Hoping, once again, for another massive box office hit, like his 1976's film 'Rocky' did, director, John G. Avildsen & his crew, mimics a lot of the tropes and themes of that fighter movie for his new film, 'the Karate Kid'. The risk was successful, as this underdog sport movie, about a young man, Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) standing up for himself, against his high school bullies, by joining a karate tournament was a smash hit with most critics and audiences. However, it's not a perfect film, as there is plenty of stuff that, worth nitpicking, that could had made the movie, a little better. One of them, was honestly, making the various lengthy, menial chores like waxing cars, sanding decks and painting fences that Daniel had to do in the film, seem to have more meaning to it than it portray in the film. After all, they come across as too out there & unorthodox to be relate to karate. Also, it seems to me, that Daniel already knew, many of the defense moves that Mister Miyagi (Pat Morita) taught, beforehand, in his YCMA training days; as the fight choreography, between Daniel in the beginning and the climax, are not that different. Heck, if you think about it. The unorthodox training really didn't improve, his fight game. He was still, getting beat up. It seem like Miyagi didn't do much. Even the crane technique that Miyagi said, if done right, that nobody can block, could easily be defeated with a good shove to the chest. Another thing, I'm doubtful that any decent karate judge would have allow that move to be used in the first place; seeing how it's an excessive blow to head. Nevertheless, I know it's just a movie. I just wish, the movie was more open on exposing more on, Mr. Miyagi's past, here, rather than, him, lying, ignoring the question or changing the subject. The reasons, why, is, it come across as not very mentor/student-like. This is where, I thought, 2010's remake of the same name, did a little better. At least, in that movie, the sensei is a little more open to talking about his past, and why he lives, a shut-in life as a maintenance man. Here, it's come across, as very jarring for the audience, to see an old maintenance man, shroud in mystery beat up, kids, without getting arrested, & heal people with little explanation. How in the hell, did he get to Place A to Place B!? Something is missing, here. I hate that, a 1986's sequel had to be made, just to answer, those questions, when, they should had been part of the original movie. At least, thank goodness, that drunken mourning scene was in the film, rather than being cut, because it's the only thing, keeping Mr. Miyagi was being a shallow old wise man stereotype. With that say, I still never understood, why Mr. Miyagi's chose to help Daniel. Maybe the idea is that Daniel, is the closest thing to a son he ever had, but even then, it's a little vague. Nevertheless, I really don't think, joining a fight tournament will stop bullying. If anything, all that competition would probably, would cause more harm than good. If anything, Daniel should had left them, alone. After all, it seem like Cobra Kai & Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) forgot about him, until Daniel provoke them in the Halloween Dance. They are just misguide teenagers, not exactly hardened psychopath criminals. If anything, Daniel is much to blame for his beatings. Regardless of that, I still think, the acting from Macchio was good. He's boyish good looks and high-pitched voice, really did, make Daniel into a likeable hero. As for Pat Morita; as much crap, I talk about his character, I still love his portrayal. He still deserve the Academy Award nomination. He made the character, fun to watch, even if his character, was not that complex. As for chemistry of two, share on screen, it certainly look like friendship. You can feel the special bond between them, with the 'wax on, wax off' screen, being one of the highlight. As for the supporting cast. I found Zabka to be alright as a villain, as he is suffering from conflicting ideologies about life, however, I really didn't like Martin Kove's performance. He was a little too over the top, as sensei, John Kreese. It really took me, out of the movie. Yes, I know, certain fans, love his goofy cartoony performance, but for me, I thought, it was unbearable hokey. As for Elisabeth Shue as Ali Mills, Daniel's love-interest. I found her to be, alright. She's loving, but her character wasn't that developed. She came across, as a manic pixie dream girl, with her romance parts with Daniel being filler. Honestly, if take that romantic clichés away, it would, probably make 'Karate Kid' into a stronger movie. Trust me, when I say this, the movie was already, having pacing issues; with the climax seeming a bit rushed. After all, it seem a bit jarring to see Johnny, being alright in handing the trophy to Daniel, after being kick in the face. Cutting scenes like that, would indeed make the film, better. Despite the movie's visuals & cheesy music like 'You're the Best! Around" by Joe Esposito being highly dated. The movie holds up, remarkably well, since the 1980s. People are still quoting and watching this classic. So, go ahead, Wax on! Wax off! After you're finish with that, go watch the Karate Kid, again. It's worth watching.
The Karate Kid
Action / Drama / Family / Sport
The Karate Kid
Action / Drama / Family / Sport
Daniel and his mother move from New Jersey to California. She has a wonderful new job, but Daniel quickly discovers that a dark haired Italian boy with a Jersey accent doesn't fit into the blond surfer crowd. Daniel manages to talk his way out of some fights, but he is finally cornered by several who belong to the same karate school. As Daniel is passing out from the beating he sees Miyagi, the elderly gardener leaps into the fray and save him by outfighting half a dozen teenagers. Miyagi and Daniel soon find out the real motivator behind the boys' violent attitude in the form of their karate teacher. Miyagi promises to teach Daniel karate and arranges a fight at the all-valley tournament some months off. When his training begins, Daniel doesn't understand what he is being shown. Miyagi seems more interested in having Daniel paint fences and wax cars than teaching him Karate.
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March 05, 2013 at 10:31 AM