Thursday, July 15, 2010

Karate Kid (2010)



Growing up, "Karate Kid" was such a defining movie for my generation. So was watching Jackie Chan's kung fu movies.

When I saw the trailer of the new "Karate Kid" movie, AR's and my first complaint was, "Wait, that's kung fu, not karate!" (P.S. This was totally redeemed when Jaden's character says to his mom, "It's kung fu, mom, not karate!" As a marketing tool, I think it's enough to make you curious about a new "karate" kid.) But, still, it was Jackie Chan so I was looking forward to watching it. (Which also confirms why it's kung fu, duh, it is Jackie Chan.)

Jaden Smith did not disappoint. He was cute and already showed his prowess in acting in "The Pursuit of Happyness". But it was more Will Smith's acting that was memorable in that movie.

In "Karate Kid", Jaden definitely proves that he can and deserves to be put in a starring role. This kid can really act. Sometimes, he still seems shy and unsure of his acting, but when he's put in a really emotional scene, he handles it very skillfully.

You wince and say "ouch" a lot of times during the movie, emphatizing with Jaden's character. Note: kung fu nowadays makes the original Karate Kid movie look like Spongebob Squarepants trying to hit Sandy Cheeks. P.S. It was fun seeing Spongebob in the movie in Chinese again. "Hai ye Baobao."

The cinematography is beautiful. You get "transported" to China along with Jaden's character when his mom moves there for a job. You get to see the Forbidden City, the Hanging Temple, and the Great Wall from a tourist (Jaden's character) and local (Jackie Chan's character) perspective.

The soundtrack is fun and went along with the well-paced plot.

The scenes and characters are thoughtful and well-developed. Jackie Chan's character is given a mysterious, angsty ennui, which of course makes Jackie Chan more adorable.

The boys loved it and I just loved it too.

* My rating: 4 out of 5 stars. Although it was a fun movie, and it made us forget that we were merely at the mall to escape a few hours of brownout at the condo, I doubt if you'd like to watch this again and again. Although now Matt definitely wants to learn some sort of martial art.

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