The Karate Kid (2010)
|This article is about the 2010 film. You may be looking for the 1984 film with the same name.|
The Karate Kid is a 2010 wuxia martial arts drama film produced by Jerry Weintraub, Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, James Lassiter and Ken Stovitz, directed by Harald Zwart, written by Christopher Murphey and starring Jackie Chan, Jaden Smith and Taraji P. Henson. It's a modern remake of the 1984 classic The Karate Kid, which was also produced by Weintraub.
A martial arts master, Mr. Han, agrees to teach karate to a bullied pre-teen, Dre Parker.
Why It Rocks
- Changes the original film's setting for the sake of originality. Instead of being set in the United States, it takes place in China, allowing for some stunning visual and story possibilities.
- It also changes the age of the protagonists. Instead of being in high school, the characters are in middle school.
- Good acting, especially that of Jaden Smith as Dre Parker and Jackie Chan as Mr. Han.
- It includes a hilarious callback to the original film by having Mr. Han trying to pick a fly with chopsticks...before swatting it with a fly swatter.
- Mane likable characters, like Sherry Parker, Meiying and Harry.
- In turn, this allows Dre's misery to not be as bad like that of Daniel LaRusso's in the original film.
- The fighting sequences, namely that between Mr. Han and Cheng's gang, are amazing and well-choreographed.
- The scene where Dre begging and cries about going back to Detriot after getting betting up by the bullies is very sad.
- Many funny scenes here and there, like when Dre plays ping pong with an old man at a park and the man displays his amazing ping pong skills.
- Amazing soundtrack that was composed by the late James Horner.
- The scene in which Mr. Han reveals how he lost his wife and in a car crash is emotional and heartbreaking.
- Harald Zwart shows good direction skills.
- Some scenes have the dialogue being the same of the original film, which can come off as unoriginal and boring.
- Misleading title: In the biggest twist of irony, although the film has "Karate" in its title, none of the characters actually practice karate, but rather kung fu. In China, it was renamed The Kung Fu Dream for this reason. Sony actually wanted to change the title, but producer Jerry Weintraub rejected the idea.
- In the Latin Spanish dub, this becomes much more apparent given that at one point in the film, when Dre desists of joining the Fighting Dragons studio because Cheng and his gang are there, his mother asks him if he didn't like that karate class, to which Dre answers "It wasn't karate, mom!".
- The scene in which Mr. Han swats a fly, while funny, is a bit gross because Mr. Han then uses the chopsticks he was using to eat to take the fly and then continues to eat with them.
- It originally included an ending where Mr. Han and Master Li fought against each other, but it was taken out to keep the focus on Dre's victory. By cutting it, this creates a continuity error as Master Li is seen astounded in one scene but is later seen in the floor without explanation.
Critical reception to The Karate Kid was generally positive. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 66%, based on 210 reviews. The site's critical consensus reads, "It may not be as powerful as the 1984 edition, but the 2010 Karate Kid delivers a surprisingly satisfying update on the original". On Metacritic, it received a score of 61 out of 100, based on 37 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". It's commonly considered by some audiences as some of the few remakes or reboots to be actually good, like Scarface and The Mummy.
On its release, Roger Ebert rated the film three and a half out of four stars, and called it "a lovely and well-made film that stands on its own feet", feeling that it was a well-done faithful remake to the 1984 film.
Ralph Macchio, who starred in the original film as Daniel LaRusso, praised the remake when asked about it in 2020, feeling that it enhanced the original's legacy, yet he criticized its misleading title for the reason pointed out above.
The movie was a box office success, as it earned $176.7 million in North America and Canada with an additiona $182 million overseas for a worldwide total of $359.1 million, against a production budget of $40 million.