The Karate Kid (2010)

Life Can Knock Us Down, But We Can Choose To Get Back Up

Surprisingly better than you might think. I know by now, many film critics have slandered this film for it's obvious misuse of wording in it's title. Where instead of learning the art of Karate, the kid learns Kung Fu. Both a form of martial arts, but neither are same. Rather than be one of those film critics that slander the misuse of it's title, I'll leave that alone for now. Besides, many film critics have already brought it up excessively as it is, so I doubt seriously I could bring up anything more to add about that. As I think the act itself speaks volumes about the film already. Thus, it's not worth mentioning.

However, what I am going to over is the film itself, and how it holds up to the original story. For those that don't know, the original "Karate Kid" movie was about a young man named Daniel Larusso, who moves to a new neighborhood, and falls in love with a girl. The bad part? A bunch of local bullies decide to pick on Danny because he's messing with their leader's alleged girl. Or at least he claims, as the girl seems to be more interested in Danny. Needless to say, these bullies, who are trained in the arts of Karate, continue to harass Danny almost to the point where he feels confused and victimized. That is until he meets an unlikely instructor in Mr. Miyagi, who not only teaches him Karate, but he teaches him many lessons in life as well. Little things like choices we choose to make in life, and standing up for ourselves whenever we're afraid. Some of you maybe wondering why am I bringing up the original's story, but please hear me out, as I do plan on making a very good point about this.

In this new interpretation of the story, the remake is about an urban youth named Dre Parker (Jaden Smith), who moves to China with his mom, after she got a new job there. At first, things seem to be going okay for the kid, as he immediately makes a new friend when he arrives. Plus, he even meets a very charming girl by the name of Meiying, who he falls for almost immediately. Only one problem. A local Kung Fu skilled bully by the name of Cheng (Zhenwei Wang) likes her too, so him and his buddies decide to pick on Dre. Making his life an utter living h***, as he can't help but feel victimized and confused by this whole ordeal. That is until he meets an unlikely mentor by the name of Mr. Han (Jackie Chan), who not only teaches Dre Kung Fu, but he teaches him many lessons about life as well. Little things like choices, and standing up for ourselves whenever we're afraid. Yes, I know this is supposed to be a remake, so it'll follow the same plot structure almost exactly the same as the original. However, I'm about to make a very good point about this soon.

For those who just read both the plot synopsis for the remake and the original, I do have a few words I would like to say before delving into my review. Although some maybe upset by the fact that this should have been titled "The Kung Fu Kid" as he doesn't learn Karate in this film at all, nor does anyone in this movie for that matter. However, I always felt the original story of "The Karate Kid" wasn't just simply about a kid that learns karate and competes in a tournament, so he can fight some bullies. Anyone who says that clearly missed the point of the original film. No, the original was about so much more than that. The original film was about a poor victimized youth, who felt helpless as he was being bullied. Then meets an unlikely mentor that teaches him not only many lessons about life, but he learns how to find the inner courage to stand up for himself. That to me was always the main focal point of "The Karate Kid." Therefore, who cares if the kid learns Kung Fu, Karate, Jujitsu or whatever, as that's nothing more than a minor technicality. As that's not important when in terms of the heart of the original story. No, any true "Karate Kid" fan will tell you that the real heart of the story is about a kid that chooses to finally stand up for himself with help from an unlikely teacher, who uses very unorthodox methods that seem crazy but are actually quite brilliant and unique. That to me was always the main heart of the story. Not the martial arts part.

Sure, the Chinese setting along with having the main protagonist train within a Shoalin Monk temple added to the authenticity of the film. Breathing new life into the story despite it's lack of originality, as this film pretty much follows the original scene by scene. Thus, causing this film to be completely predictable (especially if you've seen the original, then you'll know how this ends). However, that doesn't necessarily ruin the film though, as the film plays true to the heart of the story quite well.

Normally, I never try to allow the emotional factor of a movie to play any kind of factor, when reviewing films. Simply because there are a lot of films that use the emotional factor to try and distract from a horrendously bad script like "Why Did I Get Married Too?", for instance. However, this film almost got to me as Mr. Han's words, "Life can knock us down, but we can choose to get back up." Those words alone literally filled my heart with not only nostalgia from the original series, but it filled my heart almost full of joy just thinking how true that statement is.

Does this film do excellent recapturing the heart of the original? Yes, it does. Is it original? Certainly not. However, as Ralph Machio was even quoted as saying, "It's a beautiful story, and it's one of the few that can still stand that test of time." Quite frankly, I have to say I agree. "The Karate Kid" is a great story. A wonderful story about a young boy who finds the courage to stand up for himself with help from an unlikely teacher. It's a timeless story that many of us can learn a lot from.

Sure, you can whine and groan about the kid not learning karate, but then you'd be missing the whole point of the story. The focal point was never what form of martial arts this kid learns, but rather it was about a young man's journey in life and standing up in the face of adversity. That is truly what the original and this new remake are about.

Overall, this film may not be necessarily the best remake out there, nor should it be. However, it's certainly a lot better than people give it credit for. As the main protagonist learns so much not only about himself, but about life in general. How we all must have the inner strength to survive whatever obstacles that stand in our way. Now that is a lesson worth learning about. A definite must see for the entire family in my book.

Remake Karate Kid Trailer

Original Karate Kid Trailer

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Comments 18 comments

geraldinegerongay profile image

geraldinegerongay 6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

I haven't watched this movie yet. My friends said they enjoyed watching this movie.


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 6 years ago Author

yeah,its a lot better than i thought it would be. i read a few reviews by some film critics about it, that said it wasn't that good. however, i was pleasantly surprised to see how wrong they were, as it truly is a moving story.


girlincape profile image

girlincape 6 years ago from California

I saw it and I didn't really feel like it was good or bad, just sort of average. I got bored because I've seen the same story over and over. I enjoyed the performances of Jackie Chan and the kid who plays Cheng a lot, though.


mega1 profile image

mega1 6 years ago

I have been trying to decide whether to see it, you helped me decide to give it a view. Not really too many movies out there I really have to see. So when I'm in the mood for nostalgia and all that I'll go see this one.

But, hey, you've been kinda quiet lately. Hope everything is going well with you and you just haven't had time to be silly with us in the forums.


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 6 years ago Author

@girlincape

I guess to each their own then. Yeah, I will agree with you that the story is kind of a straight rip off of the original. However, it's still a beautiful story though. Although Jackie Chan is no Pat Morita, but he does do a great job in this movie.

@mega1

Thanks for stopping by mega. I'm glad i was able to help you decide whether or not to see this film. I'm sorry I haven't been in the forums lately. I just been kind of overwhelmed with a lot of things.

I just started working at another job selling suits for a living, so I've been busy working two part time jobs lately. Plus, I just put my dog to sleep last weekend, so I've been kind of bummed out about it. That's why I haven't been really keeping as up to date on movie reviews as I usually try to. Let alone joke around in forums.

Hopefully, one of these days I'll catch you, so we can catch up sometime. However, I can't say when right now. Sorry about that. I do miss talking to you and everyone else in forums, and I hope I'll see you guys again soon.

By the way, thanks for putting me as the winner of your wackiest hubber contest. I really do appreciate that, and tell GlassSpider, I said thanks to her as well. Anyway, you take care of yourself, and I hope you have a great holiday this weekend.


mightywarrior profile image

mightywarrior 6 years ago

i like the original karate kid movie(1984), the sequel seemed to be too slow in its first half but as the movie prolonged it picked up its pace.Specially the last fifteen minutes were awesome.


kaltopsyd profile image

kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

Great, clear photos and synopsis. I loved the remake so much that I want to see it over and over.


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 6 years ago Author

@mightywarrior

that's cool. well im glad to hear you liked the first two films then. hopefully, when you see the remake, you'll like it just as much. anyway, thanks for stopping by. :)

@kaltopsyd

Thanks. I appreciate that, as I do try to always make these hubs look as good as I possibly can. Thanks. I'm glad you liked reading it. And I agree with you, this movie was a lot better than most people made it out to be. At first, I thought it was going to suck, but it's actually a lot better than what most critics say about it for sure. anyway, thanks again for stopping by.


HIShubs profile image

HIShubs 6 years ago from MManila, Philippines

Wow! Very inspiring! I remember my own youth when I was starting out in martial arts. I could kick as high, or even higher, and real fast! Martial arts imparts a disciplined and quiet culture where you're able to discern life's deeper meanings.


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 6 years ago Author

Thanks HIShubs. I'm glad you liked my review, and I'm glad to hear your one of the few who was fortunate enough to have something like Martial Arts affect your life in such a positive light. As I'm sure it must've given you a lot of great experiences and memories from doing it. :)


karate kid 6 years ago

Jaden smith and the chinese girl make a great pair in the movie. The movie is great on the whole, but they should have come up with a better story instead of a remake. I just loved it when Jackie chan said,

"Life will knock us down, but we can choose whether or not to stand back up."


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 6 years ago Author

I don't disagree, but isn't that kind of the point of a remake? You know, to tell the same story in a different way to reintroduce it to audiences again after so many years? However, I do agree with you about Jackie Chan, Jaden Smith and the chinese girl in this movie. They were awesome. Anyways, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us Karate Kid, and I appreciate you stopping by. :)


msz.jaden smith12 6 years ago

thank god it's a w0nderful m0vie!!!!!!!!!!


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 6 years ago Author

Your right, it's a great movie. Thanks for agreeing with me Mrs. Smith, and for stopping by. :)


evvy_09 profile image

evvy_09 5 years ago from Athens, AL

I love both movies. I think the new version pays homage to the original without ever being quite the same. Certain scenes will be so similar and then take a twist (such as the fly and chopstick scene or the one Mr. Han is waxing his car) so I think the movie is more like a remix instead of a true remake.

As for the title, the word karate has sort of become a generic term some people use for all martial arts.

And thanks for following me again, it means much to me that you take the time to refollow :)


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 5 years ago Author

Yeah, sorry about that. When I editing my preference list, I accidentally unfollowed you by mistake. I apologize that. I promise it won't happen again. Anyways, I think you make a good point about the movie, as it does pay homage a lot to the original; while adding some it's own twists to some of the classic scenes as you said.

I also agree with you about the term, "Karate." I just brought it up because you won't believe how many film critics bashed the hell out of the remake, saying it's misleading. Personally, I don't know what the big deal was. Sure, you can bash a movie because the kid ends up learning Kung Fu instead of Karate, but I think you'd miss the whole point of the story if you just focused on that one aspect. However, that's just me anyways. lol.

I appreciate you stopping by, and sharing some of your thoughts with us. :)


trusouldj profile image

trusouldj 3 years ago from Indiana

I thought that it was a great movie; beautifully shot. But I we as upset when the title character used unnecessary profanity in one scene. This is why I end up editing down movies for my son when they come on cable, recording them on to VHS. I had to take back some DC Universe movies I gave him for Christmas due to profanity and excessive violence. Yeah I'm sure criminals like Lex Luthor curse, but does that mean I want my kid to hear it? No. Yet these movies are marketing to kids. So we'll just stick to the television version of these characters.


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 3 years ago Author

Wow, sorry to hear that it ruined the movie for you and your kid. I honestly wish I knew what else to say about that. Although I haven't seen all of the DC animated movies, I have seen a few, and heard about most of them. From what I can tell, it seems those direct to dvd animated movies are geared towards teens and adults from my understanding; which is why you probably noticed the cussing and excessive violence in them.

However, if you want a more non violent DC animated show or movie that your kids can watch, then I'd probably suggest something like the animated Teen Titans movie, where it shows the characters going to Japan. I forget the name of it, but it's a good one. The violence is kind of tame, and there's no cussing in it at all. Plus, "Teen Titans Go!" and "Batman: The Brave and the Bold" seem very family friendly shows from what I can tell in each episode that i've seen. I don't know if you've seen any of the ones I'm talking about, but i hope that helps.

Anyways, I appreciate you stopping by to share some of your thoughts with us. :)

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