Well, the film never tries to say it's about Karate, and it knows the difference. The title is just that, a title, and an homage to the original story.
I still think Jaden Smith was a bit too young to play the lead character, but all in all, he did pretty well. That's a pretty talented kid. It's eerie how much he looks like his dad at times.
- The film stayed fairly true to the general story line of the original without being a copycat.
- Jackie Chan is a very talented martial artist and it shows, although the fights were a lot more 'Hollywood' than in the original.
- Jaden Smith was likable and clearly worked hard for the role.
- The story did not seem as deep. I felt less connection to the characters than in the original.
- The bad guys were bad, but I never bought the whole 'redemption' or the 'realizing you were wrong' scenes.
- Everyone was too young for the type of fighting/violence that was offered. There is a scene where Jackie Chan is fighting the bad guys, and they're just a bunch of kids. It just didn't look right.
Overall, I didn't mind the film. It had it's moments. Mainly I felt it lacked a bit in the character department. I know it did fairly well in theaters, so it's always possible I'm just getting old...
Anyway, I loved the movie. Partly because it's great and partly because I expected nothing.
Without giving too much away, it's about Wing Chun Kung Fu, Yip Man (or Ip Man), war, pride, ego, honour, China vs. Japan, Kung Fu vs. Jiu Jitsu, and a whole lot more. It was very entertaining. Some of the fighting was over the top, but there was a lot of good martial arts in there too.
A surprise hit. Donnie Yen is great in the film. I recommend it. I've yet to watch part 2.
So there you have it, some lighter fare amidst some heavier posts.