Jackie Chan, Jaden Smith Are Kickin’ it in Remake of ‘The Karate Kid’

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CHICAGO – Despite any resistance that must have been felt in remaking the quasi-classic 1984 film “The Karate Kid,” veteran Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith put their best kicking feet forward and spin some new cloth out of the old material. In resetting the location and putting in some surreal modern touches, this remake mostly succeeds.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

Jaden Smith portrays Dre Parker, a fatherless kid from Detroit whose mother (Taraji P. Henson) is caught in the recession of the American auto industry and must relocate herself and Dre to another job in China. Dre is a fish of of water in the new land, and gets caught up in school politics when he becomes attracted to Meiying (Wenwen Han), which doesn’t sit right with a gang of school bullies. Dre finds himself targeted, and despite standing up to them is regularly beaten up.

Seeking a way to protect himself, Dre hears that his apartment building’s manager, Mr. Han (Jackie Chan), can teach him the mysterious self defense technique of Kung Fu. After initially resisting, Han agrees to instruct Dre after he saves him from another bully attack. There is a Kung Fu tournament coming up, and Han works out a deal for the bullies to stay away from Dre until the official battle.

Han and Dre begin training, and the methods that Han uses are unorthodox, but are part of the traditions of Chinese martial arts. As mentor and student grow closer, the beautiful landscape of China serves as an appropriate backdrop to the lessons both of them have to learn.

“The Karate Kid” opens everywhere June 11th. Featuring Jackie Chan, Jaden Smith, Taraji P. Henson and Wenwen Han, written by Christopher Murphey and directed by Harold Zwart. Rated “PG

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Karate Kid”

High Style in Asia: Jackie Chan as Han and Jaden Smith as Dre in 'The Karate Kid'
High Style in Asia: Jackie Chan as Han and Jaden Smith as Dre in ‘The Karate Kid’
Photo credit: Jasin Boland for © 2009 Columbia TriStar Marketing Group, Inc.

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Karate Kid”

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