Original v Remake – The Karate Kid (2010)

This is the follow up entry to the Now and Then Blogathon from Thoughts All Sorts.


Director: Harald Zwart

Writer: Christopher Murphey (Screenplay) Robert Mark Kamen (Story)

Starring: Jaden Smith, Jackie Chan, Taraji P Henson, Wenwen Han, Rongguang Yu


Plot: Work causes a single mother to move to China with her young son; in his new home, the boy embraces kung fu, taught to him by a master.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Good Stand Alone Movie


Story: The Karate Kid starts as Dre (Smith) and his mother Sherry (Henson) move from Detroit to Beijing, China. While this is a bigger move that the original we follow the same idea, Dre meets a girl Meiying (Han) and grabs the attention of the local bullies led by Cheng (Wang).

When the bully looks like Dre will find himself in trouble he can’t get out of, the handyman Mr Han (Chan) comes to his aid. Mr Han sees the Master training the bullies and gets Dre entered into a tournament leading to him to teach him kung fu before the tournament, this gives Dre the level of discipline he would need in life.


Thoughts on The Karate Kid


Characters – Dre is our teenager that goes from Detroit to China, he faces a language barrier, needing to make new friends and worst of all bullies. When he gets the chance to learn kung fu, he gains the discipline needed to be w worthy fighter. Mr Han is the handyman that becomes the teacher for Dre, he keeps to himself for the most part but when he sees Dre in looks to pass on his training. Sherry is the over protective mother that moves her son to China. In this film the love interest and bully do seem to have small parts to the bigger picture though.

PerformanceJaden Smith does lack the charisma which we had in the first film to carry the leading role. Jackie Chan is fine in his role working as the mentor but doesn’t bring anything new to the role. Taraji P Henson does a solid job as the mother role.

StoryThe story is boy moves to new town or in this case country where he must learn a new culture as well as discipline when it comes to defending himself, we have the same training idea leading to the same tournament. The differences come from the idea that Sherry moves for a promotion, the love interest does feel awkward as they seem too young and we have kung fu over karate. This doesn’t have the same magical feeling the original film had but could be enjoyed if you haven’t seen the original.

Action/Family/SportThe action does feel weaker than the original, it is a tame couple of chases and then the tournament. I feel it would be hard to get the family to enjoy this because of the running time of nearly 2 and half hours.

SettingsThis is the biggest plus for the film, the setting of China makes the move impossible for Dre to go back on, he must learn the new culture and it does get to look at moments of the spiritual side of the kung fu.

Scene of the Movie – What happened to Mr Han’s family.

That Moment That Annoyed Me This is a subtitles moan or a lack there of for moments when the kids are arguing.

Final ThoughtsThis is a remake we didn’t need, it does lose what made the original magical but as a standalone film it can be watched for what it is meant to be.


Overall: Remake waste, solo film enjoyment.





After Earth (2013)

logoDirector: M. Night Shyamalan

Writer: M. Night Shyamalan, Gary Whitta (Screenplay) Will Smith (Story)

Starring: Jaden Smith, Will Smith, Sophie Okonedo, Zoe Kravitz, Glenn Morshower


Plot: The Earth has been abandoned and every creature left on Earth has now evolved into something that is out to kill humans. 1000 years after this has happened a training ship carrying Cypher Raige (Will Smith) and his son Kitai (Jaden Smith) crash lands on Earth. The two are the only survivors but Cypher is injured. Kitai must put his entire training together fast to travel across the land to get to the rescue beacon with his father’s guidance from the downed ship.


Verdict: A good concept that fails

Story: On paper this is a very good idea for a story, but it gets put together so badly it feels messy and confusing from start to finish. The idea that only two people that survive are father and son is a bit farfetched too. The biggest flaw I see is that Kitai is meant to be trained and thinks he is ready but as soon as he is out in the field he makes mistake after mistake even with the so called best helping him through the situations. If I was to give the mark on just how the story unfolds it would only get a 2 but I like the idea and with better performers it could work. (5/10)


Actor Review: Jaden Smith – Kitai trained to become a soldier against creatures that sense fear but doesn’t seem to stop panicking. Poor performance in this film it clearly is too much too soon for the young man. Poor Performance Award, Miscasted Award (4/10)


Actor Review: Will Smith – Cypher the injured father who spends most of the film telling his son what to do and shouting because he doesn’t follow the instructions. Remember when Will Smith was a selling point for any movie, well this time he just sold out, gets the career back on track and stop working for money. Pay Check Performance Award (2/10)


Director Review: M. Night Shyamalan – You have to give this guy credit for being able to create an unusual world but this isn’t his written work, he creates some good scenes but still expect better. (5/10)


Action: Lacklustre action throughout. (5/10)

Adventure: It could have been a great adventure film. It is not. (5/10)

Sci-Fi: With the world creature it is a interesting look at the future. (7/10)

Special Effects: Some good but mostly poor CGI effects. (5/10)

Chemistry: The awkward chemistry between father and son tries to shine but fails. (6/10)

Believability: Anything could happen the future but this is too much to imagine. (1/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Settings: Earth in the future is an interesting setting and creates some atmosphere but it could have easily been in a normal jungle with real animals. (5/10)

Suggestion: This is poor it will most likely go down in Will Smith’s career as his worst film. (Avoid)


Best Part: The final battle is you make it that far

Worst Part: The first hour is boring.

Action Scene Of The Film: The final battle

Kill Of The Film: The final creature

Oscar Chances: No

Chances of Sequel: No


Overall: Terrible sci-fi thriller

Rating 33

The Day The Earth Stood Still (2008)

Director: Scott Derrickson

Writer: David Scarpa

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Connelly, Kathy Bates, Jaden Smith, John Cleese, Jon Hamm, Kyle Chandler, Robert Knepper.


Story When an object from space looks like it heading straight to Earth Helen Benson (Connelly) is drag from her home and stepson Jacob (Smith) to help solve the problem. Helen is picked by Michael Granier (Hamm), he knows her previous research would be key to the solution. The object starts to slow down as it reaches Earth and it soon becomes apparent that it is some form of space ship.


A huge beam of light lands in Central Park and from that beam of light emerged a Orb. The Orb is the host for an alien figure and a giant organic machine with the ability to control power sources. The alien figure is shot and now the government must try to save its life. With its protective layer being removed a human figure emerges Klaatu (Reeves).


The President goes into hiding leaving Secretary of Defence Regina Jackson (Bates) in charge of the country’s action in this time of crisis. Klaatu soon tells how he wants to meet the world leaders, only Regina refuse and starts to question Klaatu’s reasons for visit. Klaatu escapes and gets to see how different humans act not just to their normal lives but also to a new alien invasion. Helen must try to talk Klaatu that Earth is worth saving before time runs out.


Verdict This big budget remake of the 1951 classic comes over strong without really shining to the level it could have. Keanu Reeves as the emotionless alien Klaatu is perfect for his acting style, but Jennifer Connelly as widowed step mum scientist isn’t the best choice as if it was her own son she would care that little bit more. The Government are as clueless as always which makes Klaatu come over as the enemy when he simple comes in peace against Earth. The overall lesson that we must learn to live in peace rather than use war for it is a done concept that is good one that should become more important to the real world. 

Story Mark 8/10 Already written story that’s gets big budget treatment simple story that is a good watch

Action Mark 9/10 The few action scenes are good and the nano byte bit sticks out though.

Special Effects Mark 9/10 Nano byte special effects are very special especially when they start eating through objects.

Star Performances Keanu Reeves as Klaatu emotionless alien with no facial expression needed perfect fit

Favourite Character Colonel (Knepper) in charge of the army but runs out of ideas funny part of a serious scenario  

Best Part Nano byte destruction scene

Worst Part Government’s intelligence

Best Quote Klaatu after being asked why he came to our planet by Secretary of Defence ‘Your planet’

My Rating 81%