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The Karate Kid Review

Movies.com Critics

1.0

Dave White Profile

Wax off. Read full review

3.0

Jen Yamato Profile

The Fresh Prince of Kung Fu Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0
    61

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    You could also say it's like they're likable tourists on a quest to plunder an endearing movie that didn't need this mediocre remake.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Frank Scheck

    It's a measure of the times that the new version of The Karate Kid manages to be longer and bigger-budgeted than the original while having lesser impact.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Solidly entertaining.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Fun, and believable, on the most important level: It convinces us that Jaden Smith has what it takes to fight his way to the top.

    Read Full Review

  • See all The Karate Kid reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 9+

Remake has new stars, new country, but same winning spirit.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this Karate Kid remake is a faithful adaptation of the original but because the central character is 12 instead of 16, the language and romance is appropriately scaled back, even though the violence is a bit more startling. There's not much cursing (a few uses of the word "ass") or sexuality (mild flirting and one chaste kiss), but there are a whole lot of fight scenes. The Chinese bullies are pretty merciless both off and on the mat. They're even willing to do some unethical moves to secure a championship. But when it comes down to it, this is a friendship story between old and young, East and West, and that's a fine message for young kids.

  • Families can talk about how this is ultimately a fish-out-of-water story. How is Dre even more of an outsider than the original's Daniel? What are the cultural differences that make it difficult for Dre to fit in? Do outsiders always meet with bullying, or are there ways to make it easier to get along?
  • What do Dre and Mr. Han teach each other? Is it believable that an older man and a 12-year-old would become best friends?
  • While the first Karate Kid dealt with class, this one subtly deals with race and culture. How does Dre's different background affect his ability to fit in? Why? Did the movie challenge or reinforce any stereotypes? Kids: How do you treat people from different backgrounds or those who are new in town?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: As with the original, the Karate Kid 2010's message is supposed to be that violence doesn't solve problems and that pure martial arts are about peace and self reflection, not fighting or revenge. While there is a lot of  of violence, the overall theme of the film is a positive one.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: It's very very obvious who's "good" and who's not. Mr. Han considers and discusses martial arts almost like yoga -- a sacred practice that should never be abused. Meanwhile, Master Li is a competitive zealot who espouses the importance of "No weakness, no mercy!"

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: The new Karate Kid boasts just as much bullying and martial-arts violence as the original, but these characters are middle-school aged, not high-schoolers. There are black eyes, cracked ribs, and broken bones. Plus, one scene features an adult against five eager-to-brawl tweens and teens.

  • sex false2

    Sex: Dre, who is 12, is obviously interested in Meiying, and they flirt with each other quite openly. After some hand holding, they play a dance video game, and during her hip-hop dance, he stares at her wide-eyed and tells her "You're dancing is HOT." They eventually share one brief closed-mouth kiss.

  • language false2

    Language: Aside from the word "ass," which Karate Kid Jaden Smith says about four times, there's the occasional "stupid," "loser" and the like.

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Since the movie takes place in China, there's not a whole lot of visible consumerism, but some brands that stand out include SpongeBob SquarePants (in Mandarin!), Volkswagen, and Air China.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: In one scene, Mr. Han looks and acts drunk (a bottle of Chinese alcohol is shown).

Fan Reviews provided by

4

Karate Kid by elijahcunningham220
It's sad he was bullied and the fight was amazing

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