The Karate Kid

Director: John G. Avildsen
Writer: Robert Mark Kamen
Producers: Jerry Weintraub
Starring: Ralph Macchio/Noriyuki ‘Pat’ Morita/Elisabeth Shue
Year: 1984
Country: US
BBFC Certification: PG
Duration: 126 minutes

The Karate Kid is one of the most memorable movies of the eighties and even in recent times it’s popular, what with it being remade and people getting interested in where it all started. If you’ve seen the recent version of The Karate Kid and you haven’t seen the original, I advise you to see it. So, just like the 2010 version of the movie, The Karate Kid is about Daniel and his mom moving to Newark because of a job opportunity. Once there, he  becomes a victim to a group of bullies who are students of karate. After Mr. Miyagi, an Okinawan handyman, fights the bullies and saves Daniel from any more harm, Mr. Miyagi teaches Daniel the ways of karate so he’s prepared for the karate tournament, which the bullies have also entered. The Karate Kid stands out mostly because of its charm and the great friendship chemistry between actors Ralph Macchio and Noriyuki ‘Pat’ Morita as it’s almost like watching best friends or even like a father teaching his son. It’s very predictable all the way through and you could guess what happens in the first minute or two but it was such a joy to watch the two brilliant actors as their performances as their characters, Daniel and Miyagi, were great. The best thing about the movie and what I thought made the movie was the characters. Mr. Miyagi and Daniel were both brilliant characters and it was enchanting to watch a friendship form together on screen.

Ralph Maccio was fantastic and almost faultless as teenager Daniel and Noriyuki Morita is utterly fantastic as Mr. Miyagi and they both make a good duo as teacher and student. The rest of the cast in the movie were truly magnificent and it was really such an enjoyable experience to watch the underdog rise to the challenge with the help and support of his family and friends. The Karate Kid has great writing, good direction and with the help of some great dialogue and fantastic fight choreography, you have one of the most iconic movies of the eighties and one of the greatest underdog stories ever told.

The best thing about The Karate Kid is that you can relate to the story and the characters and there’s more to the characters than meets the eye. You can tell The Karate Kid has had a lot of thought put into it and it shows through its story, its characters and its charm and personality. It’s a movie that can be watched over and over again and will remain timeless. After twenty-six years of its release, The Karate Kid is my new favourite movie and is something that could be passed on in the future because as well as a great story, you also have some important lessons about life in the movie that everyone could learn. The only problem I can think of about The Karate Kid is the ending as it just didn’t feel like a proper ending and it felt like it was cut too short but other than that, it’s a very enjoyable movie. If you liked the re-imagined 2010 version of The Karate Kid, then you will love this. I would recommend this to people who love a good underdog story and it’s great for the whole family to watch too.

The Karate Kid: Part II

Director: John G. Avildsen
Writer: Robert Mark Kamen
Producers:
Jerry Weintraub/William J. Cassidy/Susan Ekins/Karen Trudy Rosenfelt
Starring: Ralph Macchio/Noriyuki ‘Pat’ Morita/Danny Kamekona/Yuji Okumoto
Year:
1986
Country: US
BBFC Certification: PG
Duration: 113 minutes

The Karate Kid continues the series with a sequel in which this time, Daniel learns more about Okinawa, Mr. Miyagi’s birthplace, and Mr. Miyagi’s history. Taking place shortly after the last movie, Mr. Miyagi hears some unfortunate news about his father and travels on the next plane to Okinawa, accompanied with Daniel. Once there, he bumps into his rival and former best friend, Sato, who thinks he’s a traitor and a coward for running away and leaving his home years ago. Now Miyagi must settle the score with his rival and take care of his dying father while training Daniel, who also has a rival of his own. The good thing about The Karate Kid: Part II is that we get to learn more about Mr. Miyagi than you did in the first movie. While Mr. Miyagi is still Daniel’s teacher, it felt more like a friendship this time round than it did in the first movie. Yet again, fantastic performances as their characters as Noriyuki Morita and Ralph Maccio do a terrific job. The whole cast were great as their characters but apart from Noriyuki Morita and Ralph Maccio, credit must also go to Danny Kamekona and Yuji Okumoto, who plays Sato and his nephew Chozen, respectively. The bad thing about The Karate Kid: Part II is that it’s yet again predictable, although it doesn’t lose much charm from the characters.

The Karate Kid: Part II has some great moments with some good, solid writing and nice direction. The story isn’t so much the underdog story like the first movie was but there are still elements of that in the movie. This time, it’s based more on revenge, love and peace more than anything else and while the movie makes a worthy sequel to its predecessor, it somehow loses a little bit of that charming magic that The Karate Kid had and I have no clue why that magic has disappeared. The Karate Kid: Part II has some good dialogue and there are some good words said by Mr. Miyagi that could also be reflected on you in real life.

I really do think that The Karate Kid: Part II is a good sequel and lives up to the first movie but the biggest negative point of the movie is the ending, as it didn’t feel like an ending. This is the same problem that The Karate Kid had, it felt like it was cut too short and happened too suddenly. I found The Karate Kid: Part II to be just as enjoyable as the first movie but not as charming. Even though the charm of the main two characters, Daniel and Miyagi, hasn’t changed since the first, the story has changed and has lost a bit of charm. This may be because the two movies are a little different as they both touch on different main subjects. The Karate Kid: Part II has some great fight choreography, brilliant acting and good storytelling but falls short on the charm and magic that The Karate Kid had. Still, it’s an enjoyable movie which has some valuable messages and it’s a good family movie. You’ll like this addition if you liked the first movie.

The Karate Kid: Part III

Director: John G. Avildsen
Writer: Robert Mark Kamen
Producers:
Jerry Weintraub/Sheldon Schrager/Doug Seelig/Karen Trudy Rosenfelt
Starring:
Ralph Macchio/Noriyuki ‘Pat’ Morita/Thomas Ian Griffith/Martin Kove
Year:
1989
Country: US
BBFC Certification: PG
Duration: 112 minutes

Ralph Maccio and Noriyuki “Pat” Morita return for the last time together in The Karate Kid: Part III and, even though it’s not the weakest in the series, it’s still nothing like The Karate Kid. In this installment, John Creese (a character from The Karate Kid) vows revenge on Daniel and Miyagi for ruining the reputation of Cobra Kai with the help of his old friend, Terry Silver. The Karate Kid: Part III isn’t the worst of the series but it is the worst of the trilogy. The thing that’s missing the most in this movie is the charm and the originality that the first movie had and the in-depth character development that The Karate Kid: Part II had. The story could have been improved a little with more focus on what The Karate Kid was originally about, the two main characters Daniel and Miyagi and training and guidance. However, the story this time around felt very different and felt more like it was focused on Daniel and Jessica, yet another five-minute girlfriend, and Daniel and Silver with hardly any training scenes. It’s not really a good thing since The Karate Kid movies have always been about Daniel being ‘the underdog’, getting his backside kicked through the majority of the movie and then him and Miyagi training so it won’t happen.

One of my biggest bugs about The Karate Kid: Part III is Thomas Ian Griffith, who plays villain Terry Silver. I have seen some over-the-top performances in movies in my time but Thomas Ian Griffith is definitely somewhere in my top 5 over-the-top performances and has shown, in some scenes, some really awful and seriously cheesy acting. It’s almost as bad as this and that’s saying something. While the charming friendship is still there between Daniel and Mr. Miyagi, you can’t help but think that it was a little better in the last two movies than it was in Part III. Ralph Maccio and Noriyuki “Pat” Morita are two great actors and it shows in the movie but I feel that the two characters were written much better in the last movies than they are here. Daniel’s attitude totally changed and it was like watching somebody completely different after the first thirty minutes. Also, you don’t learn anything new about the characters except for what you already knew in the first place and I think that took a little bit of charm away. In The Karate Kid, we learned about both Daniel and Miyagi and how they both started a friendship through karate. In The Karate Kid: Part II, we learn more about Miyagi, his family and his past and in the third movie, we don’t learn anything except for Daniel turns into a stroppy teenager. The writing for The Karate Kid: Part III is good but could have been much better as far as story and characters were concerned as you didn’t feel any connection to them this time around and sometimes you sighed when a certain character came on the screen (*cough* Silver *cough*).

The fight choreography was just very average, it wasn’t good or bad but it felt like it could have been better. The Karate Kid is supposed to be about karate and I felt that the scenes hardly looked realistic, especially the ending. However, the movies and the ideas provided by Mr. Miyagi were more about the spiritual philosophy behind karate than the physical part of it. The messages in the movie are there but they’re not as effective as they were in the other movies. While The Karate Kid: Part III isn’t going to stay in your mind (except for Griffith’s performance and not in a good way), it does conclude the trilogy of The Karate Kid averagely. It’s a shame as I think The Karate Kid could have ended the trilogy better but for a stand-alone movie, it’s alright and it’s enough to keep fans of The Karate Kid happy.

The Next Karate Kid

Director: Christopher Cain
Writer:
Mark Lee
Producers: Jerry Weintraub/Susan Ekins/R.J Louis
Starring:
Noriyuki ‘Pat’ Morita/Hilary Swank/Michael Ironside/Constance Towers
Year: 1994
Country: US
BBFC Certification: PG
Duration: 107 minutes

The Next Karate Kid is the last in the series of the original and, by far, the worst of the lot. The movie didn’t have anything going for it and it didn’t feel anything like the other Karate Kid movies. It’s a stand-alone movie and doesn’t have anything in common with the other movies except for Mr. Miyagi. The story is about Mr. Miyagi taking care of  troubled seventeen-year-old Julie who starts being harassed by a fraternity called the Alpha Elite, who like to torment her in school every day. Mr. Miyagi decides to teach Julie karate so she can defend herself and channel her anger. The Next Karate Kid doesn’t come close to the other movies and is seen through the quality of the story. The story displays the same message that the last three movies had but it isn’t so effective this time around. The characters in The Next Karate Kid aren’t really good except for Mr. Miyagi, who stays the same through all of The Karate Kid movies. Julie, played by Hilary Swank, isn’t written good, her character isn’t likeable or even interesting. In fact, most of the characters in the movie weren’t interesting, even the villains were boring and one-dimensional. The acting in the movie was very average except for Noriyuki “Pat” Morita, who delivers a good performance as Mr. Miyagi. Hilary Swank  isn’t bad although there are times when she could have been a lot better.

In Buy Viagra Professional Online Pharmacy No Prescription Needed all of The Next Karate Kid’s faults comes a positive light in form of the monks, who were a comic relief in the movie and there were a couple of enjoyable scenes with them. Unfortunately, that’s where it ends as there isn’t many positive things I can say about The Next Karate Kid, it should never have been made. The writing is a mess and totally unrealistic and the characters are even worse. For example, Julie’s grandmother has just met Mr. Miyagi for the first time as he introduces himself as a friend of her deceased husband’s. Mr. Miyagi spots Julie and her grandmother having an argument and he sees their relationship falling to pieces and so he suggests she stays at his place in California and he’ll look after Julie in her house in Boston and she agrees. She hasn’t known this man for nearly five minutes and she just goes away and leaves her granddaughter in a house alone with a stranger? I mean, come on! Also, I didn’t like how Mr. Miyagi hardly mentioned Daniel, he only mentioned him once in the movie. I know that The Next Karate Kid isn’t about Daniel but I thought that it would have been a little better if he was mentioned a few more times.

It really is such a shame that The Next Karate Kid was made because it didn’t feel like any proper thought went into the movie. It also felt like no effort went into the movie either and instead felt like it was made because The Karate Kid is a cash cow and would have made some money. Everything could have been improved from the acting to the writing. The Karate Kid is well known for its messages and the characters but The Next Karate Kid has nothing that you’ll remember and nothing that you can take away from it. This should never have been made and shouldn’t even be included in The Karate Kid series as it just didn’t feel like a Karate Kid movie. What a horrible way to end the original series, it should have stayed as a trilogy.

About The Author

My name is Darren Camponi and I run a website called Darren Camponi which can be seen here: http://innersanctumreviews.wordpress.com/

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