The Karate Kid (2010)
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12-year-old Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) and his mother Sherry (Taraji P. Henson) move from Detroit, Michigan to Beijing, China for her new job. New at the school, Dre incurs the wrath of karate student Cheng (Zhenwei Wang) when he makes the mistake of speaking to his girlfriend Mei Ying (Wenwen Han). After a particularly brutal beating by Cheng and his friends outside of Dre's apartment building, during which the maintenance man intervenes to "save" him, Dre learns that Mr Han (Jackie Chan) is actually a martial arts master and that he's willing to train Dre in self defense. However, Mr Han's "training" seems to consist of Dre taking off and hanging up his jacket over and over and over again. Edit (Coming Soon)
Cheng is primarily picking on Dre because Dre developed a crush on Mei Ying, but it is implied that she is Cheng's love interest since their families are friends. After Dre develops a crush on Mei Ying and she reciprocates those feelings, Cheng becomes jealous and vindictive. From then on, Cheng and his gang continually bully Dre without showing or feeling any remorse, guilt, mercy, or pity. As bullies usually do, they attack someone they perceive as being weaker and of a different culture/race, purely for malicious reasons such as this one. They've been taught to think this way by their own martial arts instructor Master Li (Rongguang Yu) who mistreats them and rewards ruthlessness. Master Li even uses the tag line used by John Kreese (Martin Kove) in the original movie: "No Mercy." Edit (Coming Soon)
Harry (Luke Carberry) quickly intervenes and desperately is trying to reason with Cheng. He is trying to talk some sense to the bully so he can stop Cheng from further beating up Dre. Harry is saying in Mandarin, "He just got here. He doesn't even know who you are" but the savage Cheng refuses to cooperate and says "Go away" to Harry. Like most other friends, Harry says what any other friend would say (i.e. "What the heck are you doing?", "This is bad", "Don't do this", etc). Edit (Coming Soon)
Mr. Han takes Dre to visit Taoist monasteries in order to watch some of the adepts training in the martial arts and meditating. The scenes were shot at Mt. Wudang, Hubei. There are three temples that take prominence in the movie: The Golden Palace, The Purple Cloud Palace, and the Tianyi Zhenqing Stone Palace, where Dre saw an adept hypnotizing a cobra. The 2.9m dragon stone carving is real. It protrudes from the cliff-side temple passage and originally held a bronze incense burner. Legend said that placing incense here at dawn was a show of courage and an act of faith. Edit (Coming Soon)
（小） "Xiao" in Mandarin literally means "small" or "little". In this case, like in the original where Mr Miyagi calls Daniel "Daniel-san", Mr. Han is calling Dre "Little Dre" because Dre is obviously younger than him. It's to show that Mr. Han, like Mr. Miyagi, is showing his student respect. Edit (Coming Soon)
Dre and Cheng face each other in the final match of the Tournament of Champions, Cheng having won his semifinal match, and Dre's opponent having been disqualified for an illegal blow that injured Dre's knee. Cheng scores the first point by knocking Dre off the platform. Dre scores his first point by knocking Cheng to the floor. His second point is earned when he scissor legs Cheng, again knocking him to the ground. When the match pauses for Cheng to be looked at, Master Li orders Cheng to break Dre's leg and reminds him of the Fighting Dragon motto: No Mercy. The match continues with Cheng scoring another point against Dre by kicking him in his already injured leg. At 2-2, the next to score a point wins the match. Despite the pain, Dre returns to the ring, assuming the crane stance and staring Cheng down in the same manner as he saw the woman on the mountain use with the cobra. When Cheng makes his move, Dre flips himself, catching a kick to Cheng's head. Dre scores a third point, winning the championship. In the final scene, the fighting Dragons line up and pay obeisance to Dre, while Master Li looks on incredulously and Mr Han smiles with pride. Edit (Coming Soon)
In this particular version, approximately 8 minutes are missing in comparison to the international version. But then again, there is a little bit exclusive footage in it as well. Apparently, this version is only for the Asian market or—to be more specific—for the Chinese market because all the alterations have one goal and one goal only: to make the fellow countrymen look better. Especially the fight and bullying scenes are either much shorter or they have been completely removed. The romance between Dre and Meiying has been toned by one cut in particular: they do not kiss. Furthermore, a few statements about China and its culture have either been changed or added to the audio track. Edit (Coming Soon)
There are a lot of similarities between this remake and the 1984 original, and so the film remains incredible faithful. The only differences are the setting, the age group, different character names and the addition of some Mandarin dialogue and text, along with most notably the kid learns Chinese martial arts other than karate (which is more popular in Japanese martial arts).
Aside from the obvious and most central plot points (Dre runs afoul of a bully, and eventually faces him at a tournament), the following similarities are seen:
- Mr. Han and Mr. Miyagi are both housing maintenance men and handymen with some broken English, and see Dre/Daniel trying to learn a martial art while trying to fix the main water systems.
- Dre lives in a single-parent household, raised by his mother, much like Daniel in the original. However, Dre's father is shown to have died due to unknown reasons. Daniel's father, Mr. LaRusso is never mentioned in the original so it is unclear weather he is dead or divorced.
- Cheng and his friends are not purely malicious at heart, but are taught to be by their own martial arts instructor who treats them very badly and rewards ruthlessness. Master Li even uses the tag line used by John Kreese in the original movie: "No Mercy."
- Mr. Han tries to catch flies with chopsticks, just like Mr. Miyagi in the original.
- Dre plays a prank on his bullies by throwing a bucket of dirty, slimy, oily rainwater water at them which causes them to chase him and beat him up and having Mr. Han come to his rescue. In the original, Daniel sprays water on one of the bullies in the bathroom stall during the school dance and is also chased and beaten up with Mr. Miyagi coming to the rescue.
- Mr. Han tries to reason, make peace and part on good terms with Master Li at his kung fu school despite their rivalry but is coldly rebuffed and rejected. Mr. Han then arranges for Dre to participate in the tournament, with Master Li making the same agreement made between John Kreese and Mr. Miyagi in the original movie: That Cheng and his fellow students will stop bullying Dre in the meanwhile.
- Mr. Han teaches Dre basics by having him do repetitive mundane house-hold related tasks. His "Jacket on, Jacket off" exercise is clearly inspired and by and based on Mr. Miyagi's famous "Wax on, Wax off" from the original movie.
- Both Mr. Han and Mr. Miyagi perform some kind of mysterious medicine healing ritual technique to a wounded, beaten up and bruised Dre and Daniel, respectively.
- Mr. Han hides a painful secret involving his family that eventually comes out while he is drunk, like Mr. Miyagi. They are both shown to be alone, with their family (wife and kids) dead.
- In the tournament semi-finals, Master Li forces his student to sacrifice his place in the tournament by inflicting a severe injury on Dre's leg, resulting in the student's disqualification. Mr. Han helps him recover enough to face Cheng in the final bout.
- During the final match, Master Li demands that Cheng focus on Dre's hurt leg, and Cheng is hesitant to do such a brutal, illegal and unethical move but reluctantly complies. Dre nonetheless wins using a fancy jumping move (much more flair and pizzazz than the "crane kick" used by Daniel in the original movie) and finally gains the two things he needed most by the end of the movie: (1) overcoming his fears, and (2) winning the respect of his nemesis.
- Similar alternate ending scenes, involving a battle between the two martial arts instructors, were removed from both the original and this movie. In the original, an alternate ending was scrapped, where John Kreese is roughing up Johnny Lawrence for losing to Daniel at the end of the tournament. Mr. Miyagi intervenes and badly humiliates Kreese in front of all his students (this scene was later added into the beginning of The Karate Kid Part II (1986) (1986)). At the end of this movie, an alternate ending where Master Li is infuriated at Cheng and his fellow students bowing respectfully to Mr. Han, and Mr. Han fights off Master Li and leaves him sprawled on the floor, was also taken out of the final theatrical release.