Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Karate Kid

Medium : English
Starring : Jackie Chan, Jade Smith, Taraji P. Henson
Director : Harald Zwart
Music : James Horner

In his late 50's, Jackie Chan, the most popular Asian s
tar in the last three decades has come up with his new project named 'The Karate Kid'. As the name suggests it won't be a hero oriented film usually done by him in the past, here the central character is done by a young child, Jade Smith. He is the son of notable hollywood actor Will Smith ('Men In Black' fame), who is also the producer of this film. Jackie Chan did a maturated role in 'The Karate Kid', which in turn is a remake of the film that had released with the same name, almost 25years before.

The story of the film happens in China. The 12 year old k
id (Jade Smith) with his mother (Taraji P. Henson), is relocated to the new place from Detroit, USA. The kid finds difficulty in adjusting to the new surroundings. He finds comfortable in the company of a girl in the locality. At the same time, he is being bullied and beaten up by a member from the local gang. The kid come across Mr.Han (Jackie Chan), who is in charge of the maintenance facilities in the apartment where the former stays. One day, Mr.Han fights and saves the kid from the notorious gang, who were cornering the kid near the apartment. The incident leads into a close relationship between the kid and Mr.Han. They both went to the kungfu school, where the gang members studies, as a matter of solving the issue. But the teacher provoked Mr.Han and in return Mr.Han promises to 'see' them in the kungfu tournament happening later. Thus Mr.Han started teaching the kid in martial arts and what happens in the tournament is shown in an exciting climax of 'The Karate Kid'.

The films bearing martial arts themes has got a simple formula to follow in general since the olden days. The strong enemy attacks the weak hero, the weaker one in turn reaches the person who can taught fighting techniques to him for survive, then he wins the enemy in the end; this is what we see here also. The characterization and the environment differs. The way in which the kid is taught (scenes like jacket removal and wearing, snake and woman combination etc) by practical experience, is good. The climax tournament is also created attractively, though there are cinematic touches in the middle. Since the kid is learning kungfu, the suitable tile for the film was 'The Kungfu Kid'. The outdoor scenes at the kungfu teaching center shown in the film is a colorful sight. The scene where Mr.Han revealing his past felt lagging, even with a better performance from Jackie Chan in such an area we don't want to see such realistic things in an action oriented movie like this.

Jade Smith, in the title role gave an excellent performance. His body language and actions are suited well for such a role. The black lady, Taraji P. Henson, who comes in the mother's role is also good. The attraction of the film will be none other than Jackie Chan, who took the serious role with ease. The character is apt for the legendary performer, who is reaching his 'old' age. James Horner who did music for big films like 'Avatar', 'The Mask of Zoro', 'Brave Heart' etc did a good job here. Cinematography by Roger Pratt is excellent. The action scenes in the film are done well. The director Harald Zwart has made this film in an universally format that is usually needed for such a subject.

If you like watching films bearing martial arts subjects, then you should watch 'The Karate Kid' having the combination of experienced Jackie Chan with the young new comer Jade Smith.

Rating : 7.5 / 10

1 comment:

Deepa said...

Jade Smith is Will Smith's son....