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18 members have voted

  1. 1. Who would win in a fight?

    • Ralph Macchio as Daniel-san
      15
    • Jaden Smith as Shao Dre
      3
  2. 2. Who would really win in a fight?

    • John Kreese
      10
    • Master Li
      8


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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

Edited by areaseven

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They live in Detroit and the mother gets "transferred" to work in China.

I think at times Jaden's delivery is a little flat on his one liners but for the most part I think he did a great job.

I agree on the running time since this is more of a family film, I find it hard believing that little kids will have an easy time sitting through the whole movie.

The one thing that this version has over the original is that it's much more heartfelt. Daniel could come off as a whiny punk but when Dre complains that he hates being in China it's easier to feel bad for him. Probably given his age.

Edited by bigkid24

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My friend asked me why it was in China also. The real answer is the fact that they wanted to cast Jackie Chan so bad. You can have them remain in Detroit but then it wouldn't explain why he ran into someone that ended up teaching him King Fu instead. But if you make the location China, odds are a lot better that you won't be running into someone that'll teach you Karate instead.

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Will pass on this. Never a fan of the original movie and not a Jackie Chan fan either.

Graham

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On a more serious note, if they had to pick an "alternate" East Asian setting for this remake I would have picked South Korea, where instead of Karate, Kung-Fu, MMA, etc, ... our American hero learns to play Starcraft like a pro.

You must construct additional pylons.

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I forgot to mention that on the bright side, this movie is much better than The Karate Kid, Part III. I'm not even gonna bother comparing it to The Next Karate Kid, as I refuse to touch that with a ten-foot pole.

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On a more serious note, if they had to pick an "alternate" East Asian setting for this remake I would have picked South Korea, where instead of Karate, Kung-Fu, MMA, etc, ... our American hero learns to play Starcraft like a pro.

You must construct additional pylons.

:D:D:D

Who would be his sensei? The SlayerBoxer?!?!

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They may as well have called this movie "All Look Same" because the same mentality seems to be behind it.

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I haven't seen the movie yet. I'll probably go this weekend. It's my understanding that they try to tie in The Karate Kid title by having Jaden Smith's character know some karate before he goes to China. He tries to use it to fight, but the other kids beat him up anyway. They call him Karate Kid in the movie to make fun of him. It's a bit of a stretch IMO, but I guess they really wanted to use The Karate Kid title.

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I haven't seen the movie yet. I'll probably go this weekend. It's my understanding that they try to tie in The Karate Kid title by having Jaden Smith's character know some karate before he goes to China. He tries to use it to fight, but the other kids beat him up anyway. They call him Karate Kid in the movie to make fun of him. It's a bit of a stretch IMO, but I guess they really wanted to use The Karate Kid title.

:lol: yeah, that's a stretch. Since Jackie Chan seems to be such a bankable actor it seems like they could have had just as much success calling it "Jackie Chan's Legend of the Little Dragon" or something like that.

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They may as well have called this movie "All Look Same" because the same mentality seems to be behind it.

The Singapore / Malaysia localization of the movie will be modified to:

All Look Same Lah...

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I haven't seen the movie yet. I'll probably go this weekend. It's my understanding that they try to tie in The Karate Kid title by having Jaden Smith's character know some karate before he goes to China. He tries to use it to fight, but the other kids beat him up anyway. They call him Karate Kid in the movie to make fun of him. It's a bit of a stretch IMO, but I guess they really wanted to use The Karate Kid title.

Don't really remember that. He does try to learn stuff off the TV though. There's a part in the movie where his mom calls the martial art karate but Dre corrects her telling her it's not karate, it's kung fu.

Just so you guys know, during production, it was called Kung Fu Kid.

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Here's a classic video by the band No More Kings, directed by William Zabka, who played Johnny Lawrence in the original film. The video features the entire male cast from the first film except the late, great Pat Morita.

Edited by areaseven

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I saw this news Singapore. Some Chinese critcize "The Karate Kid", saying a "Black boy"(term qouted from the news) beating a Chinese kid is an insult to the Chinese. Then Chinese beating foreigners in all the past kungfu films weren't insultation to the foreigns?

I'm speechless.

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I saw this news Singapore. Some Chinese critcize "The Karate Kid", saying a "Black boy"(term qouted from the news) beating a Chinese kid is an insult to the Chinese. Then Chinese beating foreigners in all the past kungfu films weren't insultation to the foreigns?

I'm speechless.

Calling them easily insulted is an insult! J/K :p

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I saw this news Singapore. Some Chinese critcize "The Karate Kid", saying a "Black boy"(term qouted from the news) beating a Chinese kid is an insult to the Chinese. Then Chinese beating foreigners in all the past kungfu films weren't insultation to the foreigns?

I'm speechless.

Lol, being 75% Chinese I can attest to the truth-ness of this statement. Like I was trying to talk to my uncle about the world cup, and the first thing that came out of his mouth is that someone got mugged lol.

The problem with the older Chinese generation is that they love to go on and on about the awesomeness of Chinese culture, then they turn around and pull some ridiculous crap that makes the whole Chinese community look bad:

- Talking really really loud in public places

- Being the cheapest minority group (Indians will dispute this title)

- slurping soup

- Leave your unloaded supermarket cart in the middle of the road

- etc. (Just to name a few)

Edited by Ghost Train

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I'm surprised they didn't edit or ban the movie outright in China :p

On a more serious note, if they had to pick an "alternate" East Asian setting for this remake I would have picked South Korea, where instead of Karate, Kung-Fu, MMA, etc, ... our American hero learns to play Starcraft like a pro.

You must construct additional pylons.

Okay, I did laugh at this.

Edited by shiroikaze

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Okay boys... back to the movie... no more discussion about race, I'm about to sweep the leg here.

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I'm surprised they didn't edit or ban the movie outright in China :p

Why would they? After all, they did invest a lot on the film and allowed Hollywood to film a bunch of the country's scenic locations. Also, the movie is known there as The Kung Fu Kid.

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