Twenty-six years after little Ralph Macchio kicked butt in the original Karate Kid comes this reboot, with son-of-Will Jaden Smith showing off his chop-socky moves as 12-year-old Dre Parker. Moved from Detroit to China by his widowed mother, Dre struggles to fit in, falling foul of school bully Cheng. With no friends to speak of to back him up, Dre turns to maintenance man Mr Han (Chan), who turns out to be a kung fu master willing to teach the boy about the ancient art, which is more about inner calm than knocking someone’s block off.
For a kids movie, this is incredibly long (almost two and a half bottom-numbing hours), and most junior members of the audience won’t be impressed that some of that is picturesque shots of Chinese scenery. Smith is likeable, though, and the fight scenes are fun, but the best thing about this movie is Chan, who gets to really act for a change rather than just throw some moves (though he does that too). It’s all very clichéd and predictable for grown-ups, but will appeal to tween and teen fans of the genre.
Is The Karate Kid (2010) suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Under-8s may be bothered by the bullying scenes, but would probably find the movie too slow to sit through, anyway.