When I first heard that Jackie Chan is going to star in the remake of the Karate Kid, I was really excited and can’t wait to catch it in the cinema. However, I was also rather surprised that many people, especially the youngsters around me, are still unaware that The Karate Kid is not exactly a new movie. In fact, many haven’t heard of Daniel Larusso and Mister Miyagi… until now. Here’s my review for the original remake of The Karate Kid.
The Karate Kid, known as The Kung Fu Kid in China and Japan, and Best Kid in South Korea, is a 2010 martial arts film remake of the 1984 film of the same name. Based on the original film directed by John G. Avidsen, this new film is now directed by Harald Zwart and produced by Will Smith.
Career advancement puts a single mother and her young son in China. In his new home, he met a local girl; however, he is often picked and bullied by a group of local kids. He soon embraced Kung-fu and a new master that taught him the true art of kung-fu.
If you’ve watched the original film acted by Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita, you’d probably know how the story goes. Very similar to the original, this new film however have it’s own twist of story and some really cool martial art stunts.
Starring Jaden Smith (son of Hollywood Badboy Will Smith) as Dre Parker. Mr. Han, the handyman that taught Dre Parker more than just fixing a squeaky door is played by the legendary Kung-fu master, Jackie Chan. Dre’s mother, Sherry Parker is played by Taraji P. Henson. Dre’s sweetheart Meiying is played by Wenwen Han.
In every martial art movie, there is a bad guy. Bad guy Master Li is played by Yu Rong Guang (perhaps you may know him as Deputy General Yu in the movie Little Big Soldier) and his apprentice, Cheng played Zhenwei Wang.
How different is the remake as compared to the original film? Well, the whole story is almost identical. Obviously, I’ve watched the original film for many times already so I knew the story very well and I’m gonna share some scene comparison with you.
- New surroundings
Original – High school senior Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) moves with his mother (Randee Heller) from Newark, New Jersey to Reseda, a neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles, California. Their apartment’s handyman is an odd but kindly and humble Okinawan immigrant named Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita).
Remake – 12 year old Dre Parker moves to China with his mother. Their apartment’s handyman is a quiet but kindly and humble Chinese man named Mr. Han (Jackie Chan)
Original – Daniel LaRusso’s first lesson in Karate is wax-on, wax-off.
Remake – Dre Parker’s first lesson in Kung-fu is jacket-on, jacket-off.
- New skills
Original – Daniel LaRusso picked up the Crane technic.
Remake – Dre Parker learned the Snake Charming technic.
Watching the remake still feels like watching the reruns of the original all over again. However, the remake has got more action packed scenes. The stunts are unbelievable and the fights scenes are really good. For his age, Jaden is really talented. Much alike his father, he too has got some charms of his own. Watching him is like watching the younger or rather smaller version of Will Smith.
Jackie Chan did a great job playing the role of Mr. Han. He even mimics how Mr. Miyagi talks in the original film. Overall, the remake is tastefully done and I love it. I give a rating of 4.5/5.0.
- The Karate Kid, Part II (1986)
- The Karate Kid, Part III (1989)
- The Next Karate Kid (1994) – Hilary Swank takes over as Mr. Miyagi’s new student, Julie Pierce.