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Movie Review: The Karate Kid

Before I say anything, I have to admit first that I haven't seen the original film. So, there's that. Haha.

Now, since I got that out of the way, let me start by saying that this movie took me completely by surprise. Sure, there was no actual karate in it - and yes, I somehow refuse to call it Karate Kid, but instead Kung Fu Kid, errr, whatever - but the movie was just too adorable not to like.

I personally thought that the magic of the film's appeal very much lay in the pairing and the palpable chemistry shared between the teacher and the student - Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith. Individually, of course, they delivered as well. Jaden was just as charismatic as his father, Will Smith, in this film. He channeled the vulnerability of a little boy quite amazingly and I was really shocked that he portrayed his role really well.

Jackie Chan, on the other hand, was unusually subdued and serious - in a good way. I've seen maybe a dozen of Jackie Chan films, and this was by far his best performance to date. Sure, Jaden Smith's acting clearly outshone Chan's, but it was actually pretty refreshing to see him just play a regular guy. And while his own storyline in the film was one of the weaker parts of the plot in general, it didn't detract much from the story.

The supporting cast also did a fine job. Taraji P. Henson was both hilarious and brilliant with her one-liners and the Chinese casts, especially the kid nemesis of Jaden, were really good.

Now, as for the fight sequences, did I say it was outstanding? Haha. With Chan present, the fighting had to meet a certain standard, and it did. The kicks were fluid and quick, punches came in from all directions, and the aerial moves were jaw dropping. It was both brutal and stylish. To me, in terms of stunt work, this movie can definitely hold its own against other Kung Fu movies.

Technically, the movie also didn't disappoint. I thought the cinematography was great and the scoring during the intense fight scenes were exceptional. The impact alone of each blow during the final showdown was authoritative, loud, and visceral.

All that being said, the movie was, of course, far from perfect, with a few moments that pulled me out of the story. And though the pacing was good, I thought the movie ran on for a little bit longer than what I would have liked. Good thing, the third act put me on the edge of my seat with excellent action choreography that somehow made me forget some boring patches prior to that.

Ultimately, the movie was fun. Even with the early shock of seeing kids duke it out, everything was eventually made believable. Yes, it wasn't flawless but immensely entertaining.

Movie Review: The Karate Kid Reviewed by DAM on 12:53 AM Rating: 5

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