The Karate Kid
The Prelude :
The movie’s promos did evoke a lot of anticipation from the Hollywood arena.. And so, on a lazy Sunday evening Jo and me, decided to watch the movie. The kid junta was very high in numbers and so, it was bound to be a crowded affair at the movies.
The movie is a retake on the older Karate Kid which was released in 1984 (review can be found here) .. The story remains the same, just that the location has shifted from California to China. Dre (Jaden Gill Smith) and his mother move to China due to single momma’s work constraints. The culture sync had just begun in the form of schooling when he begins to get comfortable with an English speaking Chinese girl (whats-her-name), much to the chagrin of Cheng, her family friend.
Cheng and his boys, begin bullying Dre and scare him away from whats-her-name. Dre gets thoroughly disappointed with China and blames his mother for ruining his life, when he finds the mission of his life in China. Kung Fu.
Dre figured that if he learnt Kung Fu, Cheng and the boys wouldn’t dare irritate him any further. His dreams however are shattered when he sees Cheng and the “rough” gang practising in the same academy in which he wanted to train. Unable to learn Kung Fu, Dre takes on the gang by himself only to be thrashed in front of the “maintenance man”. The man takes it upon him to save Dre and in turn, reveals himself to be a master of the art of Kung Fu. The maintenance man is Jackie Chan.
Dre identifies Chan as someone who could teach him Kung Fu. Mr. Han (Chan) is however, aloof in his own life and isnt interested in training Dre. Only upon showing, how Kung Fu was put to bad practice, and upon the challenge of the Kung Fu instructor, did Mr. Han decide to train Dre.
Then began Dre’s intensive yet UNIQUE training which enabled him to not only beat Cheng and the boys in the tournament, but also become a better person.
Karate Kid comes as a breath of fresh air among the highly mushy or the action packed movies that Hollywood has churned out in the past four months or so. Cheng’s aggression, whats-her-name’s innocence and Single Momma’s anguish were very well portrayed.
Jackie Chan as Mr. Han is mighty adorable. His indifference to the cause of his indifference were all portrayed in a very matured and heart rending fashion, something only the likes of Chan can perform. The facial expressions and ofcourse, the Kung Fu tactics were simply fantastic.
The crown however goes to Jaden Smith. The fact that the boy had enough talent was already portrayed in The Pursuit of Happyness. The kid however, has matured immensely and has probably already turned out to be a child idol by now.
Will Smith as the producer, has tapped the potentials of his son and Chan extremely well. What he has also done is that he has promoted China as a beautiful country, one with amazing landscapes and a not-as-populated environment as we imagine it to be. The photography helped in achieving this goal I believe.
With an good script (for a remake), perfect editing and wonderful cinematography, The Karate Kid is worth a watch.
My rating 4/5
Have fun 🙂