The Karate Kid

When single mom Taraji P. Henson ("Date Night") wisely decides to take her fatherless boy, played by Jaden Smith ("The Day the Earth Stood Still" 2008) and move from Detroit to Beijing, the little guy is under- standably reluctant. We are already familiar with "The Karate Kid" (1984), so we know where we are going, but Jaden's parents, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have co-produced a winning re-imagining of this upbeat story for their son.

Their smartest move is to star Jackie Chan ("The Spy Next Door") as the maintenance man/kung fu master who becomes our young hero's mentor.

This is a high-dollar, mainstream movie shot in China, complete with colorful scenes of the 2008 Olympic Village, the Forbidden City in the center of Beijing, and the Great Wall. It is always fun to watch someone master a skill, and this film is no different. We see the boy's frustration at the inscrutable demands of his tutor, his slow mastery of skills, and the maturity and wisdom he finally achieves. And we relish his defiance of the school bully.

Of course we can expect the championship martial arts match and all the excitement that promises, but this is a feel-good film all the way. In their son Jaden, Will and Jada Pinkett Smith have produced another winner.