Jacket on, Jacket off is no Wax on, Wax off. As much as I wish it could be.
The most jarring thing I take out of this movie is that a 12 year old Jaden Smith could probably beat the shit out of me. Sure I could say that I didn't try my hardest because he's a kid and I didn't want to crush his little kid face, but that would be folderol. Judging by some of the moves he displays here, such as ending a 180 flip by kicking someone in the face or beating his way through the chinese school system. My face would like something like Harvey Dent's when he was done with me.
To be honest, I was expecting the Karate Kid to be a lot more tedious then it was. Granted its hideously overlong (2 hours 20 mins), as cliched as a film could possibly be and more then a little po-faced, but its got a handmade, fairly low-key kids movie with next to CGI and some suprisingly brutal ass-kicking. Perhaps because I'm so used to seeing less then organic fight sequences, that seeing these kids smack the crap out of each other felt somehow refreshing (not in a kind of creepy way at all) and you can't help but get into the tournament showdown, even as you recognize every familiar beat and everything happens exactly the way you think it will happen, but even with knowing these things, its a harmless and earnest enough movie for me not to mind a great deal. Smith seems to have inherented some of hid dad's screen-presence, and is good value here. Jackie Chan makes a good 2D mentor and Zhenwei Wang makes a suitably evil with a capital E villain.
Its not high art, or any kind of art for that matter, but its nice to see a kids movie less cynically put together then the usual fare. Plus people get kicked in the face pretty hard, so that's like way awesome.