By Patricia Chavarria, 18, Cesar Chavez Continuation High School (Compton)
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Kick off your summer by watching The Karate Kid. It’s the best action movie I’ve seen this year. With a lot of action and humor, you’ll want to see it over and over again.

Twelve-year-old Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) and his mom, Sherry Parker (Taraji P. Henson), have just begun their new life in China after being transferred for her job. While in the neighborhood park, Dre meets a girl named Meiying and falls for her. Dre’s friendship with Meiying quickly angers a local boy named Cheng, who beats Dre up using kung-fu. Dre hides his bruised eye from his mom and starts school where Cheng also attends. Cheng and his friends bully Dre and demand that he stay away from Meiying and them as well.

Wanting revenge, Dre throws a bucket of water at Cheng and his friends. They chase him home and beat him up again. Then the maintenance man, Mr. Han (Jackie Chan) shows up and uses his kung-fu to save Dre and to fight off the boys. In shock that Mr. Han defeated six boys alone, Dre asks him to teach him how to fight. Mr. Han refuses and instead goes to talk to Cheng’s karate teacher about how it’s wrong that his students use kung-fu to hurt people. Cheng’s teacher makes a deal with Mr. Han. If Dre can defeat Cheng in a karate tournament, he will ask Cheng to leave Dre alone. He accepts the deal and Mr. Han becomes Dre’s karate teacher.

This remake of the 1984 movie had so many amazing fighting sequences. The punches that Dre took from Cheng and Mr. Han (when he was being trained) seemed so real that I found myself jumping and flinching every time he got hit. Jaden Smith definitely has his father’s (Will Smith) humor. Every line he said had you laughing. Like when Meiying showed her dancing skills to Dre, he looked in shock and all he could say was “whoooa.”

I like many of Jackie Chan’s action movies. His performance as a quiet karate teacher was fantastic. In all of his movies you just see him fighting, but in this movie he was passing on the torch. He was teaching other people. You can see his soft side. I recommend this movie to anyone in need of an action movie this summer.