James Helsby

LRE #30: The Karate Kid

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Little Red Envelope

In my mailbox this week:
The Karate Kid

Release Year: 2010

Staring: Jaden Smith, Jackie Chan, Taraji P. Henson

I suffer the slings and arrows, so that you don’t have to. Do I really need to say anything else?

What do you get if you mix 1 super-A-list celebrity, with 1 C-list celebrity? Lot of money.

No, imagine if you will that you really wanted to let their child follow in their footsteps. What would you do? Encourage them? sure.

Help them get to their acting lessons? Sure.

Buy them a damn movie to be in? Well, if you are Will & Jada Pinkett Smith, and have more money than sense, sure you can do that.

In a moment of quiet desperation to find a movie that my son would watch quietly, while we finished making dinner, I put on the new Karate Kid movie. The next thing I knew, my son was trying to punch holes in my walls. Now, many would say that this is bad parenting, but I know my son. He is a good boy, and as such I blame the movie.

Obviously, if you think I am being serious, then you need to get your head checked. Much like myself, because after this incident I sat down with him to watch the rest of the movie (starting it over again). I knew about the movie, knew that it starred Jackie Chan, in the ‘role’ of the venerable Mr. Miyagi. I knew it had Jaden Smith in the role of Daniel-son, sans Ralph Macchio’s 23 year old stature.

What I didn’t know, and shame on me for not caring more before hand, was that this was an attempt at a “remake.” Who ever came up with the idea of remaking The Karate Kid (1983) needs to be drawn and quartered. If there is one thing that this movie taught me, it’s that remaking a classic is a foolish idea. And I didn’t even know that Karate Kid was a classic.

The new Karate Kid story revolves around “Dre Parker,” a boy who moves to Beijing with his mother when she has a job transfer. He doesn’t speak a lick of Mandarin. And he starts school the next day. Day one, he sees a pretty girl and gets the crap beat out of him by the ‘bully.’ Oh, and makes a new friend, who we don’t see again during the entire course of the movie, with the exception of sitting next to Dre’s mother during the final championship fight.

But I digress. When the hot water in Dre’s apartment doesn’t work, I goes off (again, without speaking a lick of Mandarin) to find ‘Mr Han’ played by Jackie Chan. Mr. Han, is either a drunk, or a louse. He is shaggy, doesn’t seem to care, and through the course of the entire movie, this doesn’t change. Seriously, even at his ‘vulnerable’ moment, he is still the same deadbeat character who doesn’t smile or care.

But again, I digress. Mr. Han stops the bully’s from beating up Dre, and in the process performs a sever act of child abuse. (which I would imagine in China is punishable by death of something) and then challenges the entire dojo to a one-on-one-hundred fight at the championship between Dre and the cobra-kai, err, unnamed school of evil.



So Dre begins to train. The training consists of taking his coat off, putting it on a hook, putting it on the ground, picking it up, and putting it back on. Repeat.

And after 2 weeks or so, Dre is a Kung Fu master.


Paint the fence? nope. Wax the car? nope. Paint the house? nope. Sand the floor. nope. Put your coat on. Yep! Not even a damn crane kick. Let’s even hit one of the major problems with the film… He isn’t the Karate Kid. He is the Kung Fu kid. He isn’t learning Karate, he is learning Kung Fu. WTF is the title Karate Kid for then?

The movie is bad. Really bad. It looks, feels, and tastes like it was made of stone. Zero acting. Zero interest. Zero plot development. And minus points for over-sexing little girls with erotic Lady Gaga dance sequences. Just wrong.

I can not recommend this movie at all. If you want to see the Karate Kid, get the original. Don’t bother with this one, it is NOT worth the 2.5 hours.

How painful was it:  Look! mommy and daddy are rich! and they gave me a movie career. Wahoo!  Horrible movie.

Rating: 1/10. The only way it could have been worse, is if it had a Justin Bieber song in the credits, sung duet with Jaden Smith. OH WAIT. They did that. 0/10

The Wife’s Retort: I am sorry. That was bad.

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