The Karate Kid

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Twelve-year-old Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) could’ve been the most popular kid in Detroit, but his mother’s (Taraji P. Henson) latest career move has landed him in China. Dre immediately falls for his classmate Mei Ying -and the feeling is mutual- but cultural differences make such a friendship impossible.

Even worse, Dre’s feelings make an enemy of the class bully, and kung fu prodigy, Cheng. With no friends in a strange land, Dre has nowhere to turn but maintenance man Mr. Han (Jackie Chan), who is secretly a master of kung fu. They go to Cheng’s teacher, Master Li, to attempt to make peace, but the brutal Li, who teaches his students to show no mercy to their enemies, challenges Dre to a fight with Cheng. Dre is frustrated that Han merely has him spending hours taking off his jacket, hanging it up, dropping it, and then putting it back on again. He refuses to continue, until Han demonstrates to him that the repetitive arm movements were his method of teaching Dre defensive block and strike techniques, which Dre is now able to display instinctively when prompted by Han’s mock attacks.

As Han teaches Dre that kung fu is not about punches and parries, but maturity and calm, Dre realizes that facing down the bullies will be the fight of his life.

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At the tournament, Dre is slow to achieve parity with his opponents, but soon begins to beat them, as does Cheng.

Dre eventually comes up against Liang, another of Master Li’s students, and is incapacitated, which would allow Cheng to win by default, but as we expect, good beats evil.


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