To its credit, Harald Zwart's update of the 1984 hit The Karate Kid, which transplants the post-Rocky template into China, doesn't leave you asking, "Why?"
The answer, nonetheless, is that producer Will Smith wants a franchise for his boy. So we have Jaden Smith as Dre Parker, who finds himself in China when his single mother (Taraji P. Henson, a hit in an underwritten part) gets a job there. And though a bit green, he matches Ralph Macchio's original kid kick for kick. Jackie Chan as Mr. Han also holds his own against Pat Morita's Mr. Miyagi, especially when he prevents a key dramatic scene from collapsing into comedy.
The Chinese setting enhances the fish-out-of-water feel of the original — not to mention providing the host country with some great PR. One question lingers, however: why isn't this called The Kung Fu Kid?