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The Karate Kid Review

By: Lauren Cohen, The Campus Movie Guru (University of Miami)
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Just the other day I was wishing I could go back to the movie mentality I had when I was little; any time I saw a movie, I came out of it entranced, not knowing how not to enjoy a movie. After the incredibly disappointing slew of movies so far this summer, and after giving more C-ratings than ever before, I was starting to fear that maybe I had lost the ability to leave a movie with that rush of happiness and satisfaction that you can only get after seeing a really, really good movie. Then on Friday night, I went into The Karate Kid with somewhat low expectations, and left the theater…with more endorphins than a champion marathon runner.
When I first heard that they were remaking The Karate Kid, I was repulsed. When I found out they were switching the location to Bejing and casting the much younger Jackie Chan in the role of the old, wise, and incredibly bad-ass Mr.Miyagi, I was furious. However, I can admit when I’m wrong, and in this case, I definitely was. The filmmakers did everything right when it comes to remaking a beloved film. They made enough changes so that it wasnt a carbon copy of the original, brought a fresh new swing on the story…all the while preserving almost everything that made the original so great, from some of the classic lines and memorable scenes to keeping alive the very spirit of the story.
Now, the acting: I can’t call Chan Mr.Miyagi…and luckily, I don’t have to. Wisely changing the name of the character from Mr.Miyagi to Mr.Han, this remake did not in any way try and recreate the characters from the original. Chan drew from the original character, embodying his wisdom and adding a more somber veil over the character. I never realized what a good actor Jackie Chan was until now. He’s always been the go-to guy for the role of funny foreigner who knows how to kick-ass, and in The Karate Kid, we definitely get to see a lot of ass-kicking (top notch, incredible ass kicking to be exact) but also a performance with depth, something I didn’t at all expect. Jayden Smith (son of Will Smith) is a little superstar in the making. I don’t care if he got the role because of his parents…the boy can act, and very well. He was funny, charismatic, and was without a doubt able to hold his own throughout the entire film. I can’t wait to see where his career goes from here.
The Karate Kid reminded me why I love to go to the movies- not rent dvds, or watch movies online…but what is so special about the movie-going experience. I could literally feel the energy of the audience. I heard gasps and “oooohs” all around me during the training sequences. People stood up and cheered during the end fight. Clapped wildly during the end credits. THIS is why people go to the movies in the first place. Don’t miss out on the opportunity of seeing one of the first truly great movies of the summer and go see The Karate Kid ASAP!
Rating: A
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