One of the most anticipate movies of the summer comes out today – The Karate Kid. It stars Ralph Macchio, who was last seen in the awesome movie The Outsiders. In this movie, Macchio plays Daniel LaRusso, an Italian boy who just moved from New Jersey to California with his mother (Randee Heller). He has a difficult time adjusting to California life. But things appear to get better when he meets a high chool cheerleader, Ali Mills (Elisabeth Shue in one of her first movie roles, may have a good career ahead of her). But as it turns out, her ex-boyfriend Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), is the best karate student at the Cobra Kai training school. Daniel gets bullied by Johnny and his fellow hoodlum students. After one of his beatings, Daniel is rescued by Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita – best know as Arnold from Happy Days), as Mr. Miyagi defeats all five Cobra Kai easily. Daniel asks Miyagi to be his teacher. Miyagi refuses, but agrees to go with Daniel to the Cobra Kai dojo in order to resolve the conflict. They confront the sensei, John Kreese (Martin Kove), an ex-Special Forces Vietnam Veteran who sneers at the concepts of mercy and restraint.
Kreese and Miyagi agree to a match between Johnny and Daniel in two months’ time at the All Valley Karate Tournament.
Mr. Miyagi becomes Daniel’s teacher and a father figure. He begins Daniel’s training by having him perform laborious chores such as waxing cars, sanding a wooden floor, painting a fence, and refinishing Miyagi’s house.
Daniel becomes frustrated because he wants to learn how to fight. After a while Daniel becomes angry with Mr. Miyagi, then Miyagi throws several punches at Daniel. But, much to his own surprise Daniel is able to block all of the moves without think about it. By doing such particular chores as painting a fence, sanding a floor, and waxing a car (“Wax on. Wax off.”), he was really learning defensive moves.
As their bond grows, Daniel learns that Mr. Miyagi’s wife had died giving childbirth. So the loss of Daniel’s father, and the loss of Mr. Miyagi’s family strengthened their father-son relationship.
Daniel does well in the tournament, and comes face-to-face in the finals with Johnny. I don’t want to spill any spoilers about who won the match. But, I will say that a “Crane Kick” stance plays a factor.
I give this movie an A.
Here is the movie trailer: