I went to see the 2010 Karate Kid remake. I was not expecting much, but let me just give my rating then qualify that. 10/10.
I could find absolutely no flaws in this. They treated china and the chinese people with the utmost respect, Jaden Smith was GREAT. I think one of the big reasons he worked so well is he acts like a KID. We have had too many child actors who act like pint-size adults (*cough dakota fanning *cough*). Jaden behaves exactly as you’d expect a 12 year old to behave.
Jackie Chan was amazing as always. The training montage, a staple of fight films like Rocky, was done in an original and emotionally gripping manner that did not feel like recycled garbage. Everything seemed realistic, the motivations behind everyone’s actions was believable and communicated well. The directing was great, action amazing, overall quite a surprise since I was not expecting much from this at all. The film was actually moving. People were applauding and cheering in the theater during the final fight scene exactly as they would had they been there.
There could be a temptation to just saturate the film with action and have the story, if any, take a backseat to that. But instead the action is not even the point anymore. The story in this film is gripping and really pulls you in. Who hasn’t felt nervous on the first day at a new school? Who hasn’t been teased or bullied? Who hasn’t felt scared in a new phase in their life? Who hasn’t had tragedy and misfortune destroy their lives? I absolutely loved the film.
I am thinking of going to see it again. Director Herald Zwart is someone to watch. This is far superior to the 1984 classic, but pays homage in many clever ways to its predecessor. Now the stains of Karate Kid II and III are finally cleansed.
Bravo to everyone involved in this project!