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“The Karate Kid” a Film by Harald Zwart Essay

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Updated: Mar 14th, 2020

The karate kid movie of 2010 is a film about the story of a twelve-year boy who moves to Beijing, China from Detroit with his mother. The mother who works for a car company is transferred to China and forced to relocate with her entire household and make China her new home.

While in China, the young boy, Dre Parker, gets into trouble on the first day and is involved in a fight with Cheng who has great ability in Kung Fu. Dre is forced to embraces Kung Fu to make peace with his enemies, Cheng and his crew. He manages to get a good teacher, Mr. Hun, who teaches him good Kung Fu; different from the one his enemies are taught by their master, Mr. Li.

To make peace with his enemies, Dre has to face off with Cheng and his friends in a tournament after getting to learn Kung Fu. In the end, he manages to defeat each of them emerging the winner. Both Mr. Hun and Dre got the respect of their enemies.

The main character in the movie is Dre Parker, who is just a simple African American boy who moves to China and tries to fit into society. With his American culture, he easily mingles with everyone and makes new friends. At the same time, he develops a crush on Mei, a young girl who plays the violin.

However since Cheng, is a close family member to Mei, he tries to separate them and threatens Dre that he should stay away from him, his friends and his family. Dre is an inspiring actor who stands up to the threats of Cheng. He made two bold moves that not anyone in a foreign country would dare take a risk.

After his first defeat by Cheng, he decided to revenge by splashing oil on him and his friends. This was a very brave and risky thing to do because if it were not for Mr. Hun’s intervention, then Cheng could have brutally attacked him. After seeing how Mr. Hun dispatched the boys, he began to appreciate Kung Fu as a means of defense from his tormentors.

However, Mr. Hun could only accept to be his Kung Fu master if he were to change his perception towards Kung Fu from a defense mechanism to a means of making peace with the enemy. This was the second bold and inspiring move that the little boy, Dre took to face up his enemies, which eventually paid off. An aspect of Dre that was not pleasing to both his mother and his trainer was his intentional habitual laziness of dropping his jacket on the floor.

Even though he knew that leaving his jacket on the floor was not right, he kept on repeating the same mistake even after the mother warned him although the most amazing thing about Mr. Hun is how he noticed that Dre had a problem with keeping his jacket in the right place and decided to use this weakness to train Dre into a strong young boy who could stand up and face his enemies even in a foreign country.

It was not coincidental that he had that irritating habit of dropping his jacket on the floor and making the mother shout at him every other time. Mr. Hun was able to instill in him respect for the mother and at the same time use his weakness to train him into a strong character.

The theme of the movie and the actors made it stand out from the rest during the time of its release. The theme of bravery and fighting hard to achieve something that does not come easily is very inspiring because the choices of actors are mere school children. Both Dre and Cheng are used to bring out this point in the viewer.

Dre is a complete foreigner who struggles to fit into his new environment and live life the normal freeway that he is used to in his home country. He demonstrates full independence except for the fact that he lives with his mother. He makes most of his survival decisions by himself without involving any adult figure even though some of his decisions could have landed him into deep trouble if it were not for the intervention of an adult.

He does not send out a sense of desperation to any of his friends including Mr. Hun and his mother, Mrs. Parker. Another amazing and inspiring character is Dre’s mother, Mrs. Parker. She also likes to take up new challenges and does not shy away from them. When her company decided to transfer her to China, she took the challenge and relocated to China with her entire household.

She did this out of excitement. She was very happy to learn Chinese and mingle with Chinese even on the plane on their way to Beijing. She found everything in China amazing and joyous. To me, she seems like a fun loving mother who appreciates different cultures and enjoys the adventure. She managed to take Mr. Hun out of his daily boring and lonely life and got him a ticket to one of China’s great festivals.

She is also an amazing mother to Dre since she shows concern to whatever Dre is going through. She very much wants to be involved in the affairs of her son even though Dre shows a sense of independence. Mr. Hun is also very inspiring. He seems old, but he has great skill of Kung Fu. He claims that his style of Kung Fu is the real Kung Fu and not what Mr. Li teaches his students.

His claims became true when he trained little Dre to emerge victorious in the tournament. He eventually managed to get more students to teach real Kung Fu after Mr. Li’s students deflected from him. His impeccable display of wisdom greatly inspires the viewer. He hardly speaks, but when he does, he only speaks words that would either challenge or build his listener.

For instance, it is he who helped little Dre realize so many things about the world of martial arts. Despite the inspiration that one gets from each of the actors, the movie can easily be judged as a show of might between America and its main current rival for a superpower, China. It is very clear from the movie that America is trying to show that it does not fear the challenge that China poses.

America and China have completely different cultures, and this is why things never really work out in the relationship between Mei and Dre. For a stranger to come into a foreign country, learn the local culture within a short time and challenges the locals who have grown up in their culture, only gives the impression that the foreigner is better than the locals. In the context of the movie, this implies that America is still better.

In conclusion, the karate kid movie is a great movie is that has insightful and inspiring themes that any viewer can learn from besides entertainment. The characters display good acting skills, and the production is perfect. The culture mix is also relevant since it reminds the viewer that America and China still have a relationship that they both respect.

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""The Karate Kid" a Film by Harald Zwart." IvyPanda, 14 Mar. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/the-karate-kid-a-film-by-harald-zwart/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. ""The Karate Kid" a Film by Harald Zwart." March 14, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-karate-kid-a-film-by-harald-zwart/.


IvyPanda. (2020) '"The Karate Kid" a Film by Harald Zwart'. 14 March.

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