Daniel accompanies his mentor, Mr. Miyagi, to Miyagi's childhood home in Okinawa. Miyagi visits his dying father and confronts his old rival, while Daniel falls in love and inadvertently makes a new rival of his own.
The scientist father of a teenage girl and boy accidentally shrinks his and two other neighborhood teens to the size of insects. Now the teens must fight diminutive dangers as the father searches for them.
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.Written by
John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Toshirô Mifune auditioned for the role of Mister Miyagi. According to director John G. Avildsen in the DVD Commentary, Mifune was great in the audition, but Avildsen felt that his version of Miyagi was too serious and too much like the samurai warriors he played in Akira Kurosawa movies. See more »
When Myagi and Daniel go to the karate dojo to ask Kreese to stop his students from beating Daniel up, as they back out of the studio the last shot is of the formation of students. The two students at the right-rear of the formation (screen left) start laughing, especially the one in the last row, as the scene closes. See more »
What do we study here?
THE WAY OF THE FIST SIR.
And what is that way?
STRIKE FIRST. STRIKE HARD. NO MERCY SIR.
I can't hear you.
STRIKE FIRST. STRIKE HARD. NO MERCY SIR.
See more »
Also cut from AMC airings are the scenes in which Daniel talks to a history teacher, the bathroom footage of Johnny rolling a joint (though the action is still referenced), and a frame in the scene where Miyagi rescues Daniel from the Cobra Kai guys (the frame of Miyagi kicking one of the guys in the crotch area is removed.) See more »
Done by the same director as Rocky, this unusual "feel good" movie became a hit in 1984 and generated two sequels before the mania died and the franchise imploded.
I remember the phenomenon from the 80s yet as a "prolific reviewer" for the IMDb now (which, for buffs, is not the same thing as a "Voracious Eater" from the Claymore series) I now see the film differently.
I see a very competently done film that is literally lifted off the ground and carried to the finish line by the extraordinary one-of-a-kind performance from a (then) 50 year old Pat Morita, an actor who essentially spent his entire career doing "asian walkons" and offers us only this one role as a chance to see what he actually could do. Given half a chance.
Macchio and Shue were competent (the former had some momentum from Happy Days/Laverne and Shirley and the latter was beginning a short career as a type of "brat pack" teenage star) but it was Morita who owned the film and kept your interest.
Unfortunately the historical record even on the IMDb does not reflect any of this. Shue actually won an award for a completely forgettable part and Morita not only did not win anything for this film but the only nominations he received were in the "supporting role" category. This is clear "color blindness" on the part of Hollywood. He has almost as much screen time as Macchio (I counted) but because his career was merely bit parts before (and after) this was the prevailing mindset. The film would have failed without him.
As a footnote, I was not able to identify precisely why he was cast in the role, but historically Okinawa has indeed been associated with its own unique brand of martial arts and, in the martial arts world, short stocky older men have long been acknowledged as champions even though in the films of our present era someone of Morita's age or body-type would never even be considered for such a part.
The two sequels were much weaker but the demand for them was great and, when there is money on the table, Hollywood will always oblige.
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