A couple of days ago, me and my good friend Britnie went and saw the remake of The Karate Kid starring Jaden Smith as Dre Parker aka the "new" Karate Kid and Jackie Chan as Mr. Han filling in the shoes of beloved Mr. Miyagi. Taraji P. Henson played Dre's mother Sherry. As a big time hater of remakes and I still stand by the saying "if it ain't broke don't fix it", this Karate Kid was absolutely amazing from beginning to end. It was more of paying homage to the original Karate Kid instead of trying to be exactly like it or even try and be better. The movie followed the same formula of course, some lines being the same as the original as well as scenes but just done with more flare. Which is where remakes and franchise reboots fail at doing, but I digress. Let's get to the review.
The story follows 12-year old Dre Parker as he is forced to move from Detroit to China per his mother getting a job transfer to the country. That right there is what got my interest in this remake. Instead of bring the Karate to the kid, or in this case Kung Fu to the Kid, we bring the Kid to the Kara-err Kung Fu. That opens many avenues that the film can travel down instead of trying to be what the original was. In a sense, it automatically became its own film but at the same time can still create some of the elements that made the original what it was, which is key. Jaden Smith owned every single scene he was in. It won't be long before the media will stop calling him "Will Smith's son" and he'll be known as simply "Jaden Smith". I see a lot of promise in him, I hope he does well and was a refreshing surprise in the film. Another surprise was seeing action star Jackie Chan in his first serious role. Trust me you will be moved by his performance as Mr. Han. Seeing both of these characters grow together from start to finish was honestly very moving, just like Daniel-San and Mr. Miyagi moved us years ago. Especially after a memorable scene with Smith and Chan that will sit with you well after the movie. The film was able to capture a lot of the beauty that China has to offer. From the rundown neighborhoods, The Great Wall, and even a glimpse of The Forbidden City the film will always keep you engaged with its beautiful transition shots. The last moments of the movie with the tournament taking place trumped the original film. The fight scenes were choreographed so well and kept you on the edge of your seat. Me and Britnie went during the 2:30 showing and it was almost a full house of people clapping, cheering, ohhs and ahhs and I even heard a few sobs behind us. I haven't had so much fun at the movies in a really long time that took me through so many emotions. This was truly a fun family film that will be enjoyed for years to come, I'm already anticipating getting in on Blu-Ray. I highly recommend seeing this movie especially with the summer out. Treat the kids! They'll learn something as well as get their kicks out of it. No pun intended.