The Karate Kid (2010)



Teaser poster
Directed by Harald Zwart
Produced by Jerry Weintraub
Will Smith
Jada Pinkett Smith
James Lassiter
Ken Stovitz
Written by Script:
Christopher Murphey
Story:
Robert Mark Kamen
Starring Jackie Chan
Jaden Smith
Taraji P. Henson
Music by James Horner
Cinematography Roger Pratt
Editing by Kevin Stermer
Studio Overbrook Entertainment
JW Productions
China Film Group
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date(s) June 10, 2010 (2010-06-10)
June 11, 2010 (United States)
Running time 140 minutes
Country United States
China
Language English
Mandarin
Budget $40 million
Gross revenue $282,329,546


The Karate Kid, known as The Kung Fu Dream in China and Best Kid in Japan and South Korea, is a 2010 martial arts remake of the 1984 film of the same name. Directed by Harald Zwart, produced by Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, the remake stars Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith.

Principal photography for the film took place in Beijing, China; filming began around July 2009 and ended on October 16, 2009. The Karate Kid was released theatrically in the United States on June 11, 2010 and Singapore a day earlier on June 10, 2010.

The plot concerns a 12-year-old boy from Detroit who moves to China with his mother and runs afoul of the neighborhood bully. He makes an unlikely ally in the form of his aging maintenance man, Mr. Han, a kung fu master who teaches him the secrets to self-defense.

Plot
12-year-old Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) and his mother, Sherry (Taraji P. Henson), arrive in Beijing from West Detroit to start a new life. Dre develops a crush on a young violinist, Mei Ying (Wen Wen Han), who reciprocates his attention, but Cheng (Zhenwei Wang), a kung fu prodigy whose family is close to Mei Ying's, attempts to keep them apart by beating Dre, and later harassing and humiliating him in and around school. During a particularly brutal beating by Cheng and his friends, the enigmatic maintenance man of Dre's building, Mr. Han (Jackie Chan), comes to Dre's aid, revealing himself as a kung fu master who adeptly dispatches Dre's tormentors.

After Han mends Dre's injuries using fire cupping, they go to Cheng's teacher, Master Li (Yu Rongguang), to attempt to make peace, but the brutal Li, who teaches his students to show no mercy to their enemies, challenges Dre to a fight with Cheng. When Han declines, Li threatens him, saying that they will not be allowed to leave his school unless either Dre or Han himself fights. Han acquiesces, but insists the fight take place at an upcoming tournament, and that Li's students leave Dre alone until the tournament. The amused Li agrees.

Han begins training Dre, but Dre is frustrated that Han merely has Dre spend hours taking off his jacket, hanging it up, dropping it, and then putting it back on again. After days of this, Dre refuses to continue, until Han demonstrates to him that the repetitive arm movements in question were Han's method of teaching Dre defensive block and strike techniques, which Dre is now able to display instinctively when prompted by Han's mock attacks. Han emphasizes that the movements Dre is learning apply to life in general, and that serenity and maturity, not punches and power, are the true keys to mastering the martial arts. During one lesson in the Wudang Mountains, Dre notices a female kung fu practitioner (Michelle Yeoh, in an uncredited cameo) apparently copying the movements of a cobra before her, but Han informs him that it was the cobra that was imitating the woman, as in a mirror reflection. Dre wants Han to teach him this technique, which includes linking Han's hand and feet to Dre's via bamboo shafts while practicing their forms, but Dre's subsequent attempt to use this reflection technique on his mother is unsuccessful.

As Dre's friendship with Mei Ying continues, she agrees to attend Dre's tournament, as does Dre her upcoming recital. Dre persuades Mei Ying to cut school for a day of fun, but when she is nearly late for her violin recital, which has been rescheduled for that day, she tells him that her parents have deemed him a bad influence, and forbid her from spending any more time with him. Later, when Dre finds Mr. Han despondent, he learns that it is the anniversary of his wife and son's deaths, which occurred years ago when he lost control of his car while arguing with his wife. Dre reminds Han that one of his lessons was in perseverance, and that Han needs to heal from his loss, and tries to help him do so. Han then assists Dre in reading a note, in Chinese, of apology to Mei Ying's father, who, impressed, allows Mei to attend the tournament.

At the tournament, the under-confident Dre is slow to achieve parity with his opponents, but soon begins to beat them, and advances to the semifinals, as does Cheng, who violently finishes off his opponents. Dre eventually comes up against Liang, another of Master Li's students, who is instructed by Master Li to break Dre's leg. When Liang insists that he can beat Dre, Master Li sternly tells him that he doesn't want him beaten, but broken. During the match, Liang delivers a devastating kick to Dre's leg, along with a series of brutal follow-up punches. Although Liang is disqualified for his illegal strikes, Dre is incapacitated, which would allow Cheng to win by default.

Despite Han's insistence that he has earned respect for his performance in the tournament, Dre convinces Han to use his fire cupping technique to mend his leg, in order to see the tournament to the end. Dre returns to the arena, where he confronts Cheng. Dre delivers impressive blows, but Cheng counters with a debilitating strike to Dre's already injured leg. Dre struggles to get up, and adopts the one-legged form he first learned from the woman on the mountain, attempting to use the reflection technique to manipulate Cheng's movements. Cheng charges Dre, but Dre flips, and catches Cheng with a kick to his head, winning the tournament, along with the respect of Cheng and his classmates, both for himself and Mr. Han.

Cast
Jaden Smith as Dre Parker. An immigrant from Detroit to Beijing, he is bullied by a kung fu student, and must learn to stand up to him.
Jackie Chan as Mr. Han, the maintenance man who teaches Dre kung fu.
Taraji P. Henson as Sherry Parker, Dre's mother

The Karate Kid, known as The Kung Fu Dream in China and Best Kid in Japan and South Korea, is a 2010 martial arts remake of the 1984 film of the same name. Directed by Harald Zwart, produced by Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, the remake stars Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith.

Principal photography for the film took place in Beijing, China; filming began around July 2009 and ended on October 16, 2009. The Karate Kid was released theatrically in the United States on June 11, 2010 and Singapore a day earlier on June 10, 2010.

The plot concerns a 12-year-old boy from Detroit who moves to China with his mother and runs afoul of the neighborhood bully. He makes an unlikely ally in the form of his aging maintenance man, Mr. Han, a kung fu master who teaches him the secrets to self-defense.

Zhenwei Wang as Cheng, the bully.
Yu Rongguang as Master Li, a kung fu teacher who instructs his students to be merciless towards their enemies.
Wen Wen Han as Mei Ying, Dre's crush who quickly befriends him.
Ming Xu as Bao
Ji Wang as Mrs. Po, the principal of Dre's new school.
Shijia Lü as Liang, a classmate of Cheng's who is instructed by Master Li to cripple Dre during the tournament.
Yi Zhao as Zhuang
Tess Liu as History teacher
Harry Van Gorkum as Music instructor
Luke Carberry as Harry, a boy who also befriends Dre.
Michelle Yeoh (uncredited) as Woman with the cobra.


Development

On November 10, 2008, Variety reported that work on a Karate Kid remake had begun.Variety stated that the new film, to be produced by Will Smith, "has been refashioned as a star vehicle for Jaden Smith" and that it would "borrow elements from the original plot, wherein a bullied youth learns to stand up for himself with the help of an eccentric mentor." On June 22, 2009, Jackie Chan told a Los Angeles Chinatown concert crowd that he was leaving for Beijing to film the remake as Jaden Smith's teacher.

The film contains homages to the original film, including a variation on the famous fly catching scene in which Chan's character ends up swatting it instead of using chopsticks; the theatrical trailer shows this scene with the original film's theme "You're the Best" playing.

Unlike its 1984 counterpart of the same name, the 2010 remake, despite its title, does not feature karate, which is from Okinawa, but focuses on the main character learning kung fu in China. Chan has told interviewers that film cast members have been referring to the film as the Kung Fu Kid, and he believes the film will only be called The Karate Kid in America, and The Kung Fu Kid in Asia.


Music

The official theme song is "Never Say Never", a song written by Adam Messinger, and produced by The Messengers. It is performed by Justin Bieber and Jaden Smith. The music video was released on May 31, 2010.

"Remember the Name" by Fort Minor was used in the trailer to promote the movie. The song "Hip Song" by Rain is used for promotion in the Asian countries and it appeared in the trailer. The music video was released on May 22, 2010.


Release and reception

The film premiered May 26 in Chicago, with appearances by Jackie Chan and Jayden Smith, and a brief surprise appearance from Will Smith.The United Kingdom premiere was held July 15. It was attended by Jackie Chan and Jayden Smith, as well as producers Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith.


Critical response

The Karate Kid has received generally positive reviews. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 69% based on 163 reviews, with an average score of 6.4/10. Rotten Tomatoes has said that "It may not be as powerful as the 1984 edition, but the 2010 Karate Kid delivers a surprisingly satisfying update on the original." Metacritic, another review aggregator, assigned the film a weighted average score of 61 based on 37 reviews from mainstream critics.

Manohla Dargis of The New York Times rated the film three out of four.[citation needed] Ann Hornaday described Jaden Smith as a revelation, and that he "proves that he's no mere beneficiary of dynastic largesse. Somber, self-contained and somehow believable as a kid for whom things don't come easily, he never conveys the sense that he's desperate to be liked. 'The Karate Kid' winds up being so likable itself" Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave it a positive review, rating the film three and a half out of four stars, and calling it "a lovely and well-made film that stands on its own feet".Claudia Puig of USA Today and Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly each rated the film a 'B', stating ”the chemistry between Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan grounds the movie, imbuing it with sincerity and poignance” and that the film is "fun and believable."

Some critics took notice that the film's characters are much younger than in the original film; they also took notice of the filmmakers' sometimes unrealistic and inappropriate characterizations. Simon Abrams of Slant Magazine gave the film one and a half stars and noted "The characters just aren't old enough to be convincing in their hormone-driven need to prove themselves" and "This age gap is also a huge problem when it comes to the range that these kids bring to the project" and noted the portrayal of the child antagonist Cheng includes an "overblown and overused grimace, which looks like it might have originally belonged to Dolph Lundgren, looks especially silly on a kid that hasn't learned how to shave yet." Finally, Abrams noted "What's most upsetting is Dre's budding romance with Meiying. These kids have yet to hit puberty and already they're swooning for each other."


Box office

The film was released on June 11, 2010 by Columbia Pictures to 3,663 theaters across the United States. The Karate Kid topped the box office on its opening day, grossing $18.8 million, and in its opening weekend, grossing $56 million in North America, beating The A-Team, which grossed an estimated $9.6 million on the same opening day, and $26 million in its opening weekend. As of August 15, 2010 the movie has grossed $174,861,447 in the U.S. and Canada as well as $107,468,099 in other countries bringing its worldwide total to $282,329,546.

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