The Karate Kid (2010 film)
|The Karate Kid|
|Directed by||Harald Zwart|
|Produced by||Jerry Weintraub
Jada Pinkett Smith
|Written by||Christopher Murphey|
|Story by||Robert Mark Kamen|
Taraji P. Henson
|Music by||James Horner|
|Editing by||Kevin Stermer|
China Film Group
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Running time||140 minutes|
The Karate Kid (simplified Chinese: 功夫梦; traditional Chinese: 功夫夢; pinyin: Gōngfu Mèng; literally "The Kung Fu Dream"; sometimes Karate Kid 5) is a 2010 American martial arts drama film and remake of the 1984 film of the same name. Directed by Harald Zwart and produced by Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, the film 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. The plot concerns a 12-year-old boy from Detroit who moves to Beijing, 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 of self-defense.
12-year-old Dre Parker and his mother Sherry move to Beijing after she gets a job transfer. Dre develops a crush on a young violinist, Mei Ying, who reciprocates his attention, but Cheng, a rebellious kung fu prodigy whose family is close to Mei Ying's, attempts to keep them apart by beating Dre, and later bullies him at school. After a field trip to the Forbidden City, Dre encounters Cheng and his friends hanging out close to his apartment. Dre tries to pass by without them seeing him. When he finds a bucket of water catching overflow from a steam vent, Dre gets revenge by splashing dirty water over Cheng. Cheng and the others catch Dre and beat him. During the attack, the enigmatic maintenance man of Dre's building, Mr. Han, comes to Dre's aid, revealing himself as a kung fu master who dispatches Dre's tormentors.
After Han mends Dre's injuries using fire cupping, Dre asks if Mr. Han could teach him kung fu. Han refuses, but meets Cheng's teacher, Master Li, to make peace. Li, who teaches his students to show no mercy to their enemies, challenges Dre to a fight with Cheng. When Han declines, Li says they will not be allowed to leave his school unless Dre or Han fights. Han acquiesces, but insists the fight take place at an upcoming tournament, and that Li's students leave Dre alone until the tournament. Li agrees, but tells Han that if Dre does not show up during the tournament he will personally bring pain to Han and Dre.
Dre is shocked when Han tells him that he will fight in a kung fu tournament. Han promises to teach Dre "real" kung fu. Han begins training Dre, but Dre is frustrated that Han merely has him spend hours taking off his jacket, hanging it up, dropping it and putting it on again. After days of this, Dre refuses to continue until Han demonstrates that the repetitive arm movements were Han's method of teaching Dre martial arts techniques, which Dre displays 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.
As Dre's friendship with Mei Ying continues, Dre persuades Mei Ying to cut school for a day of fun, but when she is nearly late for her violin audition which was brought forward a day without their knowledge, her parents deem him a bad influence and forbid her from spending more time with him. When Dre finds Han intoxicated, despondent and breaking the car he had in his living room, Dre learns that it is the anniversary of Han's wife and son's deaths, which occurred when he lost control of the car due to anger caused from an argument he was having with his wife. Dre reminds Han that one of his lessons was in perseverance, and that Han needs to heal from his loss. Dre then works harder than ever to master kung fu. Han assists Dre in reading a note of apology to Mei Ying's father in Chinese; he accepts and promises that Mei Ying will attend the tournament to support Dre.
At the tournament, the under-confident Dre is slow to achieve parity with his opponents, but soon begins beating them and advances to the semifinals, as does Cheng, who violently finishes off his opponents. Dre comes up against Liang, another of Li's students, who is instructed by Li to injure Dre's leg. When Liang insists that he can beat Dre, Li sternly tells him that he does not want him beaten, but broken. Although Liang is disqualified for his illegal strikes and insubordination, Dre is badly injured.
Despite Han's insistence that he has earned respect for his performance, Dre convinces Han to mend his leg by using fire cupping in order to continue. Dre returns to the arena, facing Cheng. Dre delivers impressive blows, but Cheng counters with a strike to Dre's injured leg. Dre struggles to get up, and attempts the reflection technique to manipulate Cheng into changing his attack stance. 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. Cheng instead of the presenter awards Dre the trophy, and the Fighting Dragon students bow to Mr. Han.
- Jackie Chan as Mr. Han (S: 韩先生, T: 韓先生, P: Hán Xiānsheng) the maintenance man who teaches Dre kung fu.
- Jaden Smith as Dre Parker (德瑞帕克 Déruì Pàkè). A young boy from Detroit, Michigan who is bullied by a kung fu student, and must learn to stand up to him.
- Taraji P. Henson as Sherry Parker (雪莉帕克 Xuělì Pàkè), Dre's mother. She is very protective of Dre.
- Wenwen Han as Meiying (美莹 Měiyíng, Chen Meiying), Dre's crush who quickly befriends him.
- Zhenwei Wang as Cheng (陆伟程 Lù Wěichéng), the main antagonist and student of Master Li.
- Yu Rongguang as Master Li (李师傅 Lǐ-shīfu, Li Quanhe), a Kung Fu teacher who instructs his students to be merciless towards their enemies.
- Ming Xu as Bao
- Ji Wang as Mrs.Po (博太太 Bó Tàitai), the principal of Dre's new school.
- Shijia Lü as Liang (梁子浩 Liáng Zǐhào), 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
- Bowen Sheng as himself
- Luke Carberry as Harry (哈里 Hālǐ), a boy who also befriends Dre.
- Cameron Hillman as Mark
- JP Nguyen as Wing Chun practitioner on Wing Chun Dummy
- Sarah Beckley as one of the students on the excursion
- James Haobijam as one of the students
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.
Despite maintaining the original title, the 2010 remake does not feature karate, which is from Okinawa, but focuses on the main character learning kung fu in China. Chan told interviewers that film cast members generally referred to the film as the Kung Fu Kid, and he believed the film would only be called The Karate Kid in America, and The Kung Fu Kid in China. This theory held true in the People's Republic of China, where the film is titled The Kung Fu Dream (Chinese: 功夫梦), and in Japan and South Korea, where the film is titled Best Kid (Japanese: ベスト・キッド; Korean: 베스트 키드) after the local title of the 1984 film in both countries.
The Chinese government granted the filmmakers access to the Forbidden City, the Great Wall of China, and the Wudang Mountains. On some occasions the filmmakers had to negotiate with residents who were not accustomed to filming activity.
The official theme song is "Never Say Never", a song written by Adam Messinger, Justin Bieber, Travis Garland, Omarr Rambert, and others, and produced by The Messengers (Adam Messinger and Nasri Atweh). It is performed by Justin Bieber and Jaden Smith. The music video was released on May 31, 2010.
The film started with "Do You Remember" by Jay Sean. "Remember the Name" by Fort Minor was used in the trailer to promote the movie. Parts of the song, "Back in Black" by AC/DC and "Higher Ground" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, were also used in 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. "Bang Bang" by K'naan featuring Adam Levine and "Say" by John Mayer are also featured in the movie. It also features Lady Gaga's "Poker Face", Flo Rida's "Low" and Gorillaz' "Dirty Harry" (being performed in Chinese). An abbreviated form of Frédéric Chopin's Nocturne No. 20 is featured, arranged for strings, in Meiying's violin audition scene, along with Sergei Rachmaninoff's piano transcription of Flight of the Bumblebee by Rimsky-Korsakov.
Release and reception 
In the Mainland China version of the film, scenes of bullying were shortened by the censors, and a kissing scene is removed. John Horn said that the editing ultimately resulted in "two slightly different movies".
Critical response 
The Karate Kid received generally positive reviews. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 66% based on 201 reviews, with an average score of 6.2/10. 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.
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 noted what they believe the filmmakers' unrealistic and inappropriate characterizations were. 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. It closed on September 18, 2010 after 110 days of release, grossing $176.7 million in the US along with an additional $182 million overseas for a worldwide total of $358 million, on a moderate budget of $40 million, making it a considerable box office success.
Awards and nominations 
- Iconic Movie (Nominated)
- Iconic Movie Actor – Jaden Smith (Nominated)
- Favorite Family Movie (Nominated)
- Favorite On-Screen Team – Jaden Smith & Jackie Chan (Nominated)
- Favorite Action Star – Jackie Chan (Won)
- Favorite Movie (Won)
- Favorite Buttkicker (Jackie Chan) (Won)
- Favorite Movie Actor (Jaden Smith) (Nominated)
- Biggest Badass Star (Jaden Smith) (Nominated)
- Best Leading Young Actor in a Feature Film (Jaden Smith) (Won)
- Choice Summer: Movie (Nominated)
- "THE KARATE KID rated PG by the BBFC". bbfc. Retrieved June 11, 2010.
- Fritz, Ben (June 10, 2010). "Movie projector: 'The Karate Kid' and 'The A-Team' fight it out in battle of the '80s". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Company). Retrieved June 12, 2010.
- The Karate Kid at Box Office Mojo Amazon.com
- Chan, Jackie (June 26, 2010). "’The Karate Kid Worldwide Promotional Tour - The Official Website of Jackie Chan". Retrieved 2011-02-23. "…The Karate Kid, which is called "Kung Fu Dream" in Chinese."
- "The Karate Kid." Film Business Asia. Retrieved on November 10, 2012.
- Fisher, Luchina. "'Karate Kid': Where the Cast Is Now." CNN. June 3, 2010. Retrieved on November 19, 2012.
- "Movies – News – 'Karate Kid' redo retitled 'Kung Fu Kid'". Digital Spy. March 31, 2009. Retrieved June 3, 2009.
- Brian Warmoth (May 6, 2009). "'Karate Kid' Remake Keeping Title, Taking Jaden Smith to China". MTV Movie Blog. Viacom.
- Fleming, Michael (November 10, 2008). "Jaden Smith set for 'Karate Kid' redo – Entertainment News, Los Angeles, Media". Variety. Retrieved June 3, 2009.
- Larry Carrol (January 7, 2010). "Jackie Chan Unsure of Karate Kid Remake Title, Reveals Fate of Wax On, Wax Off". MTV. Viacom. Retrieved January 16, 2010.
- "电影《功夫梦》_影音娱乐_新浪网". Ent.sina.com.cn. Retrieved 2010-10-04.
- Horn, John. "'Karate Kid' update breaks down some Chinese walls." Los Angeles Times. May 30, 2012. 2. Retrieved on August 27, 2012.
- Horn, John. "'Karate Kid' update breaks down some Chinese walls." Los Angeles Times. May 30, 2012. 1. Retrieved on August 27, 2012.
- "MUSIC VIDEO: Justin Bieber feat. Jaden Smith – Never Say Never" Def Pen Radio; May 31, 2010
- Anderson, Kyle (June 1, 2010). "Rain, Drake Score Summer Songs 2010 Write-In Votes". MTV. Viacom.
- "Music from Karate Kid". MusicfromFilm.com. Retrieved 2010-11-15.
- "PHOTOS: The Karate Kid Chicago Premier". NBC Chicago. Retrieved 2010-10-04.
- Sarah Bull (July 16, 2010). "Heavily pregnant Natalie Cassidy shows off her curves in EXTREMELY tight LBD at Karate Kid premiere". The Daily Mail (London).
- "The Karate Kid (2010) Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved July 24, 2010.
- "Karate Kid, The reviews at Metacritic.com". Metacritic. CBS. Retrieved July 24, 2010.
- Ann Hornaday (June 11, 2010). "This old plot has new punch". Washington Post.
- Roger Ebert (June 9, 2010). "A faithful remake, well done". Chicago Sun-Times.
- Claudia Puig (June 11, 2010). ""The Karate Kid" remake honors its cinematic ancestors". USA Today.
- Owen Gleiberman (June 11, 2010). "Movie Review: The Karate Kid". Entertainment Weekly (Time Inc.).
- Simon Abrams (June 8, 2010). "Review for The Karate Kid". Slant Magazine.
- "Weekend Estimates: Karate Kid Defeats A-Team". The-Numbers.com. June 13, 2010. Retrieved June 14, 2010.
- Fleming, Mike (June 15, 2010). "Sony Pics High-Kicking Karate Kid Sequel". Deadline.com. Retrieved August 23, 2011.
- Official website
- Official Facebook Page for The Karate Kid (2010)
- The Karate Kid at the Internet Movie Database
- The Karate Kid at Box Office Mojo
- The Karate Kid at Rotten Tomatoes
- The Karate Kid at Metacritic