Sunday, July 25, 2010

Movie 23 Review: The Karate Kid

"The Karate Kid" is a 1984 Coming-of-Age Film directed by John G. Avildsen ("Rocky", "Lean on Me"). It was nominated at the Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor (Pat Morita), another nomination at the Golden Globe Awards for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture (Pat Morita), it won the Young Artist Awards for Best Family Motion Picture — Drama & Best Young Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture Musical, Comedy, Adventure or Drama (Elisabeth Shue), and nominated for Best Young Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture Musical, Comedy, Adventure or Drama (William Zabka).

It stars Ralph Macchio ("The Outsiders", "the Karate Kid II" & "The Karate Kid III") as Daniel LaRusso, Noriyuki "Pat" Morita ("Thoroughly Modern Millie", "Bloodsport II: The Next Kumite", "Mulan") as Mr. Kesuke Miyagi, Elisabeth Shue ("Adventure in Babysitting", "Back to the Future Part II", "Leaving Las Vegas") as Ali Mills, William Zabka ("Back to School", "The Karate Kid, Part II", "Hot Tub Time Machine") as Johnny Lawrence, Martin Kove ("The Karate Kid Part II", "The Karate Kid Part III", "Barbarian") as John Kreese, & Randee Heller ("Bulworth","Monster-In-Law","Crazylove") as Lucille LaRusso

The film is about young Daniel as he and his single mom, Lucille, have just arrived from moving from New Jersey to California. And chronicles Daniel's struggle to adapt to a place he doesn't want to be in and to learn to not be afraid.

Yes, it's surprising I haven't seen this, but I'll echo the sentiments that this movie is really good. It's high up there as far as quality children's classics, and what makes it so is the superb acting by the main cast. However, in the process of watching this film, I realized how far we have come from the 80s and how it made me feel old.

From a car breaking down, to kids actually going to an Arcade, disputes over a Radio, talk of Detroit making good cars, it truly is a trip back in time nowadays with this film.

*OBVIOUS SPOILERS AHEAD* The scene I enjoyed the most though was Mr. Miyagi morning the anniversary of his wife's death. Especially the way he was reenacting the events, it felt very real, not something you see too much in today's films.*END OF SPOILERS*

And of course I was caught completely by surprise by my forgetting that "You're the Best" was in this film and marked out like a little kid.

"The Karate Kid" went on to have sequels and a remake in it's wake. "The Karate Kid Part II" (1986) & "The Karate Kid Part III" (1989) both had Ralph Macchio & Pat Morita in Staring Roles with it's quality & reputation turning downward with each movie. "The Next Karate Kid" (1994) had starred Hilary Swank being taught by Pat Morita's "Mr. Miyagi" character and was even less well received than "Part II" & "Part III". Finally there was a remake done this year starring Jaden Smith & Jackie Chan as Dre Parker & Mr. Han respectively, some view the movie as a vehicle for Jaden Smith to boost his acting career, much like "Bad Boys" did for Jaden's father, Will Smith.

It's a good film and one to watch, even if it's dated.

Flickchart Rankings
Worldwide: 364
tack Angel: 180

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