The Karate Kid (1984) Review


When Daniel and his mother move from California from New Jersey he struggles to fit in with the surfer crowd and is targeted by a group who are part of the same karate school. Mr Miyagi is to come to his rescue and teach him karate.


Daniel and his mother have just moved to California and his lovely Jersey accent and mannerisms were never going to fit well with the blonde surfer crowd of Cali. Especially when he meets as girl named Ali rather quickly. Her ex-boyfriend just happens to be the top karate fighter in the area named Johnny. He does not take well to Daniel and a fight breaks out rather early.

Mr Miyagi seems to appear for Daniel just had the right time and the landlord just happens to know a lot about karate and had done a lot of it in his past.

Wax on – wax off

Something that was made very famous by The Karate Kid, as Daniel wonders just how that is going to help him win the competition against the school bullies who targeted him. Spending a lot of time washing the cars and learning about self control. Not the expected method but it certainly does work and helps Daniel learn about himself and deal with the pressures placed on him.

The fact that Mr Miyagi calls him Daniel son all the time makes the relationship even better as it shows the closeness of the pair. Always interesting to have that type of thing going on especially considering Daniel’s father was not present in his life and he needed that type of role model and mentor in his life. Not taking anything away from his mother either as they really do have such a good relationship with each other as well.

Watching this film again it reminded me just how good it really is, and how many films have tried to come close to this over the years but don’t quite manage it. It puts across values of not only life but within the sporting world as well. Kreese is more than happy to have his fighters cheat in order to hurt Daniel and an attempt to win in the wrong manner. Something about those moments is that the boys don’t actually want to do it so at least he did not pass on those horrible views and being so cruel. Gaining respect as a teenager is not always the easiest thing in the world but it is something that Daniel manages in a tough way. The final moments of the film between Daniel and Johnny are very nice! Also a little bit of a link to Rocky and how it all goes down at the end.

Ralph Macchio is a very impressive lead for the film and he is endearing as Daniel, creating a character that has stood the test of time in my opinion. Very impressive to watch and enjoy showing the different emotions and the toughness of moving somewhere new at this crucial age.

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