Kung Fu lies in everything. How we put on the jacket. How we take off the jacket. Everything is Kung Fu. – Jackie Chan’s character Mr. Han to Dre (Jaden Smith) in Karate Kid.
If there’s one thing that inflames us more than the abominable sight of Indian adult ‘actors’ like Abhishek Bachchan, Trisha Krishnan, Ajith, Priyanka Chopra and Nayantara go through the motions of acting, it’s to see our child stars (Darsheel Safary excepted) go through the contortions of acting.
So is it any surprise then that we found our Nirvana today in Jaden Smith.
What a Treat
We went for the 4PM ET show of Karate Kid today at a theater on the East Coast only to be turned away at the box office because the show had been sold out. Guess what, even the 6:05PM show was sold out. But this time we’d bought the ticket a couple of hours early.
Folks, the only reason to see Karate Kid is 12-year-old Jaden Smith.
The kid is an absolute treat to watch on the big screen.
Charming when he’s boasting of his non-existent talents in the park, engaging when he’s got the sly, impish look on his face with his young crush Mei Ying, attractive when he’s training with his Kung-Fu instructor Mr.Han and good even when he’s licked, be it in the park at ping-pong or in a fight with the bullies.
Sheer dynamite and makes it worth the $10.50 ticket price.
We saw him briefly in the 2006 film The Pursuit of Happyness for which father Will Smith got an Academy Award nomination. But here in Karate Kid he takes center stage and gets first billing in the credits, ahead of even Jackie Chan.
Forget the retards like Abhishek and Ajith, Jaden outshines even the so-called Bollywood superstars Shahrukh Khans, Aamir Khans, Akshay Kumars, Salman Khans and Hrithik Roshans. No, that ain’t no hyperbole,just the sad, doggone truth.
By now, just as all ye schmucks know Jaden is Will Smith’s son, you sure as hell are also aware that Karate Kid (2010) is a remake of the over quarter-century-old Karate Kid (1984). Right?
Of course, all ye dolts will mutter that Jaden got the role because his Papa and Mama are the co-producers.
Hey, you may have mumbled sotto voce but we heard you alright.
Putzheads, forget not that when the camera is switched on, it’s Jaden Smith on whom the arc-lights shine not papa Smith.
And the kid does deliver in ample measure.
Predictable Story, Shining Execution
Sure, the Karate Kid movie follows the predictable arc of the 1984 film.
Even, if like us you’ve not seen the original you know how things will play out in this one. No big surprises here.
But where the movie comes into its own is in the solid execution of a familiar story, besides Jade’s fine performance as the bullied kid Drei Parker that is.
Only the setting is transformed to the happening country China where Dre’s widowed mother Mrs.Parker (Taraji Henson), a car factory employee, is transferred.
No sooner is Dre in China than he falls foul of a vicious bully Cheng (a fine performance by Zhenwei Wang) who repeatedly knocks the stuffing out of the American kid after he sees him in the park with a pretty young girl Mei Ying on whom our Dre instantly develops a crush.
To Dre’s great distress, Cheng happens to be in the same school and with his cohorts continues his cruel bullying and beatings.
When the beatings get severe, Drei’s apartment maintenance manager Mr. Han (the Hong Kong super-star Jackie Chan) steps in and takes the kid under his wings, setting the stage for some fine and humorous moments of unusual Kung Fu training and interaction between the 56-year-old Asian super-star and the 12-year American kid
The movie canters along with nary a dull moment in the 135-minutes.
The camera work, with the expected shots of the Great Wall, Forbidden City et al, is pleasing.
And the ending featuring the Kung-Fu competition is exactly as you anticipated it to be. Nothing you didn’t expect to happen ever happens in this film.
But for once that’s really not a negative here.
What’s a Hollywood movie without some romantic touches, eh?
So, Dre’s crush on the young violinist Mei Ying provides that for you. Hey, there’s even a smooch between the adorable kids!
Jackie Chan – A Delight
And to all Jackie Chan fans, we say that the 56-year-old actor’s charms are intact.
With his shuffling gait and calm demeanor (except for that single breakdown), Chan is a fine contrast to the ebullient, chatty Dre.
By the way, Tamil actor Kamal Haasan is the same age and what a world of difference exists between the two.
Jackie Chan makes it all look effortless, as if he’s not acting. Kamal Haasan, in contrast, often appears to be straining for the right effect and ends up melodramatic.
Your Kids Deserve It
Besides Jaden’s acting that you’ll certainly relish, Karate Kid is a movie your kids too will enjoy.
During our show, the loud laughs and claps were ample evidence that the kids in the hall, who outnumbered the grownups, had a rollicking time.
Go ahead, all ye niggardly, conjoos desi bastards, give your brats a treat. Take them to Karate Kid.