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The Karate Kid (2010)


Latest Home Video

Oct 05, 2010

MPAA Rating:


Run Time:



Harald Zwart


Jackie Chan

Jaden Smith

Taraji P. Henson


2010 Columbia Pictures / Sony

Official Website >>

Still shot from the movie: The Karate Kid (2010).

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Reviewed by

Overall B+
Run Time139

Making the Grades

Boarding a plane for China and leaving all that is familiar behind, Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) follows his single mother (Taraji P. Henson) as she accepts an international job transfer. For Mrs. Parker, the whole experience seems an adventure, but the African-American youngster finds little to be excited about in their new environment. Although the language barrier ought to be his biggest challenge, it is only alluded to. (Conveniently for him and the audience, all of the characters he interacts with speak English.) The real problem proves to be his peers.

On his first day in Beijing the twelve-year-old accidentally catches the attention of a group of bullies while trying to impress a pretty violin player named Mei Ying (Wenwen Han). Angered by her curiosity with Dre’s braided locks, Cheng (Zhiheng Wang) and his buddies pick a fight with the boy, leaving him injured and lying on the pavement.

What the foreigner doesn’t know is his opponents are advanced kung fu students, taught by a man who preaches "No weakness. No pain. No mercy." And there is no way to avoid the gang (or Mei Ying) as they all attend the same school. When the next inevitable confrontation occurs, Dre is again disadvantaged in strength and numbers.

After Dre has been kicked, punched and pinned, Cheng prepares to beat him. Then the unexpected happens. Mr. Han (Jackie Chan), the aging custodian from Dre’s apartment complex, suddenly appears and scatters the mob with unique martial arts moves. Later he treats the victim’s wounds with some ancient medicine. Realizing the unassuming man possesses great knowledge and skill, Dre begs Mr. Han to be his mentor.

Initially Mr. Han is reluctant to coach the child, preferring to settle the issue by talking to the troublemakers’ martial arts instructor. However, when his attempts to make peace result instead in a challenge to participate in a kung fu tournament, Mr. Han agrees to take Dre as a pupil. Negotiating a truce until the day of the competition, he initiates a rather unusual training process for his young protégé.

The rest of the movie features bonding moments between the pair as they prepare for the showdown. These sparing sessions take place against a backdrop of China’s most beautiful places (like The Great Wall and The Forbidden City). Along the way, Mr. Han shares his wisdom, explaining kung fu is about self-discipline and self-defense—not uncontrolled revenge.

Very closely based on The Karate Kid from 1984, this remake takes itself very seriously, which may come as a surprise to viewers familiar with Jackie Chan’s other work. Only the scene where he first protects the underdog displays the sort of comedy that is his usual trademark. The rest of the production offers the classic martial artist and stuntman a chance to display his dramatic acting chops. He offers a very convincing performance. So does his junior co-star, Jaden Smith, who appears to have mastered many of the moves that comprise the action portion of the movie.

Likely more appropriate for teens than the under-ten crowd, this 2010 Karate Kid may still be accused of promoting a vigilante solution to schoolyard bullying. Yet it should also be praised for advocating friendship on either side of the generation gap, along with the importance of facing fears and respecting one’s elders. As the characters learn from one another, they also teach about true honor and dignity.


Discussion Ideas After The Movie

Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about The Karate Kid (2010).

Dre Parker endures bullying, sometimes to the point of assault, yet he does not report this abuse to any authority figures (including his mother or school principle). Why? What would be the best way to deal with the situation he is facing? What problems are likely to arise from trying to manage such problems alone?

Why do people usually stand by and watch when others are bullied? What could they do instead?

In an early scene in the movie, Dre plays ping-pong with some older men. What assumption does the youth make about their abilities? What is his first impression of Mr. Han? Why do elderly people often surprise younger people? What things to the adults learn from the children in this movie?

The Government of China contributed money towards the production of this movie. Do you think their involvement in the film has any influence on the way the country is portrayed?

Trailers & Clips

News & Views About The Karate Kid (2010):

Canadian Movie Ratings

PG Violence.
AB PG Violence, Not Recommended For Young Children.
MB PG Violence.
ON PG Violence.

Canadian Home Video Rating: PG

Watch @ Home

Details on home video releases of The Karate Kid (2010)...

The 2010 remake of The Karate Kid releases to DVD and Blu-ray on October 5th, 2010.

The Karate Kid on DVD includes:

- Feature Film

- Interactive Feature: Chinese Lessons

- Just for Kicks: The Making of The Karate Kid

- Music Video: Never Say Never preformed by Justin Bieber and featuring Jaden Smith

THE KARATE KID packaged in a Blu-ray Combo Pack (Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Copy) includes:

- Blu-ray copy of the film

- Just for Kicks: The Making of The Karate Kid

- Music Video: Never Say Never preformed by Justin Bieber and featuring Jaden Smith

- Alternate Ending: Watch Jackie Chan Fight!

- Interactive Features: Chinese Lessons and On Location: The Karate Kid Interactive Map of China.

- Production Diaries Hosted by Jackie Chan

- movieIQ+sync™

- PS3 Wallpaper Theme

- Digital copy of the film for the PSP, PC, Mac or iPod

- DVD copy of the film.

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Memphis Steve says: May. 10, 2010

This movie features a fair amount of sexual violence, that is, violence targeting the sexual organs. It should not be PG. It should be PG-13 at minimum.

Tonka says: Jun. 18, 2010

I believe Jackie Chan will be nominated for Best Supporting Actor - he is that good in this role. A little hard to believe Jaden Smith can really overcome his adversaries who appear to be older and physically stronger. Great editing and fight scenes look real. Be sure to stay through the credits as you see Jaden with his adversaries in outtake smiles and buddy photos - hey this is a movie - and with his parents Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. Really can be a satisfying film for anyone over ten years old.

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