Starring Jaden Smith, Jackie Chan, Taraji P. Henson
Reworking the original Karate Kid’s premise, this time with a younger lead and a foreign setting. This time around Dre, a 12 year old boy from Detroit, moves to Beijing with his single mother, and makes enemies with a gang of sadistic kids right off the back. His only friends are Meiying, the girl he has a crush on, and Mr. Han (Chan), a meek maintenance man. Eventually, as the bullying persists, Mr. Han steps in and offers to teach Dre Kung Fu. The deal: the kids will leave Dre alone as long as he shows up for the tournament at the end of the year. As far as remakes go, this one is remarkably successful. Captures much of the joy of the original, and still feels fresh much of the time. The locations are beautiful and are major reason for this success. Exciting. Triumphant. Enjoyable.