Loading
October 08, 2010
The Karate Kid
By Katherine Haas

By Katherine Haas

Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith hit the screen in this hard-hitting contemporary take on the old story of the impatient student and the wise old martial arts teacher. The scene is modern day Beijing where Dre Parker and his mother have just moved from Detroit.

The usual atmosphere of culture shock is only augmented by the fact that every kid on the playground seems to know kung fu and enough English to throw a few taunts.

Dre’s saving grace comes in the form of the maintenance man, who not only knows how to work the hot water heater, he is a kung fu master who saves the young American lad from a pack of bullies. This time around, there is no “wax on, wax off.” Rather, Mr. Han’s preferred method of teaching revolves around hanging up a jacket, taking it down, putting it on, taking it off, and dropping it on the ground before retrieving it and starting the process over again. The method is not only practical, it has the comical aspect of reducing clutter in the Parkers’ apartment.

While multiple scenes of the duo training on the Great Wall of China are a little far fetched, the settings are nevertheless breathtaking. All throughout the film, the American viewer is exposed to different aspects of Chinese culture. The existence of video arcades and basketball courts blend with mountaintop temples, bustling markets and dark alley ways in a reminder of how the ancient and modern come together in a vibrant culture, a culture with both admirable qualities as well as a dark side.

Perhaps the most captivating part of the film is the most questionable. The conflict between Dre and his antagonists leads up to a celebrated kung fu competition. Entirely contrary to the teachings of the wise maintenance man, which state that kung fu is not about senseless violence but rather is an entire way of life, the competition pits Dre against an entourage of competitive showmen in a contest of shattering blows.

The American desire for victory and vengeance will be acquitted in the movie, as Dre draws upon invisible reserves of strength and cunning to return to the ring and face down his schoolyard nemesis, sporting a broken leg all the while. And while the conclusion is a good lesson in the human ability to recognize nobility above winning at all costs, one wonders if the steps taken along the way were not perhaps a little too drastic.

“The Karate Kid” is an engaging bit of entertainment that nevertheless glorifies violence in an excessive manner. Leaving the film, children and adults and like will be awed by the martial arts, but for the wrong reasons. Parents should exercise caution when exposing their children to the movie, taking care to explain when violence is justified and when it is not. Nevertheless, for the discerning mind, the acting, dialogue and cinematography are all top notch, making the movie an enjoyable piece of entertainment.

« Previous entry     Back to index     Next entry »
Ads by Google
(What's this?)
blog comments powered by Disqus

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
Sep
19

Liturgical Calendar

September 19, 2014

Friday of the Twenty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 8:1-3

Gospel
Date
09/19/14
09/18/14
09/17/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: 1 Cor 15: 12-20
Gospel:: Lk 8: 1-3

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
09/19/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 8:1-3

Homily
Date
09/19/14
09/18/14
09/17/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: