HOLLYWOOD—On Monday night Hollywood was lined in red carpets and fans to witness the premiere of “Karate Kid.” The film brought out the entire Will Smith clan and even Tom Cruise appeared in support of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s son, Jaden, who stars opposite Jackie Chan in this remake. Director Harald Zwart no doubt has a hit on his hands. The film will be released at the same time as the remake of the classic ”˜80s TV series “The A-Team.”

“Karate Kid” this time around is much more contemporary. Columbia Studios says, “12-year-old Dre Parker could’ve been the most popular kid in Detroit, but his mother’s 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, Cheng. In the land of kung fu, Dre knows only a little karate, and Cheng puts ”˜the karate kid’ on the floor with ease. With no friends in a strange land, Dre has nowhere to turn but maintenance man Mr. Han, who is secretly a master of kung fu. 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.”

The film is very long, but it has some beautiful scenery surrounding the Great Wall of China and the relationship Dre has with his mother is pretty typical of kids today. He manages to have a bit more conversation and debate than most people my age are used to; however, I suppose that’s the new behavior between parents and children. Jackie Chan as Mr. Han is absolutely the scene stealer. Jaden Smith is going to become a big star like his dad, without a doubt. Jackie Chan, however, is the heart and soul of this film and this time it’s all dramatics, not comedy.

“Karate Kid” took all of us by storm in 1984, and this film will certainly become a right of passage for young people today. I only wish the respect that Mr. Han taught Dre had been visited on his mother from time to time. Fresh talk from kids is utterly new to me, as it was not allowed in my home growing up. However, putting myself in the era of today, I would say Dre is certainly not a bad kid. The boy who plays Cheng, the class bully is absolutely photogenic and a solid performer as well.

I give the film Four and a half Stars. Only taking a half a star because of the length. Over two hours is far too long to contain a young person in a theater, but otherwise it’s a film well worth seeing.