Karate Kid Quicky Review

Went to see the new “Karate Kid” movie last weekend. Some good points and some bad. The story, overall, is pretty much the same as the 1984 classic except it’s a short black kid named after a rapper instead of a tall white kid, they move to China instead of California, he’s taught by Jackie Chan instead of Mr. Miyagi, gets beat up by a gang of Chinese kids instead of white kids and he learns Kung-fu instead of Karate.

The mechanics of the plot are the same, predictably so… even the end fight is pretty much the same. Still, not bad all things considered. The biggest plus for this movie was it felt like a travel video for China. Sweeping landscapes, colorful people and places, beautiful scenery, etc, all made me really want to go there with about $10k in camera gear and no deadlines. Saying it’s like a travel video isn’t a bad thing, it was still a movie of course, but they seemed to pay special attention to the cinematography to show just how beautiful the country is.

Sadly the biggest letdown for me was the acting from Jaden Smith, it had a few cringe-worthy, or at least almost cringe-worthy parts, and he only mostly managed to pull it off (says the guy with no acting experience ever). It really felt like maybe his parents were both big stars and wanted to create a movie to be a vehicle for him to rocket to stardom.

My vote, not required for the big screen, but if you’ve got the time, hey, why not, it’s not that bad. Better yet if you’ve seen the “real” Karate Kid movie so you can catch the homages to the original (or you might call them “this worked last time, may as well do it this time as well”).