The Karate Kid [1984] (Movie) – Review Junction

When The Karate Kid came out back in the 80s, it was an instant classic. Ralph Macchio and “Pat” Morita – Mr. Miyagi – helped make an interesting twist on Rocky even more entertaining. But is the movie overrated? Let’s find out! When The Karate Kid begins, we meet Daniel LaRusso, a high school senior who’s just moved to Los Angeles. After befriending a pretty cheerleader named Ali Mills, Daniel gets his ass whooped by Johnny Lawrence, a bully who’s skilled at karate. What follows is Daniel’s evolution as he’s trained by Mr. Miyagi, a martial arts master in the art of karate, so that he can beat Johnny in a tournament. The Karate Kid’s concept sounds pretty similar to that of Rocky, but in my opinion, it’s a lot better. Daniel’s struggles were easily relatable due to his struggles with bullying, fitting in, and his awful costume that he wore at the Halloween party. Like Rocky, The Karate Kid features an awesome montage of Daniel’s training before the tournament. In addition, Daniel and Mr. Miyagi get plenty of character development, helping elevate the movie and keeping me engrossed. And that’s where the flaws start rolling in. If we had learned more about Johnny, he would have made a much more entertaining villain. In addition, the direction was poorly handled, feeling amateurish with its lingering shots that makes the film move at a snail’s pace. To start, Daniel Larusso is played by Ralph Macchio in the role of a lifetime. Well, I guess the last role of his lifetime… Ralph’s acting has made vast improvements since starring in The Outsiders and it really shows. Then you have Elisabeth Shue as Ali Mills. I have to admit nothing really popped out with Shue’s performance. Then again, despite her lack of acting chops at the time, she and Ralph share a lot of romantic chemistry, which feels rare in people so young. As for the villain, Johnny, portrayed by William Zabka, he shouldn’t have jumped off the page with his two-dimensional character trait of pointless dickhead syndrome. On the other hand, Zabka not only makes this over-the-top character believable, but he makes you sympathize with him by the end. Finally, you have Mr. Miiyagi, played by Noriyuki “Pat” Morita. Morita’s performance frequently reminds you of Jackie Chan with his unique sense of humour, warm heart and smile, and badass attitude while fighting. While this is great in a way, Morita’s performance was far from worthy of the Academy Award that he was nominated for. Not to mention that the dialogue was horrendous, making the actors have to work twice as hard to make the material interesting. The Karate Kid is over 30 years old now, and like The Terminator, the Blu Ray quality is impressive. Besides the vast amount of film grain, the warm colours reveal the vintage tone that was often established in 80s movies. To add, the audio never felt compressed so it doesn’t hinder your viewing. Here’s where the audio department fails. The score is poorly composed, full of weak, forgettable tracks that never jump out, and other tracks that are ear-piercing and a little too joyous in sound. Moreover, the choreography, especially that of Morita, was terrible. You killed my family! Hoo! Hah! Oooo… (*Punch sound*) Ahhh… Overall, The Karate Kid is immensely entertaining due to its acting talent and plenty of memorable scenes. If it didn’t suffer from so many flaws, it could have been brilliant. The Karate Kid gets a 7 out of 10. So what were your thoughts on The Karate Kid? Do you think it was better than Rocky? Let me know in the comments below. This doesn’t look that hard… (*Crack!*)

8 Replies to “The Karate Kid [1984] (Movie) – Review Junction

  1. i love both films, and there are directed and produced by the same people, but i think the context in Rocky is much profound that the Karate kid, Daniel has to survive a new city, new school, bullyng and a new life in town i would say, but Rocky has to survive life it self when nobody put trust on him, he is alone, until he found Adrian of course, but as the producers say in the extras or rocky , the important thing in rocky is not the fight scene, the fight scene is the celebration, but the important thing is what you see in the entire movie, the adversities, the almost none hope in his face, so i personally enjoy much more the end of rocky, you feel more happy for him, he found that he can do anything he want against the prejudices of society, he is not fighting with apollo, he is fighting with himself with his desire to get ahead in life, in fact Rcoky didn't win in the first movie but you still cry with it, and showing us that we can reach any target, and with the end of karate kid i feel that if daniel would not have won the competition, its just a competition of a teenager, but he continues as a teenager life , with respect of his enemies of course, but i dont feel Karate Kid is better than Rocky, so WIN ROCKY WIN!!! hahaha

  2. Better than Rocky? Come on! Rocky is 10x better than Karate Kid! Character wise, Rocky Balboa's character developed from a Lousy Boxer to a more experienced Boxer! Daniel Larusso started stupid in Part 1 and still STUPID in Part 3. and I am sure in THE NEXT KARATE KID, even though he did not appear i am 100% sure he is still stupid! Rocky developed his boxing skills! Daniel Larusso developed his girl watching skills! I can beat Daniel even when I am not a Karate expert with a baseball bat!

  3. I think the Karate Kid is truly one of the greatest movies ever. I’d call it an absolute masterpiece which has never received nearly the appreciation it deserves. I like it much better than Rocky. In this video, I explain some of my reasons:

  4. Hi I enjoyed your review, I have subscribed, I also reviewed this movie on my channel, If you could check it out any feedback would be very welcome

  5. Ralph macchio has done alot of movies since the karate kid, hes just more known for this role above others

  6. The Karate Kid is my favorite movie of all time I rank them all like this

    1 The Karate Kid (1984) A+

    2 The Karate Kid Part 2 (1986) A

    3 The Karate Kid Part 3 (1989) C+

    4 The Karate Kid Remake (2010) C
    5 The Next Karate Kid (1994) D

    And yes I think The Karate Kid is better then Rocky I like The Rambo movies more then Rocky also.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *