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not just a teen movie
turd_furgusen23 December 2004
A lot of posts focus on the 'coming of age' aspect of this movie, but the very overlooked part is the role it played in helping to alleviate many of the stereotypes a very Asian phobic America was after WWII, Korea and Vietnam.

They make a point of showing Miyagi in a US Army Uniform--and a War Hero-- and makes references to detention camps Miyagi's family was sent to (a horribly dark period in American history)...where Miyagi's wife was being sent (pregnant) and where she and his unborn child (son) ultimately die during childbirth. There are also a few scenes in which ethnic slurs are used by rednecks toward Miyagi.

Taking this into light, and taking the fact that Daniel has no father that we know of in this movie, the name Daniel-san (sounds like Daniel-SON) helps demonstrate a father son bond that is overlooked. Much of the conversation between Daniel and Miyagi is about Miyagi's great father in Okinawa, because Miyagi has acquired all this knowledge and wants to share it. Daniel substitutes for the son Miyagi never had and Miyagi substitutes for the father Daniel doesn't have.
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"The Old One"
dee.reid23 January 2005
My love of "The Karate Kid" is limited to the fact that this movie, if it had been in the hands of a more fluorescent director, could have turned out a lot differently from the movie we all know and love from 1984.

Directed by John G. Avildsen (who also did 1976's "Rocky" - another underdog story) and written by Robert Mark Kamen (who would later co-author 2001's "Kiss of the Dragon" with Luc Besson, which starred Jet Li - another example of martial arts in American cinema done right), "The Karate Kid" is by far the best (and frankly, most realistic) incorporation of martial arts into a mainstream American film.

This movie came out the year before I was born, and only through word-of-mouth over the time I was growing up, did I know that "The Karate Kid" even existed. I got to view the film my freshman year in high school as part of a class, but the instructor watered down the experience so much that the movie lost its potency.

Now a few years later, I finally watch the movie without any intrusion from the outside world and I find a truly marvelous picture that's far better than its many stylized contemporaries, i.e. "The Matrix" trilogy, which is the best example of that trend.

Ralph Macchio stars as Daniel LaRusso, a new kid to a picturesque southern California community that looks a lot like something you'd see in a magazine advertisement. Daniel makes the mistake of hitting on Ali (Elisabeth Shue), who unknown to him, is the ex-girlfriend of Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), and Daniel takes a pretty brutal beating from the martial arts-trained Johnny, that leaves him scarred but with his pride and dignity still in tact.

The number of violent clashes with Johnny and his brutal Cobra Kai martial arts friends continue, until Daniel is saved by Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita), the karate-trained handyman of his apartment building. Daniel insists on Mr. Miyagi teaching him karate, so that he can compete in an upcoming martial arts tournament; this requires Daniel to undergo some pretty unconventional training - "wax on, wax off; paint fence - side to side" etc. And in return, Daniel learns that there's a lot more to karate than just fighting and the "Old One" shows him that way.

"The Karate Kid" is a true gem of a film that's shamefully underrated. I'm glad that on February 1st of this year, this movie is finally getting the DVD treatment it deserves.

Macchio is convincing as Daniel, bringing a number of wide-ranging emotions to his role that at first may seem quite perfunctory as opposed to being dramatic. The real star of the show (at least in the minds of a number of critics, and the Academy), is Morita as Mr. Miyagi. He brings grace (almost rivaling Bruce Lee) to a role that could have been quite stereotypical, but is still very moving and dramatic.

Of course, what's a movie about karate without the fights? I should note that the action in this movie is very convincing, but is not stylized in any fashion, shape or form. It is very down-to-earth and realistic, and that may of course be a bit of a turn-off to some hardcore fanboys that may watch this movie thinking it'll be something like "The Matrix" (1999) or "Enter the Dragon" (1973).

The fighting here is in its own style and mode of action. A number of the fights are quite brutal, especially in the ones where John Kreese's (Martin Kove) Cobra Kai students are featured, as he frequently trains them the brutal way of "no mercy," which Mr. Miyagi is quick to realize is not the way of karate.

"The Karate Kid" gets a perfect 10/10.
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Terrific 80s's underdog story!!!
flicklover30 December 2004
I being a child of the 80's have a soft spot for this movie. Yes it is predictable,but what makes it a great movie is the performances by the 2 main characters. Ralph Macchio is great as a teenager that is bullied at his new school. But the movie belongs to Pat Morita as Mr. Myagi. He plays an old apartment maintenance man that befriends Macchio. He becomes his karate teacher, but they develop a great friendship that makes the movie all the more enjoyable. The great thing is that the movie shows that the old man comes to need the kid as much as the kid needs him, it is a touching relationship. All the rest is standard Rocky film stuff, but what Rocky and this film have in common is that the characters are people we care for, so all the climactic scene stuff works.
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Certainly one of the top movies of the '80s, if not all-time.
lging345 January 2004
"The Karate Kid" is the tale of Daniel Laruso (Ralph Macchio), a young man who, on the heels of his mother's finding a new job, is uprooted from Newark, New Jersey, to the sunny shores of California. Daniel's mother has visions of a new start, a new life with the sky as the limit. Daniel, however, quickly finds that, for him, the West Coast holds nothing but hard times.

With the comforts of his rough, middle-class neighborhood thousands of miles away, Daniel tries to make friends and blend with the well-to-do, upper-class kids in his new home. At first, Daniel seems to do alright but, before long, he crosses paths with Johnny (William Zabka), the tough, rich leader of a group of karate students who attends Daniel's new school. To make matters worse, Johnny is the ex-boyfriend of Ali (Elisabeth Shue), a girl Daniel is pursuing.

Enter Miyagi (Noriyuki "Pat" Morita), an aging handy-man who works at Daniel's apartment building. Struggling for friends and failing to fit in, Daniel finds support in Miyagi. After enduring several beatings at the hands of Johnny and his gang, Daniel comes to learn that Miyagi, in fact, knows karate. Following a vain attempt to speak with Johnny's karate teacher (Martin Kove) about being left alone, Daniel is suddenly entered into the All-Valley Karate Tournament, where he will attempt to win the respect that Johnny and his gang have taken.

As he trains for the karate tournament with Miyagi, Daniel learns invaluable lessons about life and love. And brought to the foreground of this karate story is Daniel's pursuit of Ali, who truly is the single person who gave the new kid a chance.

On many levels, "The Karate Kid" is an uplifting movie. It illustrates how a lonely, out-of-place kid triumphs against the odds, and the movie doesn't need computer-animation or special effects to get its story across. But, for me and anyone who loves '80s movies, the "The Karate Kid" has to be appreciated for its nostalgia trip back to "better times." For that reason alone, this movie is a classic.

I've enjoyed few movies, if any, more than "The Karate Kid." I highly recommend this flick to anyone who loves a touching, uplifting story, or to anyone who simply can't get out of the '80s!!!
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Exceptional teen film from the 80s
Agent108 August 2002
While John Hughs' films may be the standard for teen flicks in the 1980s, Hughs' films were just a few of the great and unique teen films to be released in that decade. Coupled with Back to the Future, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, the 80s was a rather unique time for teen movies. The Karate Kid just happened to be another one of those films. With the immortal Pat Morita leading the way, this film was not only touching, but put a whole new spin on the `zero-to-hero' story line which we have all seen too often. Ralph Macchio may have had no career after these film, but at least he proved to be comparable as Daniel (san). Sure, the ending and outcome proved to be a little predictable, but the film was still a winner.
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Wax on...Wax the best movie ever!
XoX0BrItTnEy0XoX31 January 2005
This is a classic coming of age story. A story about a boy who has to face his fears, girls, and moving to a new environment. Daniel, who is a big up stater, clashes with the rich people of the Cali high life and learns that not all people are who they seem. The Kobra Cai, as they are called in the film, bully Daniel and Daniel just seems like he has no choice but to take revenge. So he learns the next best thing--KARATE. Even though he has no idea what hes doing. He goes with the flow. Mr. Mayagi teaches him respect, discipline, and anyone can over come their fears. This is one of the best films of the 80's. It even has classic names of the 80's, like Johnny, Daniel, Tommy, and my favorite, Bobby. So if you don't have anything better to do, then check out Karate Kid. You might even learn a thing or two about a thing or two.
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The late Pat Morita, karate kid man
Clinton Yuen17 January 2006
Metaphorically speaking, the late Pat Morita is the real life Daniel-san. Mr. Morita was humbled by the following incidents in his life: interned during WWI, suffered from a weak spine, short in stature and a stereotypical Japanese, nicknamed "Hip Nip" and casted for mainly comically roles in American TV and cinema. As if through divine intervention, the role of Mr. Miyagi was created, a natural and defining role for Pat Morita. Like the main character Daniel-san, who earned dignity and respect through karate, so too did Pat Morita earn dignity and respect as an actor for his role as Mr. Miyagi. The Miyagi character is a humble, soft-spoken, respected, Asian sensei (teacher.) He is humble not because he is weak and avoids being some bully's victim, but because he knows he holds the fate of all who bullies him in his hands. So it was that Pat Morita finally achieved through the character of Mr. Miyagi in the Karate Kid series what Daniel-san always gains at the end of each movie: dignity, respect, and honor to compensate for all the times of abuse, suffering, and humiliation.
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Doesn't Get Much Better Than This
Kyle Hodgdon10 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I think it would be impossible to make a movie centered around a karate tournament that would be even close to as good as "The Karate Kid" is. I think this movie is just brilliantly done.

The plot of this movie is really great. It has been done before, but it seems very well done in this movie. The characters in this film are unbelievably memorable as well. How many times has Mr. Miyagi been parodied in pop culture? He is a magnificent character. John Kreese is also great as the evil to compliment Miyagi's good. Daniel and Johnny are also very good in their roles.

The ending of this movie is very good too. Daniel overcomes great adversity and wins with the crane kick. Good stuff.

The sequel was good too, but it couldn't top the original and I don't expect the coming remake to be able to either.
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Karate Kid
Matt1 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Best movie ever!!! The chemistry between Ralph Macchio and Elisabeth Shue is pure gold! This movie is really relatable to just about everyone who ever got picked on. I also think Pat Morita did a great job in reducing vocabulary while retaining intelligence for this movie. Another thing that really impressed me was that I heard that Billy Zabka really took that kick to the face in the conclusion of the tournament. The characters really play off of each other and the result is astounding. One thing however I find almost unbelievable, is that in this movie, Ralph Macchio is almost 23 years old. With his ability to pull off such a young role and his performances in The Outsiders along with these Karate Kid movies I believe he is one of the best actors ever. All in all, this movie is a must see and an extremely good classic.
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They don't make movies like this anymore...GOOD OLD DAYS :'(
Hero2 September 2004
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is a legend in my eyes. It has a great plot, 2 brilliantly played leading actors, and a great finish. It also has a great cast (but the Cobra Kai weren't really successful in their movies?? They hardly featured in any). You could say it was a one hit wonder as the numbers 2 and 3 failed to live upto the hype of 1. Elisabeth Shue is gorgeous in this movie, and she and Johnny (from the Cobra Kai) are very likable characters.

I remember back in the day when me and my friends watched this over and over in our childhood (ALONG with Home Alone!!) (I'm now 24), but still enjoy this flick 20 years after it was first released! Can you believe it? It should have had more ratings than 6.

The story is about an underdog (Daniel LaRusso), and his efforts to defeat the wrongly taught 'bad' students. "Teacher say, Student do"...

Mr Miyagi - played by Pat Morita, is - amazing. It should have won him the Oscar award, but he must feel privileged to be the first Asian-American actor to be nominated for an Oscar award.

Mr Miyagi and Daniel click from the very beginning. It's a superb movie, and shivers run through my back every time I watch the ending ** SPOILER ** and the infamous 'crane finish'. Mostly because it reminds me of the olden days, and the whole 'underdog spirit' thing. It really does motivate you. It has some very distinctive lines that were made popular by this movie. In the late 80's and early 90's you had all the kids doing karate and saying 'wax on, wax off' they still do! It has some memorable quotes, some which are on the IMDb (kk1) page.

IMO, it's a legend, and legends never die. This will be played over and over...and over again on my poor DVD player for another 10 years (hopefully!).

I really do recommend it to the younger generation....

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History and time give this movie a different feel
A_Different_Drummer25 June 2017
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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A Cult of Many Generations
Claudio Carvalho13 February 2012
Lucille Larusso (Randee Heller) moves with her teenage son Daniel Larusso (Ralph Macchio) from Newark, New Jersey, to Reseda, California to work in a better job in Rocket Computer Company. Daniel meets a neighbor in his building and tells him that he fights karate; the neighbor invites him to go to a party on the beach.

Daniel meets the gorgeous and wealthy Ali Mills (Elisabeth Shue) that lives in Encino and they immediately feel attracted by each other. However, the bully Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) comes with his gang of bad boys and argues with Ali, who was his former girlfriend. Daniel defends her and is beaten up and humiliated by Johnny in front of his new friends. Then Daniel is frequently bullied by Johnny and his four inseparable friends at school.

One night, Daniel is saved by the handyman Mr. Kesuke Miyagi (Noriyuki 'Pat' Morita), who was born in Okinawa, from Johnny and his friends and he asks the old man to teach him karate. Mr. Miyagi heals Daniel and goes to academy where Johnny and his friends learn karate and he asks their violent instructor John Kreese (Martin Kove) to order his students to give a break in the beatings; in return, he accepts that Daniel participates in an all-valley tournament two months later. Now Mr. Miyagi begins his non-orthodox training of Daniel, especially movements and balance waxing cars and painting fences.

"The Karate Kid" is a cult-movie of many generations. I do not recall how many times I have seen this film, in the movie theater, on VHS and now on DVD, and I still love it.

In the 80's, Ralph Macchio was a sensation with "The Outsiders", "The Karate kid" and "Crossroads" and his chemistry with Noriyuki 'Pat' Morita in "The Karate Kid" is something very special. This coming of age story discloses a beautiful friendship of Daniel and Muyagi; the discovery of the first love, with the romance of Daniel and Ali; and the message relative to the importance to find balance in life. My vote is ten.

Title (Brazil): "Karatê Kid – A Hora da Verdade" ("Karate Kid - The Moment of Truth")
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A classic story of good vs. evil
willrudsem22 February 2005
The Karate Kid is a wonderful film that tells the classic story of good vs. evil. Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) is obviously the good, along with Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita). The bad is the dojo of the Cobra Kai, led by the dangerous Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka). The feud between Lawrence and LaRusso is well-scripted and executed, as is the feud between Miyagi and Cobra Kai Sensei, Kreese.

This is the definitely the best film out of the four Karate Kid movies. I grew up as a really big fan of these fans and I'm glad they finally released the DVD set. I've searched the internet looking for good articles about the films and there's a very funny article by humorist Rob Bloom about Johnny Lawrence and Daniel LaRusso on Rob Bloom's website.

These movies are very entertaining (even #4) and definitely are required viewing for anybody who believes that the underdog can win in the end.
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The sensei of all under-dog movies!
Angelus214 June 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This is like all the other under dog movies that have graced the screen. But with a difference, it has two of the most iconic characters in movie history.

Daniel is constantly bullied in his new high school and after being horribly beaten up he is taught karate by an old neighbour. Mr. Miyagi. Miyagi teaches the young man how to defend himself with the use of Karate and somehow Daniel finds himself entered in a competition were he competes against his bullies.

I watched this previously on ITV on a re-run....

Watching it I felt a bit of my childhood were I portrayed the moves; watching this back the fight scenes with Daniel are a little outdated but its the bond between the old man and the boy that strike a cord with the audience. I must admit after watching this I wanted to learn Karate like many other kids...

Will always be one of the greatest under-dog movies.
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The 'old one' taught him the secret to karate lies in the mind and heart. Not in the fist!
Old Joe30 January 2003
Having a man teach you a valuable art such as that of Karate, is invaluable especially if you are young, inexperienced and in a battle with people who you have no hope against. However viewers of the 'Karate Kid' get to learn a valuable lesson for life out of this story, that fighting is a waste of time, and with time and patience anything can be achieved. In addition viewers get to hear the cute pronunciation of `Daniel-san' by the great teacher!

Fatherless teenager Daniel is a new arrival in Los Angeles when he becomes the object of bullying by the Cobras, a menacing group of Karate students. Daniel asks his handyman Miyagi, whom is a martial arts master, to teach him how to fight. Miyagi teaches Daniel that karate is mastery over the self - mind and body - and that violence is always the last answer to a problem. Under Miyagi's guidance, Daniel learns the physical skills while gaining faith and the self-confidence to compete against the odds as he faces the fight of his life in the exciting finale.

I remember watching this film along time ago, but boy was it a thrill. Sure it didn't have 'big stars' or big action in it. One thing it did have was 'heart'. The character of Daniel was one person that typifies this. At no stage does this teenage loner from New Jersey ever give up, when at times that might have been the best thing for him to do. I feel that this story and character for that matter, is how we need to approach our own lives, because if you keep putting in the hard yards and stand-up for what you believe in, things will soon turn around.

The stars of this movie are not bad. Firstly main star Ralph Macchio was excellent as Daniel. I felt he brought the struggling teenage character to the screen perfectly. He is a very naïve and inexperienced young man, yet with time and patience he makes what was a terrible situation seem nothing big at all. I enjoyed Macchio in other movies including 'The three wishes of Billy Greer', a movie which again suited this tough actor, about a young man who is dying from premature aging, in addition to movies such as 'The last POW? The Bobby Garwood Story'. I cannot praise Macchio any higher.

Other stars are just as worthy. Pat Morita was wonderful as the wise and what I feel was the humorous `Miyagi'. His role was just as good as his counterpart Macchio, yet it was also very different. Miyagi is one person that does not like the spotlight, yet when his young friend is placed in a very precarious position in his new home town, he steps in and shows what a great Karate man he really is. Then you have the other side of this story, which of course has to have a girl in it, with Daniel striking up a relationship with the popular Ali Mills. Actress Elizabeth Shue, who has also had a somewhat 'celebrated' career, played Ali. She has starred in films such as the controversial 'Leaving Los Vegas', 'Back to the future II' and 'III' and the 1988 hit 'Cocktail'. Though there are times that you expect Daniel to never make it with Ali, in the end he does have a faithful person outside of Miyagi.

The bad guys are not bad in this film either, with that part of the cast including Martin Kove as the arrogant Karate Teacher John Kreese, who will stop at nothing to see the end of the fairytale of LaRusso and Miyagi. His main student and the person who wants Daniel's blood the most is Johnny Lawrence played by William Zabka, and although he has not go on to big and better roles, his bad guy role was enjoyable in the Karate Kid. I did read in one review on IMDb where a person claimed that the bad guys were not given enough of their own treatment. However I disagree, considering the bullying and beatings that Daniel receives, I feel that Daniel and Miyagi teach the 'Cobras' a lesson. Sure we don't get to see Kreese get what he deserves, but if you have not seen the second Karate Kid, then you will get to see what awaits this cruel and relentless individual.

The Karate lessons and fighting sequences in this film are incredible. I guess like Daniel, most of the fans of this film would assume that Daniel is not learning anything, yet being Miyagi's personal slave. However we get to see how intelligent this old Okinawa man is, through all of his work for Daniel he teaches him some very basic and vital Karate moves. I love the attitude that this movie brings to everyone, that fighting is the last option for any situation, whether it is verbal or physical. I think this is so true, as fighting gets people nowhere. It just makes life bad for both parties, again this movie shows this to be so true.

In conclusion, the Karate Kid is a truly great film, but perhaps I am showing what era that I grew up in? I cannot say that I totally agree with Karate, as it is a very Chinese practice, but if it is based around what Miyagi teaches, that is for self-defence, and then it might be ok. I am sure many moviegoers will never forget the finale to this movie, because I am sure I never will. The sequels which follow slowly start to lose there appeal with this story, but not to matter, if you are looking for a story which shows you that giving up is not really an option, then see what is so special about this story of a courageous Karate student and his clever teacher!

CMRS gives 'The Karate Kid': 5 (Brilliant Film)
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The Karocky Kid.
Spikeopath1 August 2010
The Karate Kid is directed by John G. Avildsen and written by Robert Mark Kamen. It stars Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita (Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor) and Elisabeth Shue.

Daniel LaRusso (Macchio) moves with his mother (Randee Heller) from Newark, New Jersey to Reseda, a neighbourhood in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles, California. Pretty much from the off Daniel finds he doesn't belong and quickly incurs the wrath of Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) who is the ex-boyfriend of the only person Daniel has connected with; Ali Mills (Shue). Not good since Johnny is an ace karate student from the Cobra Kai dojo, a place where the students are taught winning is everything by tough ex-forces sensei, John Kreese (Martin Kove). But salvation and a stop to the beatings at the hands of Lawrence and his bully loving friends may come in the form of the quirky but kind handyman at the apartment complex; Mr. Miyagi (Morita).

In 1976 John G. Avildsen had directed one of the most loved of all the underdog comes good movies, Rocky. Fast forward to 1984 and we find Avildsen treading on the same turf, only for a younger audience. What was to follow would be a monster hit movie (it made over $90 million domestically alone), that spawned three sequels, a remake, pop culture bonanza and more telling; got karate back in the headlines some 11 years after the tragic death of Bruce Lee. Its appeal is not hard to fathom, geeky young guy gets beat up on by some suspiciously Aryan bully types, forms a wonderful and warm friendship with sage old Chinaman, becomes a karate hero after being tutored in an unorthodox manner by kindly Chinaman, then kicks Aryan dudes butt. What's not to like there? Hell us young men even had the all American cutie pie looks of Shue (she was 21 at the time and Macchio 23) to admire as we joined Daniel in chopping, kicking and falling on our asses as we tried the famous "Crane Kick". Sure some of it looks creaky now, but it's creakiness with an 80s charm that still engages today. So lets get waxing on and waxing off and relieve the moment when we all cheered at the climax of this simple, yet utterly beguiling movie. 8/10
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Best American martial arts movie ever made
gnavarez11 October 2000
This movie will perhaps be remembered as the best martial arts movie ever made. Movies of this genre are usually more concerned with action scenes that the stories tend to be poor and appeal to the audience on a short run. With the exception of Kurosawa's films, the Karate Kid is perhaps one of the best and most popular martial arts movies ever. Ralph Macchio, who is also good in "the Outsiders," does a fine portrayal of the novice, frustrated Daniel Larusso (he was 23 years old when he made this film??). Equally superb is the wise and "cool-as-a-cucumber" Mr. Miyagi, played by Pat Morita. Once again, John G. Avildsen has directed a film that glorifies the fiesty nature of underdogs. This is the "Rocky" movie of the 80's.
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An uplifting and feel-good coming-of-age story.
adam26 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
"The Karate Kid" is not a complicated movie.

It doesn't try to talk about any "issues" or cover vast and complicated themes. Most of the key plot elements take place in a handful of locations with a handful of main characters. Yet its action scenes are more powerful than any amount of CGI could add.

Pat Morita (I'm embarrassed I had to Google his name) does an intense and wonderful job as the sage karate master Mr. Miyagi. The scene with the sake, his wife's picture, and his bittersweet tales of wartime triumph is among my favorite scenes in any movie.

(I saw this in July 2017.)
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The best karate kid movie
Joseph Brennan31 August 2017
This is one of those movies were everything feels 80s like music clothes and the romance but this movie helps peoples confidence for If they're getting bullied in school and to stand up to them also macchio and Morita have such good chemistry and Daniel larusso acted by Ralph macchio is frustrated from getting bullied by the cobra kai gang and he wants to protect ali mills acted by Elisabeth shue but he wants to learn karate so he can defend himself and Mr miyagi acted by Pat Morita trys to teach him by basic things but Daniel gets mad because he thinks hes being a slave but is secretly learning karate and this is the best karate kid movie because in the reboot he suffered less than what Daniel went through and this is not just a movie this can help people build confidence and inspire them
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One of the classics underdog's stories
tankace27 August 2017
More than thirty years later the original Karate Kid still holds up pretty well and inspires people to defend themselves from bullies, trust unorthodox tactics and respect someone of different race origin and ideas.

The story follows our senior-high school students , Daniel-san (sorry I couldn't resist) as he is bullied and then he meet an older karate teacher Mr. Miyagi who agrees to train him in both karate and in life lessons at the same time. Their friendship evolves over the duration of the film and it feels natural as due to their experiences they have both suffered loses of loved ones and they found what was missing from their lives in each other.

As for the fight scenes they are fine and nicely capture by the camera but nothing else and compared with modern-day martial arts films or even the martial arts film of Hong-Kong through the years they are quit lacking. However is the story and emotional investment to the characters that really stick you in the fighting. Also the training montages are expertly made and the music is iconic beyond any doubt.

Over all a general assessment of the film would be "Dated, but still enjoyable and in the end iconic " and to say the truth they shouldn't have been a series of films what-so-ever.
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An 80's Classic!!!
Pumpkin_Man12 June 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I re-watched this movie today to get ready for the remake. I bet every kid in the 80's grew up with this film. Ralph Macchio stars as Daniel LaRusso, who is forced to move to Reseda. He meets Ali Mills, and makes an enemy with her ex-boyfriend, Johnny. When Daniel is violently bullied, the handyman named Mr. Miyagi agrees to teach him how to defend himself in the art of karate. At first, Daniel thinks he's being treated like a slave, because he has to wax the cars, paint his house but he was really learning karate moves the whole time. Mr. Miyagi gets Daniel ready for an 'All Valley Karate Tournament' where he must confront his enemies, and Johnny and see if he has what it takes to be the best and win the gold. I highly recommend THE KARATE KID!!!
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Love Mr. Miyagi
walsh-221 July 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Every time this is on TV, I have to watch it. It is as relatable now as it was when it was made- a new kid moving to a new place, starting at a new school and getting bullied by tougher kids.

The reason I enjoy the film so much is the interaction between Ralph Macchio (Daniel) and Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita). They just work so well together in this film. I love Mr. Miyagi, he is such a lovely character who looks very stern at times but other times, he comes across as very warm and funny who has some of the best scenes in the movie and had me in stitches.

It doesn't matter that I know what happens at the end, I still get gripped by the ending, it is a very feel good movie where the bullies get their come-uppance and even respect Daniel at the end. Love the song that plays during the Karate Tournament "You're the best", just works well with the action.

A childhood film I continue to have a lot of warmth for even today.
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High expectations, amazing satisfaction
wwe79616 August 2010
I was hoping for a very good film in The Karate Kid. When it was over I knew it had become one of my favorites. There is so many things to like about this movie. The cinematography is gorgeous, the acting is fantastic, the dialogue is great, the emotion is strong, the characters are likable and the music is fantastic. I can't believe that this only has a 6.9 and that awful film Avatar has an 8.3. This is in my opinion the most underrated movie of all time. How could anyone not like it. There is one scene in the film that cinematography is so good that my flat screen couldn't even fully capture the moment. Ralph Macchio gives what is in my opinion one of the most underrated performances in film history. When people think of a fantastic child actor performance nobody ever thinks about Macchio in The Karate Kid. They think of Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense, or Jodie Foster in Taxi Driver. Me personally I think that Macchio deserves to be mentioned in the conversation of great child acting. All others in the cast do a great job, but the person who steals the show is Pat Morita as Mr. Miyagi. He deserved the Oscar he got nominated for. The music is great. Both the orchestrated score and the 80's pop songs are really good. The one that stands out though is "Your the Best" by Joe Esposito. It is one of the catchiest songs you'll ever hear. The strength of the emotion in this film is very strong like the director's other film Rocky. That's another thing I want to mention. I hate how this is underneath the shadow of Rocky. Rocky is excellent, but so is this film. In fact this film may be even better. This film really needs more love. It is a great movie that even with all these years that have went by is still not truly given the credit it deserves.

4 stars out of 4
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Wax on, Wax off, Wax on, Wax off...Can't forget that line.
The_Light_Triton1 February 2009
I'm Gonna go ahead and say That The Karate kid should be in the Top 250 of the IMDb, because not only is it a good family movie, there is a moral inside of it that today is quite easy to emulate but is rarely done as well as John. G. Avildsen has done in this film. What is this moral? Being a father. While Daniel Larusso might not have a father, Mr. miyagi becomes the father he never had, and "daniel-san" as Mr. Miyagi calls him, is the son he never had. they bond in that way and it's something that should be done more often in movies.

Daniel LaRusso (Played by Ralph Macchio) has left new jersey with his mother to start a new life in the Run down part of what might be Los Angeles, California. Once he is there, he encounters a cute girl (played by Elizabeth Shue) But is quickly bested in a fight for her by Johnny Lawrence, A Black-belt Karate student of one of the most brutal karate teachers of all time (Played by Martin Kove, also known as Ericson from Rambo: First blood part II) After Constant bullying by the Cobra Kai (Johnny's Gang) Daniel turns to Mr. Miyagi (Played by Pat Morita, who has since passed away) for help, and finds not only the skills to earn Johnny's Respect, But a father in the form of an old Okinawan Janitor.

This movie defines Good. There is nary a bad thing in it. The soundtrack is great. The fighting Sequences are pretty good, and it's good to tune into AMC to catch this on a late Sunday night.

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Top Film of all Time
dualgraphics16 September 2005
This was one of the top films of all time. I don't know how it got a '6' . It deserves a '9' at the very least. The magic between Ralph and Pat are unmatched. I loved the ending - powerful, well-done. Well-directed. Well-acted. Beautiful story. Not a single bad moment, except the profanity in the middle. Otherwise, perfectly balanced film. I watched this in 1984 in the theaters and no one moved after the end credits. It was that powerful. Ask anyone then if they would give it a '6' and they would have thought you were crazy. But today's generation gives 'Sin City' an '8' - what does this tell you about our society? What does it tell you about a society that says 'God is dead, but Elvis is alive?'
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