Master Li's lines are, word-for-word, exactly the same as those of John Kreese; only that they're in Chinese. Aside from the martial arts, the only real difference is the main character. Jaden Smith's role of "Shao Dre" Parker has the same premise as that of Daniel Larusso in the original - he gets bullied, he hates where he's at, and he works hard to prove himself in the end. However, that's where the similarities end. Being the son of Will Smith, Jaden displays all of his father's on-screen mannerisms and antics all over this film to the point that you won't be able to take this film seriously. Jackie Chan is always entertaining in every movie he stars in (even the crappy films like Disney's Around the World in 80 Days and The Tuxedo), and his performance as Mr. Han is no exception. There really is no comparing between Mr. Han and the original's Mr. Miyagi, as both of those roles were played by exceptionally legendary actors. There are just two major problems with this film. The first is its title. I have no problem with the film using the same script, but calling it The Karate Kid is just blasphemy, as there's absolutely no karate in this film. Another problem is its running time. The training sequences and fight scenes are great, but the movie can do without some of these other character scenes. And this movie tries too hard to sell itself as a promotional tool for tourism in China, using the Great Wall and other key tourist attractions in the middle of the film. Despite the shortcomings, this film is surprisingly entertaining for the whole family. Still, it's always better to stick with the original. Rating: B- Links Official Site References The Internet Movie Database