Archive for the Yu Rong Guang Category

Review: Police Story: Lockdown (2013)

Posted in Jackie Chan, Yu Rong Guang on August 11, 2015 by Michael S. Moore

police lockdown1

Starring Jackie Chan, Liu Ye, Jing Tian, Yu Rongguang

Fight Choreography by Jackie Chan

Directed by Ding Sheng

It’s no secret that Jackie Chan is without a doubt my favorite martial arts action star. In my book it’s Bruce, Jackie, Gordon, and everyone else., but JC has always been tops for me. It’s amazing how he’s defied what he should be able to do at his age and keeps on trucking. I was as excited as anyone else when a new Police Story was announced. Much like Chinese Zodiac, Jackie returns to one of the series that made him famous.

This new film is called Police Story, but contains none of the fun of any entry in the series, including New Police Story.

Chan returns not as Kevin Chan or Chan Wing, but as Zhong Wen, a troubled and aging Chinese mainland cop who goes into the club district to meet with his estranged daughter Miao (Jing) and finally meet her boyfriend Wu Jiang, the owner of the Wu Bar. Wen is obviously having issues with her new boyfriend, but that doesn’t compare to what happens next, as Wen, Miao, and a dozen others are taken hostage in the bar by Wu Jiang, who is using Miao to capture Wen. Wu Jiang wants the exchange everyone for a prisoner and as the Swat teams stand by to infiltrate the club-turned-fortress, Wen must find his connection to Wu Jiang, the prisoner, and several of the hostages before the ensuing invasion gets a lot of people killed…

POLICE Lockdown3

The story of Police Story: Lockdown moves at a pace that is odd. Many of the action scenes are actually told in flashback, which is infuriating to say the least, because in Jackie Chan films, the situation is immediate and of the moment, and the flashbacks are a story mechanic that is woefully out of place for a Jackie Chan Police Story film (New Police Story did a flashback, but it came at the end of the film and was an appropriate way to close the story).  Jackie Chan is a very serious and dour character, and this doesn’t change from the start of the film through the end. Jackie plays the character well, but it just wasn’t fun. Liu Ye is great as Wu Jiang, and the emotional rollercoaster ride he takes during the film is believable right until the end, where he becomes an Evil Bad Guy. Jing Tian is good in her scenes with Jackie Chan as his daughter, but her part is still a damsel in distress role, which is just played out at this point.

Police Lockdown

Ding Sheng directs the film as if he didn’t know this was a Police Story film. While some of his shots are really gorgeous, some are confusing, particularly a few action moments. I pretty much expect that from Jackie’s American output, but not from his Chinese language films.

The fight scenes are…ok. Nothing special, which is a cardinal sin for this series. Even New Police Story had the great fight vs Andy On. Here the fights are not shot very well, and what’s there is very, very small. Is this due to Chan’s advanced age? I don’t think so, not in the light of what he does in Chinese Zodiac. They try to take a more realistic approach to the fights, but that’s no fun, not for a series called Police Story. Of course that can be said for just about every moment of this film.

Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 5

Jackie Chan is in need of a snickers bar, ’cause he’s not himself, nor is this a true Police Story Film. If he decides to close the series out, it needs to be with Kevin (Ka Kui) Chan, in a film with a better balance of comedy and action. Actually a lot more comedy, and Maggie Cheung.


Review: My Kingdom (2011)

Posted in Sammo Hung, Yu Rong Guang, Yuen Biao with tags , , , on April 27, 2012 by Michael S. Moore

Starring Chun Wu, Han Geng, Barbie Hsu, Yuen Biao, Yu Rongguang

Fight Choreography by Sammo Hung

Directed by Gao Xiaosong
The Peking Opera dances have been a staple of many martial arts films over the years, but usually is part of a set piece or scene. Rarely is it woven as part of the main plot of a film. Prodigal Son is one of the few examples, and My Kingdom will join it as another. Both star Yuen Biao to varying degrees.

My Kingdom begins at the end of the Qing dynasty, and the new Prince Regent is having the Meng families beheaded. Watching all of this is Northern Peking Opera Master Yu (Biao) and his student Yi-Long (Wu), who take note of Er-Kui (Geng) a boy in the Meng family, slightly younger than Yi-Long, who is about to be put to death. Er-Kui sings a song as his sister is being beheaded, and this causes Master Yu to save him. Later, Master Yu is given the Golden Plaque, recognizing him as the greatest of all Opera Masters. During the celebration of the Plaque, Master Yue Jiang-Tian (Rongguang) comes to challenge Master Yu for the plaque. The rules among Opera performers is that if they lose the duel, they are to break their spears and never take the stage again. Master Yu reluctantly duels with Master Yue, and is defeated while trying to save one of the boys. Master Yue takes the Plaque, and the boys vow revenge for their Master, and take it years later, drawing the ire of Master Yue’s protege Madam Xi (Hsu), but little do any of them know that their lives are about to play out not unlike many of the tragic operas they perform…

My Kingdom has a story that is simple, and while not exactly predictable, you can get the idea of where things are headed. This story is ultimately about loyalty to one’s family. Every main character, in some way, is acting out of loyalty to their families. Everyone wants revenge, but at the same time they are part of each others’ “families”, which leads to much hand ringing and angst between them as each try to take revenge for their loved ones, which may mean destroying each other in the process. The leads do a good job, with Barbie Hsu being standout as the one enigma. Her character seems simple at first, but as the film goes on she becomes more complicated as she finds her own struggles with revenge. Han Geng does a great job as the most conflicted one of the group, as Er-Kui plans to exact his revenge for the murders of his family by killing all of the sons of the Prince Regent. He is the most sensitive one, and the most dutiful, and always walks around with the weight of the world on his shoulders, and Geng pulls it off nicely. Chun Wu also does a good job as well as Yi-Long, whose motives are probably the most straightforward of anyone in the film.

Once again Sammo Hung comes through with great fight choreography. I don’t know how adept any of the actors are in regards to martial arts, but they did a good job. There aren’t many fights, but the two best fights are Yuen Biao versus Yu Rongguang, who show they’ve still got the right stuff, and the fight between Yu Rongguang and the youngsters. The fights are fast-paced and have some really good movements, even if many of them are wire-assisted, but Sammo’s choreography masks some of the more obvious wire harness scenes, as does the excellent cinematography. The one piece of choreography that can’t mask the performer is the fight between Madam Xi and Er-Kui. It’s obvious that a stunt person was used for most of Barbie Hsu’s fights, and when the camera shows its her she is very rigid and, well, just looks uncomfortable in her movements.

Overall My Kingdom is a pretty good film that tells a unique story about the Peking Opera school and the dangers of revenge. It truly is a dish best served cold.

(On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best):

CHOREOGRAPHY: (8) There aren’t many fight scenes in this film, but what’s there is done well. Of course Yuen Biao and Yu Rongguang provide the best fights in the film. The film needed more like that.

STUNT WORK: (7) The stuntmen do a good job subbing in for the actors, which is apparent in some scenes due to the way it’s shot. The Opera performances and battles are well done.

STAR POWER: (8) Yuen Biao and Yu Rongguang are as good as always. Too bad they weren’t the main characters. Barbie Hsu is as good as always. Han Geng and Chun Wu look as if they may have what it takes to be future stars.

FINAL GRADE: (8) My Kingdom tells a solid story about the Opera warrior’s culture, and the tragedy that unfolds for those who desire the Golden Plaque.

Review: Shanghai Noon (2000)

Posted in Jackie Chan, Roger Yuan, Yu Rong Guang, Yuen Biao with tags , on April 1, 2011 by Michael S. Moore

Starring Jackie Chan, Owen Wilson, Lucy Lui, Roger Yuan, Walter Goggins, Yu Rong Guang

Fight Choreography by Yuen Biao

Directed by Tom Dey

After the success of Rush Hour Hollywood was eager to get Jackie Chan back on the big screen. Of course since they deemed his english wasn’t good he needed to be teamed up with another English-speaking actor (Jackie’s english is just fine), and Jackie  had an idea about doing an american western for a while, which there is some debate about, since Sammo Hung claims he came up with the idea first, which would result in Once Upon A Time in China part 6. It was simply a question of who would reach the finish line first. The producers of Rush Hour liked Jackie’s idea and brought in Alfred Gough and Miles Millar (creators of Smallville), brought in a relatively unknown director in Tom Dey, and at that time a rising star in Owen Wilson. Would this be another Rush Hour film?

Thankfully, the answer to that is hell no.

The film begins in the Forbidden City, circa 1881, as Princess Pei Pei (Liu) arrives in what will be an arranged marriage to a local lord, so of course he looks more like an Asian John Candy , so you know that ain’t gonna work for girlfriend, and so, with the help of her english teacher, she runs away to the USA. The only one to see her is a lowly Imperial guard named Chon Wang (Chan) who dreams of being more than what he is, which is a shitty guard since he lets Princess Pei Pei escape. The Imperial magistrate receives a ransom demand for the return of the princess, and sends the ransom gold along with Chon, his uncle, and three other imperial guards. Fast forward to seven weeks later, and the guards are on a train heading toward Carson City Nevada, where the gold is to be delivered, and the audience really gets a taste of the rich cinematography that will permeate the entire film.

Soon the train is boarded by bandits led by Roy O’Bannon (Wilson) a carefree hippie bandit who is more in love with the romance of being a bandit than actually being one. Things go wrong when his newest gang member Wallace (Goggins) shoots Chon’s Uncle. Chon goes after Roy and his gang, and foils their plan to steal a safe full of money, and finds himself in the middle of nowhere after he separates the train car, and Roy finds himself in more trouble when Wallace double-crosses Roy and takes over the gang.

Meanwhile, Princess Pei Pei arrives at a rock mill, and her teacher delivers her to Lo Fong (Yuan), a traitor who used to be an imperial guard. Of course the greedy teacher wants more money, and you would think that after thousands of films made these guys would just learn to take the damn money and go, but not this douchebag. And of course, right from the Villain’s Handbook Fong quickly dispatches the teacher, and reveals to Princess Pei Pei that she is being held ransom for gold.

Soon Chon finds himself in the American wilderness, and his first real fight is a doozy against a band of Native Americans, which starts seriously but becomes comedic halfway through, which is appropriate in the terms of the fight scene. After Chon gains a wife in a hilarious scene right out of a Mel Brooks film, he travels to a nearby town and meets Roy O’Bannon again, and an old fashioned bar fight ensues, put through a Jackie Chan blender of great fight choreography. Soon Roy and Chon become allies for difference reasons to save the Princess and stop Lo Fong and his hired goons from winning the day, and discover what their true calling in life is…

Okay, this may be somewhat of a mini-rant I promised back in my review from Rush Hour, but what the hey. This movie is the anti-Rush Hour for so many reasons. For one, this is an actual Jackie Chan film, through and through. He’s the center of everything, and Owen Wilson, unlike Chris Tucker, is content to share the screen with Jackie, not trying to steal away every scene. Of course, it helps when the director doesn’t have an agenda other than to make a good Jackie Chan film (Yeah, that’s at you, Ratner. You’ve done nothing more than to make Jackie second fiddle in his own film to promote your boy Tucker.) Ratner used Jackie to get himself and Tucker into the big time, and  Jackie became more and more a secondary character as the Rush Hour films go on.

Also unlike Rush Hour there is Jackie Chan-style action galore here, and moves in cadence with many of Jackie’s HK films. The best fights being the fight versus the Native Americans, the bar room brawl, and the next-to-last fight, which actually gives us what real JC fans want, a martial arts fight of Jackie Chan versus the Iron Monkey himself, Yu Rong Guang. Rush Hour’s martial arts finale? Jackie trying to hold a vase upright, which was fun, but please. You can easily see that director Tom Dey actually understands what a Jackie Chan movie actually is, which is comedy mixed with serious scenes, great stunts, and fantastic JC fight choreography, cadenced at the opening, middle, and end of the film. It’s apparent that despite the films he’s claimed to have seen, Ratner doesn’t know a damn thing about a Jackie Chan film. End of rant. At least until I get to review Rush Hour 2 and 3. Then I go nuts. I may need blood pressure pills for those.

The film is also full of veterans of martial arts films, especially Roger Yuan, a favorite actor in many Jet Li films, and funny enough he’s also in Jet’s competing east meets western, OUATIC part 6. He makes a great villain, and his two fight scenes with Jackie are good enough to show that he’s a threat that could actually beat Chon Wang. Lucy Lui does a good job as the Princess, and shows a great inner strength as the film progresses. Wilson also does a great job being, really, Jackie’s sidekick, which actually gets made fun of throughout the film. Jackie and Owen have a natural chemistry that seems forced in the Rush Hour films. Yuen Biao does a great job with the fight choreography, and look for him onscreen as a servant who loads rocks into Pei Pei’s basket.

Yu Rong Guang doesn’t get to do much, but his final fight with Jackie is a showpiece of weapon forms. Of course last but not least is Jackie himself, who does a great acting job as Chon Wang, his fight scenes are as good as ever, but what you’ll really note is how comfortable Jackie looks onscreen. He’s more confident here than he ever was in Rush Hour. I give a lot of credit of that to the writers and the director.

Shanghai Noon is a great Jackie Chan film that really encapsulates everything that makes JC so great, and is just a fun western to boot. Except for having an Uncle Cracker song, no wrong notes on this one. With the exception of one other film, this is the best of Jackie’s American output.

(On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best)

CHOREOGRAPHY: (9) Yuen Biao does a great job mixing the western aesthetics with with the staples of a Jackie Chan fight scene. Roger Yuan does a great job with his fight scenes as does Yu Rong Guang. The fight vs the native americans is great.

STUNTWORK: (9) Jackie Chan speaks for himself, but the other stunt performers not part of the JC stunt team really sells everything, especially in the bar room brawl, and the escape from the gallows.

STAR POWER: (9) Jackie’s finally made a Jackie Chan movie in America, and Owen Wilson would go on to more hit films, Lucy Liu would go on to do Charlie’s Angels, and Walter Goggins is one of the stars of the TV series Justified.

FINAL GRADE: (9) An American film that can truly be called a Jackie Chan film at last. A classic western in its own right, with a fun, relatable story and great characters in Chon Wang and Roy O’Bannon.

Review: Iron Monkey (1993)

Posted in Donnie Yen, Jean Wang, Tsang Sze Man, Yu Rong Guang, Yuen Woo Ping with tags , on March 27, 2011 by Michael S. Moore

Starring Yu Rong Guang, Donnie Yen, Jean Wang, Tsang Sze Man, Yen Yee Kwan

Fight Choreography by Yuen Cheng Yen and Yuen Shun Yi

Directed by Yuen Woo Ping

Yuen Woo Ping is without a doubt the greatest martial arts choreographer ever. The best and biggest Martial Arts stars have been under him in one way or another, and he’s had a hand in some of their biggest films. Drunken Master, Fist of Legend, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Snake in Eagle’s Shadow just to name the very, very few, and one of his best is Iron Monkey.

The film starts in the small town of Chekiang, a town run by a corrupt and evil governor Cheng who taxes the people into poverty, but he has a problem. There is a costumed man named Iron Monkey who steals from Cheng and gives the money to the poor in a classic Robin Hood manner.  Each night Chief Fox, a kind-hearted but really out of his league leader of the police force, devises a plan to catch Iron Monkey each night, and each night fails miserably.  Iron Monkey is in fact the local doctor Mr. Yang, and with his assistant Miss Orchid help the people during the day, overcharging the rich and not charging the poor at all, and misdirect Chief Fox when they can.

The first fight really sets the tone for the film as the Iron Monkey takes on a group of Shaolin Monks who are hired to capture him (you’ll notice the Shaolin monks, in a change of pace, are bad guys in this one for reasons to be explained(?) later.) The fight is furious and fun, still full of fast and graceful movement and that dance-like choreography that Woo Ping is famous for, and you’ll find yourself laughing and marvelling at the fights all at once.  Suffice to say they do not capture Iron Monkey, but neither does he get the chest of gold the Governor is trying to hide.

The next day Wong Kei-Ying (Yen), a most famous doctor and martial arts master arrives with his son Wong Fei-Hung (Man), who will become one of China’s greatest heroes, is just a little boy here, and it’s fun to see that Ping borrowed some of this iteration’s Fei-Hung from Jackie Chan’s teenage version in the Drunken Master films, and Jet Li’s Once Upon A Time In China’s rendition, and of course Tak Hing-Kwan’s version from Magnificent Butcher (He’s played the Fei-Hung character over 60 times!)

They come at a bad time as Chief Fox has decreed that anyone looking, acting, or doing anything that looks monkey-like is to be arrested, which leads to a hilarious montage of guys getting busted for exactly this. After beating a group of bullies who were about to come after Fei-Hung in yet another masterful showing by Yen, both Kei-Ying and Fei-Fung are arrested for fighting so well. All arrested individuals are brought before the Cheng, but before Fei-Hung can be branded, because the governor is a douchebag, the real Iron Monkey shows up to prove none of those captured are him.

Wong Kei-Ying, not understanding the situation, goes after the Iron Monkey in a tremendously good fight as Yen and Guang really go after it, and their fight is appropriately awesome. Iron Monkey escapes, but Fei-Hung is held prisoner as Cheng charges that Kei-Ying capture the Iron Monkey if he wants his son back. Chief Fox promises to look after him, and Kei-Ying goes into the city but finds that no one will sell him food or shelter because the Iron Monkey is so beloved. He is taken in by Dr. Yang and Miss Orchid, but all are unaware that they have bigger problems as a Shaolin Traitor, now the Royal Minister arrives in town, and they must beat him, because Shaolin traitors are terrifyingly evil, and this particular one is a douche. Soon Kei-Ying will have to team up with the Iron Monkey, as he along with his son and Miss Orchid stand between the Royal Minister and total domination, or something like that.

This is probably one of the most fun of the Woo-Ping films. There is lots of comedy, mixed in with serious scenes and over-the-top wire work. Yu Rong Guang does a great job as the Iron Monkey and Dr. Yang, centering the film despite all the amazing things he does and sees. He is both serious and playful all at once, and unafraid to toss quips like Spider-Man. His fights with the Shaolin Traitor’s henchmen is terrific, especially with the scarred virgin warrior, whom he insults at every opportunity as he kicks her ass. Yen is great as Wong Kei-Ying, playing him seriously but still incorporating comedic moments for the character. His fights are fantastic, the best being the first fight with the Shaolin Traitor, and his demonstration of the Shadow Kick. Donnie really brings the foot work in this film, but the real treat may be Tsang Sze Man as Wong Fei-Hung. She really (yes, Fei-Hung is played by a girl this time out) pulls out all of the stops in the fights with the bullies and their boss, and the best being her fight with the Shaolin Traitors. The fight choreography takes real advantage of her size, and showcases her impressive skills, particularly with staff forms. Jean Wang is fantastic as Miss Orchid, and it’s funny to see her here, since she will play Aunt May, in Once Upon a Time in China 4,5, and 6. She brings a grace and beauty to the screen, and her fights are also full of grace and footwork.

This film is actually more famous than those who starred in it. It didn’t make anyone who was in this film a superstar at the time, and in the case of Donnie Yen would happen much later, but the sum is greater than the parts, and the sum is credited to Woo-Ping, who makes a fun, thrilling film that doesn’t take itself too seriously. He hits just the right beats, and each fight gets more fun than the last, culminating in a final fight on a series of burning poles with a lake of fire below that has to be seen to be believed, but Woo-Ping pulls it off. His fights help to move the story along, never stopping the advancement of the story as so many films do, and all of the characters fight according to their personalities, which is common sense to say to but not always easy to pull off, which is why Woo-Ping is truly a master of film, and Iron Monkey is one of his classics. A great intro film to those unfamiliar with Woo-Ping.

(On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best):

CHOREOGRAPHY: (10) The fights are plentiful and take many different forms, from funny to deadly, and sometimes within the same fight. Every performer gives their all in this, and it really shows. Each fight escalates, and the lyrical choreography changes notes like a symphony on a dime.

STUNTWORK: (10) Yeah, they went all out for this. There are a lot of really painful falls, and they really sold the fight scenes. Their timing on the fights are perfect, and the wire work they do is great to cring-inducingly amazing.

STAR POWER:(9) Yu Rong Guang is great here, and would go on to do films like Shanghai Noon and the new Karate Kid, but never really achieved any superstardom, but neither had Donnie Yen until the last six years, and Jean Wang would go on to do more great films, and this would be Tsang Sze Man’s only film, and she would later become a police officer, but if you only have one film, Holy crap, what a film to do!

FINAL GRADE: (10) Iron Monkey is one of the best martial arts films you could watch, and Woo-Ping created a Robin Hood story that is still readily accessible to this day with some of the best fight scenes recorded on film.

NEXT: Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson take on Roger Yuan and Yu Rong Guang in Shanghai Noon!

Review: The Karate Kid (2010)

Posted in Jackie Chan, Jaden Smith, Reviews, Yu Rong Guang with tags , on June 27, 2010 by Michael S. Moore

Starring Jaden Smith, Jackie Chan

Fight Choreography by Jackie Chan

Directed By Harald Zwart

The mere idea of doing a remake to any beloved movie takes a lot of balls. A lot has to go right, and usually doesn’t. So, take an unknown quantity in Jaden Smith, seen to many as being given the film by his parents like a child gets a Christmas present. (Trust me, it isn’t as easy as that. The studios funding the film has the last say on that) Also take one Jackie Chan, whose last US films have been dreadful (not because of him), and add one director whose last two films were Agent Cody Banks and the Pink Panther 2, and you have the makings of a disaster of Ishtar-sized proportions. Not only did the disaster not occur, but a rather successful update of a somewhat classic film.

The film starts as Dre Parker(Smith), a 12-year-old from Detroit, travels to Beijing with his Mom, who has been transferred there from her car company. (What kind of mid level job does that? Hell, sign me up for that one!). No sooner has Dre arrives than he meets the girl of his dreams, and the repairman of his apartment, a grouchy man named Mr. Han (Chan). Now back to that girl of his dreams bit. She plays the violin in the park when he meets her, and tries to impress her with dance moves, but that sort of thing evidently can get your ass kicked by the local boys, and one in particular, named Cheng, who looks like a future martial arts villain in the making. They start to abuse Dre, and the beatings he takes are far more brutal than anything Daniel Laruso went through in his version, and even tries to learn Karate on videotape, and is beaten up miserably again, and seeks out the Red Dragon Dojo to learn Kung-Fu, but finds that Cheng studies there, and soon Dre simply wants to go home, as taking multiple beatings daily just isn’t really cool. He is soon helped by Mr. Han, who agrees to teach him Kung-Fu in a scene where the dialogue is taken almost word for word from the original, and soon Dre is in training, and learns to become a better person just as Mr. Han learns to care again. The film culminates in a tournament fight where they put it all on the line. Guess who wins?

The films walks a line that really is a Catch-22: stick to the story, and everyone will criticize the need to remake it anyway. Stray too far away from the original and people go “so why call it Karate Kid?” (Note the film is only called the Karate Kid here, and is called the Kung-Fu Kid internationally except for Japan where it is called Best Kid.). The film makers probably did the best thing they could by keeping the story beats the same, but changing around the character, situations, etc. Jaden does a pretty good job as Dre, acting, well, like any 12 year-old you’ve ever met. His fight and training scenes are well done, but as he lived with Jackie Chan for a year to train with him, he damn well better be good, and is. Jackie Chan does a great job giving an understated performance as Mr. Han, a lonely man whose soul you can tell is in dark place, but trains Dre for reasons explored later in the film. The other actors acquit themselves okay, but none are given much to do . Master Yi isn’t as memorable as Martin Cove’s Kreese, but isn’t meant to be. In fact, the film rests with Smith and Chan and the relationship they forge together, and they both do a pretty good job, although Chan holds the scenes together more than Jaden.

The fight scenes are well done, as I suspected they would be. The camera moves around a bit too much during the tournament scenes, but are well staged other than that. Jackie’s one and only fight in the film gives the film a jolt of energy at just the right moment, and I think it gives the audience a warm feeling at the return of an old friend. The fight looks more like some of his 90’s film fights, but as he is playing a sightly older character, he keeps his movements at a premium.

The Karate Kid is a remake that does the job of retelling the story with a quality job by all involved, a rousing and fun film that shows the friendship between two people who turn out to need each other far more than they think. Whether you enjoy it or not depends on how married you are to the original. If you can separate the two, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Choreography: (8) Good fight scenes crafted for the boys by Jackie Chan, and a good fight midway between Chan and the bad boys. The tournament fights were kinetic and fun, and I wish the camera would’ve stayed still a bit longer.

Stuntwork: (9) Holy crap. I didn’t have high expectations for this, but these kids must be trying out for Jackie Chan’s junior stunt team. They take brutal looking hits and spins, and fall just as the adults would. Even Jaden does a great job here selling his many, many abuses.

Star Power: (8) Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith, one star who is winding down while another is coming up. In what form Jaden’s career will take remains to be seen since Jackie has offered to train him in Kung-Fu for the next 3 years, and since the film is already a success he’ll be training with Chan again, no doubt. I have a sneaking suspicion that we’ll see some of the fighters in the tournament turn up in other things in the next 10 years or so. Maybe one of them can be the next big Martial arts star? Hey, it happened for Chan.

Final Grade: (8) Jackie Chan returns to form for the first time in a U.S. film, and they succeed in remaking a film that may or may not have needed it. The Karate Kid is a lot of fun for the entire family, and especially for future martial artists…