Cross Cultural Conflict in Karate Kid Movie

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Twelve-year-old Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) and his mother Sherry (Taraji P Henson) move from Detroit to Beijing. There they live in a new apartment building called Beverly Hills, and Dre attends the local school. While visiting a nearby park, Dre strikes up a friendship with Meiying (Han Wenwen), a young girl who plays the violin. But Dre’s encounter with Meiying attracts the attention of the school bully Cheng (Zhenwei Wang) and his gang. They target Dre for attack. Cheng wants to hurt Dre, but Mr Han (Jackie Chan) steps in. He is the maintenance man for Dre’s apartment building and a Kung Fu master. He makes short work of the bullies. Mr Han encourages Dre to go to the Kung Fu academy where Cheng is a student. Mr Han hopes they can reason with Cheng through his instructor Master Li (Rongguang Yu). Unfortunately, Master Li is a bully too. So Mr Han decides that the only way to help Dre is to enter him in a Kung Fu tournament where he will fight Cheng one on one. From here, the movie focuses on Mr Han teaching Kung Fu to Dre. Dre’s relationship with Meiying also blossoms as the day for the Kung Fu tournament draws near. ThemesWhat is this?

Here we outline any topics, issues and ideas in this movie that might upset children and adolescents, so that you can gauge whether it is appropriate for your child. For example, children and adolescents may react adversely to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, separation from a parent, animal cruelty or distress, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Bullying; martial arts; tweenage romance; grief and guilt over the death of family members ViolenceWhat is this?

Here we identify any violence in this movie, and explain how and why it might impact on your child or adolescent. In general, movie violence can make children less sensitive to the use of violence in real life. Alternatively, they may become fearful about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world. In some contexts, it can also teach them to see violence as an acceptable means of conflict resolution. The Karate Kid (2010) contains intense segments of graphic martial arts violence enacted by young boys against other boys. It also shows frequent bullying. Much of the violence could be imitated by children who might see Dre and other characters as role models. Other than some bruising, the movie shows no real-life consequences that would result from injuries caused by the acts of violence. No blood or real injury is seen. Examples of violence include the following:

* While in a park, Cheng pushes and shoves Dre, causing him to fall face first on the ground. Dre then charges at Cheng, and Cheng flips Dre over his shoulders. This leaves Dre lying upset on the ground. Dre gets up and punches Cheng in the face, knocking Cheng onto his back. Cheng retaliates by punching and kicking Dre hard in the chest and knocking Dre off his feet. Cheng then punches Dre hard in the eye, leaving Dre lying on the ground holding his eye in pain. Later Dre has a large ugly bruise covering much of one side of his face. He applies make-up to hide the bruise from his mother. * In an act of deliberate bullying, Cheng knocks a food tray out of Dre’s hands. This covers Dre in food. Later we see Cheng and his gang rip Dre’s school bag out of his hands and tip the contents over the floor. * Mr Han flicks a toothpaste top at Dre, hitting him in the face. * During a training session, Master Li tells his young students to show ‘no weakness, no pain and no mercy’. * In response to being bullied by Cheng and his gang, Dre throws a bucket of filthy water over them. Dre is eventually restrained by the bullies while Cheng powerfully punches Dre twice in the stomach. Dre lies on the ground in pain and very upset. * There is a stylised fight between Cheng’s gang and Mr Han. Mr Han makes the boys punch and kick each other rather than making contact with him....
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