I've never seen The Next Karate Kid, which came out in 1994. Maybe it was for the best, since it got bad reviews from both the audiences and so-called professional critics. But I still want to see it though, and had I seen it I would have reviewed it today. The Karate Kid franchise was resurrected, reboot-style. I wasn't sure what to think and I still don't, but I'll go ahead and give you a review.
Some would say a same script, different cast. But its not just that, which makes this reboot actually satisfying. There are some changes in things: like the settings: it is in Beijing, China. Also, karate is not used. In all honesty, I didn't know it until I read about it. To some, it may be a fatal error. In fact, Sony had considered changing the title because of its usage of 'kung fu' instead of karate. Jackie Chan, arguably the most popular Asian-American in American cinema the last 20 years, no doubt has the role of the mentor, Han (in place of Miyagi). And Will and Jada Pinkett Smith's son, Jaden, plays 'Dre' (in place of Daniel). The two form a friendship after Han saves him from bullies in his new school. And, as expected, platonic relationship occurs too. Always does a female get involved.
It is great to see an update/revival of an underdog story. It's always something to show to generations, especially if their parents were young when the first Karate Kid came out in 1984. Most reboots are not so bad, even though some can be a disappointing let-down to true fans. I feel that this is not the case for the Karate Kid as it stays true to its story and characters. Not so sure about the fighting techniques, though. It's not like I can tell the difference between most martial arts movements, anyway!
It was revealed yesterday that there will be indeed a sequel, with both Chan and Smith reprising their roles. Not much else has been said. We do know that Smith will be a few years older, so hopefully that won't hurt anything.
My rating: 7 out of 10