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Karate Kid
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The Karate Kid

3.7 21
Director: Harald Zwart

Cast: Jaden Smith, Jackie Chan, Taraji P. Henson


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When a 12-year-old from Detroit moves to China with his mother and incurs the wrath of the class bully at his new school, he makes an unlikely ally in the form of his aging maintenance man, a kung fu master who teaches him the secrets to self-defense. Upon arriving at his new school, Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) develops a powerful crush on


When a 12-year-old from Detroit moves to China with his mother and incurs the wrath of the class bully at his new school, he makes an unlikely ally in the form of his aging maintenance man, a kung fu master who teaches him the secrets to self-defense. Upon arriving at his new school, Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) develops a powerful crush on pretty classmate Mei Ying. The feeling is mutual, although the cultural divide between Dre and Mei Ying makes a friendship unlikely, and romance impossible. When cruel classmate and kung fu prodigy Cheng learns of Dre's feelings for Mei Ying, he harasses and humiliates the young outsider in front of the entire school. With no one to turn to for help, Dre confides his fears in kindly maintenance man Mr. Han (Jackie Chan), a kung fu master who knows that serenity and maturity -- not punches and power -- are the true keys to mastering the martial arts. As Dre prepares to face down his intimidating tormentor, he begins to realize that the real fight is just beginning.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
The original Karate Kid was an audience-pleasing sleeper that built on word of mouth to become, surprisingly, the fifth biggest hit of 1984. The 2010 remake might become an even bigger smash, but it has just a fraction of the smarts and subtlety that made the original a generational classic. Preteen Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) moves from to Detroit to China with his mother (Taraji P. Henson) after she scores a new job. He feels out of place in his new surroundings, a situation that spirals downward when bully Cheng beats him up for talking to a girl. Dre lives under constant threat of attack until one day when, just before yet another beating, the apartment complex's handyman, Mr. Han (Jackie Chan), appears and rescues him. Turns out Han is a martial-arts expert, and he agrees to train Dre for a kung fu tournament where he can face off against Cheng, as well as against all the other members of the evil school where Cheng studies martial arts. One of the best features about the movie is the setting. With the help of talented cinematographer Roger Pratt (who regularly collaborates with Terry Gilliam), director Harald Zwart makes day-to-day life in China both exotic and commonplace -- a trick very few American films have ever pulled off. The filmmakers don't treat China like a museum, but a fully functional community where real people live, play, eat, work, and go to school every day. This sense of place helps keep the film from falling apart during a nearly hour-long setup that elongates Dre's suffering to a point where we almost lose patience with him. Will Smith became a worldwide superstar for a reason -- very few performers can win over audiences with such seeming effortlessness as the artist formally known as The Fresh Prince. And while his son Jaden gives a fine performance here -- it's obvious he's absorbed tons from watching his dad -- he doesn't yet possess the intangible quality that makes an actor larger than life. He's got attitude where his dad has charisma. His lack of star power is compounded by the presence of Jackie Chan, a genuine movie star. When Han finally reveals his kung-fu knowledge, dispatching the gang of bullies with such grace and skill that he never actually punches any of them, it's the highlight of the film -- a mix of action, dance, and physical comedy that hammers home why Chan deserves comparisons to Bruce Lee, Gene Kelly, and Buster Keaton. It's Chan that captures our heart, instilling banal lines about controlling the life force in order to properly understand kung fu with fresh authority. Best of all, he's generous -- his young co-star comes off better playing scenes with him than he does with anyone else in the cast. As good as Chan is, the movie can't overcome the fact that the emotional stakes in the film seem low because the main character is so young. The puppy love between Dre and the young girl -- a story element the movie spends a great deal of time on -- has far less weight than a relationship between teens that have driver's licenses. On top of that, while the bad kid's kung-fu skills would be intimidating to someone his age, it's nearly comical to any adult; at some point you do ask yourself why the principal, who seems to understand Cheng is a little snot, isn't willing to step in and stop the little brat. The movie will work for patient kids, who might enjoy seeing so much of a foreign country, but tykes who are in it for the action have to wait an awful long time to get to the slam-bang finale where a giant video monitor offers up instant replays of all the big kicks, flips, and punches for anyone too young or dumb to understand what's going on in the ring the first time they see it. The original Karate Kid still has a following because it works no matter how old you are; that's part of the reason Hollywood would try to remake it in the first place. And while little ones may love this version, they're going to outgrow it.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Chinese lessons; Justin Bieber music video featuring Jaden Smith; The making of the Karate Kid; Go on set with Jackie Chan; Train with Jaden Smith; Explore China with an interactive map

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jaden Smith Dre Parker
Jackie Chan Mr. Han
Taraji P. Henson Sherry Parker
Wenwen Han Meiying
Rongguang Yu Master Li
Zhensu Wu Meiying's Dad
Zhiheng Wang Meiying's Mom
Zhenwei Wang Cheng
Jared Minns Dre's Detroit Friend
Shijia Lü Liang
Yi Zhao Zhuang
Bo Zhang Song
Luke Carberry Harry
Cameron Hillman Mark
Ghye Samuel Brown Oz
Rocky Shi Ur Dang
Wang Ji Mrs. Po
Harry Van Gorkum Music Instructor
Tess Liu History Teacher
Xinhua Guo Tournament Doctor
Jijun Zhai Mat Referee 4
Shun Li Mat 5 Referee
Tao Ji Announcer
Chen Jing Man on Plane Speaking Chinese
Wentai Liu Dude From Detroit
Geliang Liang Ping Pong Man
Xu Ming Bao

Technical Credits
Harald Zwart Director
Poping Auyeung Casting
Second Chan Art Director
Jinping Chen Makeup
Susan Ekins Executive Producer
Susan Elkins Executive Producer
Han Feng Costumes/Costume Designer
James Horner Score Composer
Robert Mark Kamen Original Story
James Lassiter Producer
Wai-Kit Lau Special Effects Supervisor
Pilar McCurry Musical Direction/Supervision
Judy Murdock Makeup
Christopher Murphey Screenwriter
Joel Negron Editor
Han San Ping Executive Producer
Roger Pratt Cinematographer
Marty Eli Schwartz Asst. Director
François Séguin Production Designer
Will Smith Producer
Jada Pinkett Smith Producer
Solon So Co-producer
Ken Stovitz Producer
Zoe Thompson Casting
Jerry Weintraub Producer
Dany Wolf Executive Producer
Yang Xiaohai Makeup
Jiajun Xu Makeup
Yang Zhanjia Set Decoration/Design
Xiaofeng Zhen Production Manager


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The Karate Kid 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nothing beats the original, but this is a good family movie. Similar to the original with several different twists.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
New form, same Spirit Fans of the original weren't expecting this to as good. We were wrong. This the original reincarnated. All the value of the original is honored here. Same spirit, new form.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yellowenglish More than 1 year ago
Do you love the fast pace world of karate? If you do then this movie is for you. This movie is the best because of the cast the back ground music. This movie is the remake of the original Karate Kid. The cast is made up of a group of people that are perfect for the roles they play. The sitting is in China and the present day which is very fresh. The background music is wonderful because, it consists of a great hit Justin Beiber song and many other catchy. The cast is great. Jackie Chan is the guy who teaches Jaden (Dray) karat. It is a really good casting. They are really good actors. They act everything like it is suppose to be. They make the movie well actually they are the movie. My favorite is Jaden Smith because, there is a part the Dray gets mad at his mom because, she is all, like, this ice cream is sooo good and he is all like mom shut up. She than says what¿s wrong and he says u China I hate it here and you don¿t care. He really captured the moment. His face was awful like sad looking. He cried and everything. He is great. Well they are both really good but, Jaden is better. It takes place in Beijing China. Well there is this park across from where Jaden lives. It is really pretty. There¿s a basketball quart and exercise bike. There¿s also a ping pong table and these old people beat Dray. There is a girl that he likes and he embarrasses his self in front of her. There is benches and trees and swing and more stuff. The music is great. Well at the end of the movie there is a song that Justin Beiber. It features Jaden Smith. He raps in it. That¿s the only reason I like that song. Justin Bieber is a little weirdo. The song in basically saying yeah Jaden¿s bully may be older than him and stronger than him but he¿s not singing with Justin Bieber. Well the movie is great. The actors put everything in place. The songs tell the movie perfectly. This is one of my favorite movies. My favorite part is when he¿s does a back flip and kicks his bully in the face and wins the champion ship.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Incredible Movie. Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan both do an incredible job at portraying their characters. It shows you how horrible bullying can be. The areas in China where the movie was filmed are beautiful. Very inspiring movie to me.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this movie is lame and boring and totally unorginial!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i hated this movie because of will smith and his idiot son jaden smith who can not act to save his own life will smith can not act to save his own life either this movie is a complete waste of time and money!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
DarkLotusICP4life More than 1 year ago
utterly beyond words terrible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!