Rated: PG

Distributed By:

Columbia Pictures

Directed by:

Harald Zwart (Agent Cody Banks)

Starring:

Jaden Smith as Dre Parker; Jackie Chan as Mr. Han; Taraji P. Henson as Sherry Parker; Wenwen Han as Meiying; Zhenwei Wang as Cheng; Rongguang Yu as Master Li; Luke Carberry as Harry

Adapted From:

Plugged In Online

The Karate Kid

Twelve-year-old Dre Parker and his mother move to Beijing, China, after a job transfer. Pint-sized, dreadlocked Dre thinks China is anything but exotic. But when pretty Meiying catches Dre’s eye and instantly attracts the unwanted attention of a young thug named Cheng, Dre’s self-confidence fades. Mr. Han, a quiet-but-kind maintenance man, takes notice of Dre's trials and offers to teach him king fu, right in time for an upcoming kung fu tournament against Cheng.

Mr. Han is a recluse—until he takes Dre under his wings. Stepping into those mentor shoes brings new life to Mr. Han. Much of Mr. Han's teachings about kung fu involve spiritual elements of Buddhism, but he also sees the martial art as a way of living well and treating others with respect. Regarding Dre's conflict with Cheng, Mr. Han believes that standing up to him is what matters, not victory.

Unfortunately, the film does include some pretty serious content, including bullying, kissing, inappropriate dancing and grown up dilemmas. Predictably, there is quite a bit of martial-arts violence.

Based on a very popular 1984 movie, The Karate Kid maintains the same solid and inspirational message as the original. The main character is much younger, but there’s the same emphasis on perseverance, friendship, discipline and mentoring.  

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