The new Karate Kid is set in China and teaches Kung Fu practices over karate moves, and my kiddo, who just started his first karate class, noticed right away.
“I think this movie should be called “Kung Fu Kid,” the 6-year-old said. Still, he was glad to get to watch a preview of the upcoming DVD release the same week! (Thanks to Sony and Travelingmom for providing it!)
We loved it. Some of my kid’s favorite parts were imagining going to school in another country. Wow how fun (and hard) would that be? Also he realized the fighting was real, but still he wondered a lot how they filmed it, and “how they worked those moves” (choreographed it)?
Talk about nostalgia in-a-box for this 30 something grown mom. I dare you to find a mom of similar age who didn’t fall madly in tweenly love with Ralph Macchio!
I don’t think my past 11-year-old self would have crushed so hard on little Jaden Smith. He looks more like 8 than 12? But honestly he is one amazing little actor. (Can I touch your hair?) Plus he pulls off several very funny scenes… ala Daddy Will Smith for sure!
A Lot of Bullying and Violence
But I was a bit shocked at the amount of Bullying-Violence. Even though I expected it and remember it from the original. I turned the movie away from my little boy during the first portion of the bullying/fighting & ‘mean kung fu’. And the second time I knew someone was going to step in and help little Dre. But it still felt like a lot of violence for young kids to be watching. The movie is rated PG for bullying, martial arts action violence and some mild language. If your kids are not up to this rating, you should be aware or watch it first to decide.
After watching the competition portions at the end of the movie my little guy was totally excited to practice his own Kung Fu moves. And despite the kid violence in the movie he definitely got the overall moral: fighting and bullying gets you nowhere.
I was totally fascinated by the similarities and differences to the original:
Love Interest? Huh? I thought Ralph only had eyes for me. I’m serious. I had to look up the old actors to see if there was a love interest way back in 1984. What!? There was? (Elizabeth Shue?) I may have to go re-watch it. I totally don’t remember her!
Location What a far cry from the California urban scene to Bejing! I loved seeing parts of China and my kids imagining living there.
Wax on Wax off? Hello? Where were the funny/campy Mr. Miyagi phrases!?
Plot The overall stories were very similar, (except for my forgetting about the love interest).
Underdog Everyone loves a story about a boy who is placed in a new situation and then finds he has to overcome an overwhelming problem. We all want to be THAT kid.
Unlikely Teacher Jackie Chan is fabulous as the New Mr. Miyagi, yeah yeah his new name is Mr Han, but I’m still calling him Mr. Miyagi. I totally cried when he shares his past with Dre. And there’s a part where they mention Bruce Lee. Classic!
Spoil Kicker Alert
I know you know how it ends. And if you’re wondering if the awesome flying kick-thing at the end still makes the 2010 version? It DOES. And it’s WAY better than the first time around! I totally love how they first teach you about the inner stillness and the woman with the snake reflection moves. Then when he overcomes the pain and the bullies and you see him dig into his own inner strength you really understand what his teacher was teaching him–and you.
This post was sponsored by TravelingMom.
Carissa Rogers in a former life was a molecular biologist. In her current life she is the chief researcher of parenting dos (and some don’ts), new recipes, and for spice pretends to be a photographer…a mom of all trades. She blogs at GoodNCrazy.com , and writes for various online magazines. She has three good kids and one crazy husband. Find her on Twitter: @CarissaRogers