Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) and his mother (Taraji P. Henson) move to China; the boy is bullied in school by a kid who doesn’t like the newcomer, but Dre turns to kung fu. A remake of the 1984 movie that’s surprisingly good, providing an excellent showcase for Smith and Jackie Chan, the former very charming, the latter relishing the chance to not only show off his martial arts skills but also some acting chops. A long, formulaic movie, with violence that will not be tolerated by some parents in the audience… but it benefits from the Beijing locations and an understanding of what it feels like for an 11-year-old kid to be uprooted.
2010-U.S.-China. 140 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Harald Zwart. Music: James Horner. Cast: Jaden Smith (Dre Parker), Jackie Chan (Mr. Han), Taraji P. Henson (Sherry Parker), Wenwen Han, Rongguang Yu, Zhenwei Wang.
Trivia: Co-produced by Smith’s parents, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith.