Movie Review: The Karate Kid (2010)

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Published on: 2010.03.06

I’ll almost never review a movie before it comes out, because I don’t get sneak peaks like some big-time critics.

But a few things deserve to be said about this one, based purely on the advertisements playing on TV and in movie theaters.

“Karate” is a Japanese martial art, developed in the Ryukyu Islands (Okinawa) as early as the 1300s. There were some Chinese influences, as Chinese martial arts were introduced to the islands through trade relationships. But it bears little to no relationship to “kung fu,” as karate was developed in the Japanese islands over centuries into its own unique fighting style.

Kung fu, which can be literally translated as “human achievement,” has come to describe a wide family of Chinese martial arts, though until the 1960s it simply referred to skill in any area, such as cooking, sports, school, etc.

In the previews for “The Karate Kid” (2010), a character played by Hong Kong native Jackie Chan proposes to teach “kung fu” to a young boy played by Jaden Smith (son of Will Smith, producer of this movie).

This just doesn’t make sense.

It’s like watching a movie called “John’s Shotgun” about a character who uses only knives during his fights. Or “Battleship Attack,” a movie about submarines.

In fact, it kind of reminds me of TV news reports where a news anchor says “police confiscated several revolvers” but the footage on screen depicts semi-automatic handguns. Just because this is common doesn’t make it a good idea.

In the original Karate Kid movie (1984), the main character actually learns karate from a Japanese man (played by a Japanese man).

Should I really be critiquing a movie I haven’t seen yet? Maybe not. But certainly the people in charge of this project need to rethink it a little if they want me to pay to see it.

IMDb: The Karate Kid
Wikipedia: The Karate Kid
Rating: This film is not yet rated
Length: unknown
Director: Harold Zwart
Genre: martial arts / action
My Rating: ? of 10
Jaden Smith, Jackie Chan

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