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The Karate Kid
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The Karate Kid More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The Karate Kid

Author: Tim Cox from Marietta, OH
14 May 1999

Effective "root for the under dog" film with Macchio and Morita presenting two diverse characters under the direction of "Rocky's" Avildsen. Could have done without the sequels though.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

See it for yourself.

Author: littlebrownboots from United Kingdom
16 August 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Just seen this movie and it was really entertaining.It has humour, sadness, lots of excitement and some lovely scenery.Who cares if it's predictable.99% of films are anyway.Its the karate kid, we already know what it's about.That little lads a great actor and the villain well yeah I really hated him.Also was nice to watch a movie where someone playing the violin actually looked like they could really play the violin xD.You know what I do when I fancy a movie, do I listen to reviews?Do I read things people post like, Jaden Smith can't act, If you watch this film you must be stupid..........nae I don't take any notice of stuff like that.I just go and see it for myself.Some of the stupid reasons people have posted on here to not go and see this make me giggle.How about the one who made an account up just to warn us not to go See this.Get a life.

Highly recommended for any age.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The coolest old guy I don't know teaches a bullied seventeen year old who looks twelve some important life lessons along with some karate.

Author: Maura O'Flaherty from Northern Scotland
30 December 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I saw the film in its near entirety-- the third time it was on. The first time all I saw was the last fight between Daniel and Johnny. The second time I saw perhaps the last half hour. Now that I have seen most of it, everything makes a whole lot more sense. It is refreshing to see a movie balancing action with morals (in layman's terms, so my godson and I can watch it together). Daniel's dedication throughout the film, first to learning what Mr. Miyagi had to teach him, and then to putting into play after his injury at the tournament, was heartening. It was also something my godson could relate to, as he has had many sports-related injuries. I have long been encouraging him to learn karate, and his new favourite movie may help!

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Imitated, but never quite equaled

Author: Dan Gould ( from Wales, UK
22 July 2004

The formula for this movie is very simple, but effective. Boy gets bullied. Boy meets guy. Guy teaches boy to fight, etc. Boy overcomes bully. The same formula can be seen in Sidekicks, another of my favourite movies, except there's a lot more comedy involved (namely due to Mako's presence) than the Karate Kid, which is mainly a drama.

This is one of my favourite movies. My favourite Karate Kid movie is the second of the trilogy, but of course it would mean nothing without this first installment, as this is where you see Daniel LaRusso being bullied, and his first meetings with Miyagi Sesuke.

Daniel LaRusso's mother has just been given a new job, so the pair have to move from Newark, NJ, to Reseda, California. The place they arrive at is a dump, but Daniel soon meets a guy who invites him to a party, where he ends up in a fight and is thereon labeled a loser, and subject to constant bullying from a gang of local karate students.

Miyagi overhears Daniel telling his mother about this one night, and decides to help him by teaching him some karate, and how to earn respect. The showdown at a karate tournament with Daniel and the main bully, Tommy, is intense, moving, and incredible. I picked up the trilogy for pretty cheap, I recommend anyone who likes drama, triumph, emotion, and action, goes looking for this amazing movie.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

"FOR THE LAST TIME KIDS, there IS NO such move as 'The Crane' in karate!!!" - My karate instructor, circa 1984

Author: Greedywhitedevii from Knoxville, Tn
16 January 2003

And now, for some other sad but true facts that seperate this film from reality....

First of all, Daniel LaRusso can't be as big of a pussy as he is made out to be. Newark, New Jersey is a pretty tough town to grow up in and someone as light on their feet as Danny Boy couldn't possibly survive 16 years of growing up there, could he? And even so, why would he travel almost 3000 miles to sunny, laid-back southern California to get his ass kicked by Johnny? Are the Kobra-Kai bigger and badder than oh say the Latin Kings? Well hmmm.....oh wait! I forgot that Daniel-san is Italian and being Italian AND from New jersey has to have some perks. What if.....Daniel(whose father was never said how...another hmmmm) was connected to a godfather who had people that could "take care" of Johnny, Dutch, Bobby, Kreese and the rest of the nasty Kobra-Kais?

What if the character of Myagi was substituted by "Maggio" (portrayed by Anthony Quinn or Tony Curtis), a maintance man who was secretly hiding under his Federal Witness protection. Instead of "The Crane", he shows Daniel how to pistol-whip, make car bombs and mix cement. Instead of an old Packard, Maggio gives Daniel his very own hoop ride; a 1977 El Dorado convertable that Daniel had to wax with melted wax from a wheel of fontina cheese...bueno!

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An Honest Review

Author: generationofswine from United States
8 April 2017

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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Yeah sure whatever why not

Author: John Brooks from France
21 March 2017

This is the major caricature of a film that is constantly being referenced in contexts of the old wise Asian martial artist master and the apprentice, values of wisdom, patience, self-control etc... and it's not too badly done actually. It's less boring than it could've been, and the film makers made a real effort to give it a bit of flavor as opposed what it could've been more generically.

A young duo of the natural Ralph Macchio, and the beautiful and utterly feminine teenage Elisabeth Shue totally at ease behind the camera creates at least an endearing lovebird combo to follow, but for Pat Morita who does really well also this must've been the most embarrassing role in his entire career.

A bit on the side, it should be mentioned there's definitely something going on with the physical types in this film: the bad guy jocks and their sensei are all blond and rich, the pretty girl is a blonde and rich and the main character is this Jersey Italian-type modest guy, his mom even emphasizes his girlfriend "is a blonde" like it's a great thing in itself. Just a sidenote, but it's a prevalent thing in the film and it's funny to note it.

Yeah sure it's a bit of fun, and not boring for 2hrs +. 6/10.

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What happened to the comment section?

Author: Mr_Movie_Fan from United States
13 March 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

What happened to the comments section? That was the best part, where fans could debate a movie (similar to debating on Youtube, FB, etc.) Does anyone know what happened to this awesome feature?

I used to love reading the comments section. The debates were oftentimes hilarious. Please bring it back?

Does anyone know what happened?

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A Defining Film For Its Era

Author: zkonedog from United States
11 March 2017

There are some films that define the generation (or decade) in which they are made. "The Karate Kid" does this for the 1980s.

For a basic plot summary, this film focuses on the story of young Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Maccio), who moves to California and finds his new school much less accommodating than New Jersey. After falling for a local girl (Elisabeth Shue), he is targeted by the Cobra Kai, the local karate school that preaches a violent style of fighting. In order to defend himself, Daniel begins learning karate for his own source, that being the enigmatic Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita).

There are very few movies I can watch multiple times and still enjoy them, but this is one of them. Besides being a bit cheesy at times (although what 80s movie isn't?!), it does pretty much everything right:

The plot is both creative and inspirational, and will have you almost physically "into it" by the time the credits roll. The acting (especially from Morita) is also very entertaining, providing both the driving inspirational force as well as subtle touches of comedy thrown in. Even the music positively adds to the experience, as Bill Conti's (the same guy who scored "Rocky") tunes will draw out each emotion to its full potential for every scene.

Overall, this is a landmark film that can be enjoyed at any age. Youngsters will like the action, while "big kids" will appreciate the inspirational and simple (yet effective) direction from Jon G. Avlidsen (also of "Rocky" fame).

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Show Me Paint the Fence: 1980's Philosophical-Sports Film Which Propagates Defense is the Best Offense

Author: classicalsteve from Oakland, CA
19 February 2017

The Karate Kid is one of the better teen films of the 1980's. While some of the teen films idealized Gen-Xer life, the Karate Kid tells the story of the new kid in town who can't find his place. At the beginning of the film, Daniel (Ralph Macchio) and his single mother have moved from New Jersey to the San Fernando Valley in the Los Angeles area. He finds love with a schoolmate, Ali (Elizabeth Shue) but his nemesis becomes the girl's ex-boyfriend and his buddies. Turns out ex-boyfriend and company are a gang of teen bullies who are taught martial arts, "karate" in Japanese, by an amoral teacher who likens martial arts to military combat. He tells his students "no mercy". The gang misuses their abilities particularly against Daniel who is unable to defend himself because he knows nothing of martial arts combat.

Luckily, the manager of the small apartment house is Mr Miyagi (Pat Morita). When he learns of the boys misfortunes, particularly after he has a first-hand encounter with the ruffians, Miyagi agrees to teach the young Daniel about martial arts, "karate". They strike a deal with the militant karate teacher, who is opposite in philosophy to Miyagi, that Daniel will enter a karate tournament, and until then, the "gang" must leave him alone. Miyagi points out that there are no bad students, just "bad teachers". He also says that karate is the last resort, not the first.

Daniel is then put to work in which he has to wash cars, paint fences, and sand floors. It seems that Daniel is just being an indentured servant to Miyagi, but as the scenes unfold we learn that the point was not to paint the fence and wash the cars. In probably the most memorable scene of the film, Miyagi says "Show me sand the floor." We find out the real point behind Daniel's chores.

This is an incredibly uplifting film and has an exceptional story arc. The film is called the Karate Kid which of course refers to the title character. However, for nearly half the film, Daniel knows nothing of karate. He must learn at the feet of Miyagi and that he becomes first a novice then an adept in the world of karate. Part of the story is the universal narrative device of teacher and pupil. The relationship between Miyagi and Daniel evolve from one of uncertainty to mentor-student which for me is the strongest aspect of the film. Filmmakers often forget that while we the audience desire the protagonist to succeed, there should be lots of obstacles in his or her way. If the conquest is too easy, then there's not a lot to root for. Daniel has to climb some very steep mountains before he becomes the "karate kid". Definitely a film which has more or less withstood from the 1980's and is far less dated than other offerings of the period. Personally, this is a far stronger film than "The Breakfast Club".

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