The original Karate Kid is one of my favorite movies. I think getting into martial arts can be traced to this movie planting a seed at an early age. I agreed with Mr Deguia that there was no reason to remake this movie, and I am going to have to agree. Out of the movies that I saw as a child and loved, this one probably stands alone with standing the test of time. I have seen it as an adult and I still get excited at the same spots, embarrassed when the car has to be push started, etc. However, I was intrigued with what they could have done with this time tested classic movie that probably filled up Karate dojo’s all over the world more so than Chuck Norris.
Lets get what I hated about the movie out of the way. The pacing of the movie was just horrible. This movie could have been edited to be at least 10 minutes shorter, and some scenes that were supposed to add drama just ended up being boring and lets hurry up moments. I also did not have to see Beijing as a character, seriously I already saw enough of the birds-nest and the cube during the Olympics. Jaden Smith is too young for the part even though he did an excellent job with the part, the kid just looked way too young for the situations he was in.
Now with that out of the way, the movie was a lot better than I had expected. The martial arts were solid and Jackie Chan was an excellent teacher. The story was truly reinvented, and not simply because it was taken across the globe instead of across the country. While you recognize scenes and tons of little tips of the hat at the old movie, this movie stands on its own.
Smith is an excellent actor for his age. I did not think he could carry a movie on his own but the kid is great. He has a lot more charisma than Daniel San. Nobody knows how the future will turn out for this kid as an actor, but he does not seem to lack talent.
Even though I will always love the original because it was part of my childhood, this movie will probably make more sense to this generation. If you are a fan of the old one, it is respectful to it and it does not try to replace it. I believe it is worth the price of watching it in the multiplex and it might just make you feel like a kid again.