The Karate Kid
The Karate Kid
PG | 22 June 1984 (USA)
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After some violent confrontations with his new classmates, Daniel LaRusso learns karate from Japanese handyman Mr. Miyagi, in order to defend himself.


Best movie of this year hands down!


Admirable film.


This is one of the few movies I've ever seen where the whole audience broke into spontaneous, loud applause a third of the way in.

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All of these films share one commonality, that being a kind of emotional center that humanizes a cast of monsters.

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The Karate Kid (1984)After seeing the teaser trailer for the forthcoming Cobra Kai TV show I got all nostalgic. So I decided to watch this movie again expecting it not to live up to the fond memories I had growing up in the 80's. Unlike me this movie has gotten better with age. It can now be regarded as a classic. Much more than a guilty pleasure. The Karate Kid is a fine movie that is very well made.For anyone who hasn't seen it the film tells the story of Daniel LaRusso played fantastically by Ralph Macchio. A young boy who moves with his mother to LA to start a new life. Unfortunately for Daniel San he soon falls foul of the local bullies. What's even more unfortunate is that the bullies happen to be Karate experts and they proceed to practice their moves on the new kid in town. Daniel then meets Handyman Mr Miyagi played to perfection by Pat Morita. Miyagi helps Daniel overcome the bullies by teaching him the true art of Karate. What develops is a very exciting and heartwarming story.Directed by John G Avildsen this movie is as much a story about an adolescent teenager searching for a father figure as it is a film about Karate. Think of it not as a Karate movie more of a movie that happens to have Karate in it. The chop socky action plays second fiddle here just as the boxing did in Rocky. A movie also directed by John G Avildsen. In fact the actual martial arts action equates to about twenty percent of the movies actual run time. At 2 hrs 6mins this film is not overly long because it is driven by strong character development. Everyone involved puts in a stellar performance. Morita and Macchio in particular are superb. Watching their friendship blossom as they work to achieve their goal is deeply moving. This is because in a way they both need each other. Daniel is a boy without a father and Miyagi is a father who lost his child. Because of this moving subplot the payoff at the end is all the more enjoyable as they achieve victory together. John G Avildsen surely knows how to rouse the spirit.The beautiful Elizabeth Shue plays Ali, Daniels love interest and apart from Mr Miyagi the only friend he's got. William Zabka stars as Johnny Lawrence the lead bully who actually is a flawed character. A good kid at heart who like his buddies have been brainwashed by nasty Karate instructor Kreece played with relish by Martin Kove. His performance here merits him a nomination for best villain of the 80's. As Myagi points out "There's no such thing as bad student, only bad teacher!" This movie is packed full of moments and dialogue that are now embedded into pop culture. Even if you've never seen this film the phrase "Wax on, wax off!" will still be familiar to you. If not then you must have been living on the moon for the last thirty years or so.This movie is elevated by Bill Conti's fantastic score. Choosing him was the right choice just as it was choosing John G Avildsen to Direct . Conti's work on Rocky shows here as yet again he creates a score that will raise the spirit and get the audience punching the air when Daniel San administers that final blow. The movies soundtrack is also a peach, packed full of 80's classics that help stir up the nostalgia.The fight choreography is very well done. The combatants perform as they would in real life. There's no Bruce Lee levels of intricacy here. The fight scenes are grounded and apart from the cheesy crane kick at the end they are mostly believable. But as I strongly stated before The Karate Kid is much more than just a movie about fighting in the physical sense. It's a touching, heartwarming story about a boy fighting the struggles of adolescence. A boy just trying to fit in. A boy searching for guidance from a father figure he doesn't have. The Karate Kid unlike the silly sequels that followed can now definitely be regarded as a true movie classic

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Joseph Brennan

This is one of those movies were everything feels 80s like music clothes and the romance but this movie helps peoples confidence for If they're getting bullied in school and to stand up to them also macchio and Morita have such good chemistry and Daniel larusso acted by Ralph macchio is frustrated from getting bullied by the cobra kai gang and he wants to protect ali mills acted by Elisabeth shue but he wants to learn karate so he can defend himself and Mr miyagi acted by Pat Morita trys to teach him by basic things but Daniel gets mad because he thinks hes being a slave but is secretly learning karate and this is the best karate kid movie because in the reboot he suffered less than what Daniel went through and this is not just a movie this can help people build confidence and inspire them

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I know a lot of people love this movie and that's fine, but come on, really? Totally unrealistic and really very juvenile overall. A kids movie and I'm sorry, but the main character is just way too wimpy not only in his appearance, but with his "Oh please, don't hurt me" attitude thru the whole movie. Only time he showed some moxie was when he got angry about fixing up Miyagi's house and cars. He should have really transformed in the movie from a scared kid to a different person entirely having an inner strength and resolve gained from Miyagi's influence and gentle guidance. Sorry, but some other young actor could have been a better choice, along with some better writing and direction. I am only giving it a 3.

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It's a movie that had it's time and place. Furthermore it's one that can't be made the same way, with the same intent as before.A story about a bullied kid that rises up to the challenge is always a seller...but now it has to be more than that. The bullied kid has to be Luke Skywalker and the special effects have to come from computers and be bigger and louder than the last movie or...we just aren't going to like it.The Karate Kid is a movie about a wimp with a chip on his shoulder and one that looks like a wimp. It may not sit right today when the wimps that get bullied have to take their shirts off and look like a muscle bound stud...and he remains a wimp after the movie is over and...that isn't really accepted today either.I mean he looks like he is the Underdog even after he wins and in today's movies...that is not popular at all.And it has a comedian as a karate instructor in a dramatic role...again something one wouldn't do today.And the end takes place in a tournament and not in a fight to the death...which again is simply not done anymore.But a movie like that in the '80s worked. It was great in the '80s..its just now folks want something more over-the-top and they roll their eyes at a drama made for children.So it is an age thing, and a taste thing.

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