The Karate Kid (1984)

After finishing the unexpectedly outstanding YouTube Red series, Cobra Kai. this morning, it was only natural to revisit one of my favorite films from my childhood.

The Karate Kid, starring Noriyuki ‘Pat’ Morita as Mr. Miyagi and Ralph Macchio as Daniel Larusso, was one of the greatest underdogs stories from the 1980s and Morita, who had a role on the TV show Happy Days, created one of the most original and iconic characters in movie history.

Mr. Miyagi was full of wisdom and funny platitudes that fit beautifully into the troubled life of Daniel Larusso.  The father-son relationship that developed between the two characters was something special and would stand the test of time.

The Karate Kid is a film that translates easily into today’s world just as well as it did in the 1980s.

The ending sequence with the song Best Around is one of the greatest fight montages in film and the entire karate tournament was very well done.  Even though you suspected what would eventually happen, you had that little doubt in your head wondering exactly how Daniel would accomplish it.  That was the brilliance of the film.

One of the best parts of the film was one where they took Miyagi and completely circumvented any sort of stereotype.  The scene where Miyagi tells the story of his wife and his unborn child’s death in Japanese internment camps was both poignant and heart breaking.  We see Miyagi as a military hero for the US on one hand and how the world of racism and bigotry crushed his life forever.  Pat Morita was nominated for an Academy Award and this scene was one of many that demonstrated the reason why it was a well deserved nomination.

I love the Karate Kid and it deserves its place among the classic movies of all time.

And if you have not seen Cobra Kai, it is a fast binge and extremely enjoyable show.



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