As I was about to start watching this last night, a friend of mine told me to bear with it as doesn't really get going until a little way into the film. Very true. The first half hour was boring. In less than a week, 12 year old Dre played by Jaden Smith (mini Will as I will call him from now on) moves to China with his mum, meets a girl, gets his butt kicked by a group of mini kung fu experts and goes on a school trip to the forbidden city. Busy week.
It is not till the kung fu bullies decide to enlist some big strapping lads (who are probably in their twenties in real life!) to help beat up little Dre that the genius that is Jackie Chan steps in… and then the fun starts. There are impressive scenery shots of the Great Wall of China and other spectacular Chinese landscapes and the sequences where Jackie Chan and mini Will practice are very good. The ultimate fight scenes at the tournament are also surprisingly well done (I was wincing through most of it). Oh and taking the infamous "wax on, wax off" to "jacket on, jacket off" is pretty funny.
Try to forget that it is set in China, not Japan, and Dre learns Kung Fu, not Karate, and you might be OK. It won't win any respectable awards and certainly won't go down in history as one of the best films ever made… but not every film can be Oscar worthy - it doesn't make them unwatchable. If you fancy watching something silly where you don't need to concentrate too much and you can marvel at yet more Jackie Chan moves (and mini Wills impressive skills by the end!) then get it. If I had seen this at the cinema, I might have felt cheated - but on DVD?... I'm OK with it.