This is also an entry into the Then and Now Blogathon, with the Then appearing on Realweemidget site
Director: John G Avildsen
Writer: Robert Mark Kamen (Screenplay)
Starring: Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, Elisabeth Shue, martin Kove, Randee Heller, William Zabka
Plot: A martial arts master agrees to teach karate to a bullied teenager.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: True Classic
Story: Karate Kid starts as Daniel (Macchio) moves from New Jersey to California with his mother, he needs to make new friends and it isn’t long before he meets a girl Ali (Shue) from his new school but also grabs the attention of the local bullies and their leader Johnny (Zabka) who knows karate.
When the handy man Mr Miyagi (Morita) of the building sees Daniel’s struggle he comes to his aid showing that he is a martial arts master and agrees to train him ready to face Johnny and the bullies in a karate tournament. Daniel goes through an unusual training routine to prepare him for the fight.
Thoughts on Karate Kid
Characters – Daniel moves to a new town where knows nobody, he finds himself targeted by the local bullies but with the help of Miyagi he learns karate to get one over the main bully. Miyagi is the karate master that works as a building handyman to cover his personal pain, he does see bright things in Daniel and agrees to train him with unusual methods. Ali is the girl that Daniel falls for at school, she is the ex of the bully, she likes Daniel even though he is from the wrong side of town. Johnny is our bully, he doesn’t like that Daniel will stand up to him and uses his advance karate to point him in his place.
Performance – Ralph Macchio gave us a performance here that made people want to be in a karate movie, he sums up the lost teenage perfectly. Pat Morita is fantastic in his role as the mentor which often gets emulated but never duplicated. Elisabeth Shue is good as the love interest and William Zabka is good as thee bully.
Story – The story shows how an ill-disciplined student can be turned into a calm fighter ready to defend himself against anyone who challenges him. This shows us that anyone can blossom into something great given the right guidance and self-belief in their own abilities, making it a bench mark for anyone that has been questioning their own skills.
Action/Family/Sport – The action plays to a typical 80s musical background being high school level chases and fights. The family side shows us just what you need to be doing within a family when it comes to guiding children. The sport is karate in competition.
Scene of the Movie – Training.
Tagline – He taught him the secret to Karate lies in the mind and heart. Not in the hands.
Final Thoughts – This is one of the classic films of all cinema, it is a film that shows character needed to defeat in the right manner.
Overall: One of the best sports films of all time.