The Only Review of The Karate Kid That You’ll Ever Need

As we all know, The Karate Kid remake is coming out soon, and so we’re going to venture down the punch and kick filled memory lane of my mind to take a look at the awesome Karate Kid Trilogy.

The Karate Kid
Year: 1984
Director: John G. Avildsen

It’s no secret that I love The Karate Kid Trilogy. I grew up with these bad boys and they were part of my steady diet of nothing but martial arts themed movies. I wanted a Mr. Miyagi in my life so goddamn bad, hell, I still do. None of the maintenance men around my apartment complex know any martial arts. I should know. Whenever I see one of them working, I bruise up my face, then go over there and kick the shit out of my bike. Hoping it’ll catch their eye and they’ll ask me if I want to be trained in martial arts through the use of yard work. It hasn’t happened yet, but fingers are crossed.

We’re not going to have the average review, as it is, the Karate Kid movies tend to run on a formula. So, we’re going to look at the key points that seem to come up in every one, and pay homage to this major ass kicking series.

FEAR, does not exist in this review, DOES IT? NO CALIBER
PAIN, does not exist in this review, DOES IT? NO CALIBER

The Bully:

Johnny Lawrence

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the greatest bully of all time. From the second he stepped on the screen for the first time, he was everything I ever feared as a child. He’s a mean, arrogant, bad-ass who kicks the shit out of every and anyone that stares at him crooked. Or doesn’t stare at him. Or wants their radio back. God forbid he ever worked at a store, ask for your change and he’d leap over the counter with a side-kick and crush your larynx. Plus, he wears a bandanna. Name me someone who wears a bandanna that ISN’T a bad-ass. There you go.

The first time he meets Daniel he kicks the crap out of him. Later, him and the gang find Daniel riding his back home and force him off a cliff with their motorbikes. Never mind the fact they could have fucking killed him. Then after Daniel acts like an idiot and fucks with Johnny, they beat him till unconsciousness and would have done worse had Miyagi not intervened.

He’s an obnoxious motherfucker that is the pitch perfect bully for the 80’s. As a child, this dude scared the hell out of me.

Evil Sensi:

Sensi John Kreese

There’s a reason he made Number One in my Biggest Bad-Asses of All Time count down. In the true sense of the word, he’s evil. Sure, Johnny may have been a huge dick, but towards the end even he was seeing the error of his ways. He doesn’t want to sweep the leg, and he tells Daniel how proud he is of him once he wins. John? He tries to kill Johnny for pulling that bullshit. First place? Way to go. 2nd place? Show the trophy to God, here comes the choke.

He tries to beat up an old oriental man who was merely intervening in John Kreese’s attempted homicide. In the attempt, he punches out two car windows, so he gets uber man points for that.

He does his best to impart a war-like mindset to his students.

“Strike first! Strike hard! No Mercy, sir!” is the cried mantra in the Cobra Kai dojo. Pain, defeat, and fear are things that do not exist.

He also goes sleeveless, which is like a badge of manliness.

Romantic Interest:

Ali Mills

My personal favorite of all the Karate Kid females, also one of my favorites of all the leading actresses from the 80’s. I think she’s in the same echelon of Phoebe Cates, so you know that’s saying something. As most guys know, there’s different sections of how a girl looks; hot, beautiful, sexy, and cute. Cute is always the best. That’s the girl you want to marry, and the girl worth pursuing. Ali is the pinnacle of cute if you ask me, but she’s also able to blend some of the others.

She’s great in that she doesn’t tend to take any shit from Johnny or the Cobra Kai, and even with her parents and friends thinking Daniel is ‘beneath’ her, she stayed stead fast by her man.

Any girl who doesn’t mind pushing a car to get it started and playing video games is alright with me.

And she’s still really f’ning hot. Oh, and Adventures In Baby Sitting kicks ass too.

Secret Move That Daniel Uses To Win Fight:

The Crane Kick

This made Number One on the Top 5 Scenes From My Childhood. Almost 30 years later, I still get choked up every time I see it. I don’t care how hokey people think it is, I think it’s just an awesome moment. A culmination in someone standing up for themselves, and kicking the shit out of the odds.

People think it’s a stupid move, but think about it, if you didn’t know what the fuck he was doing, you’d walk right into it. It’s extremely original, and a piece of pop culture. Great way to end the movie.

Awesome Song From The Movie:

Joe Esposito – You’re The Best Around

An awesome song that for some stupid reason, has only been gaining notoriety in the last couple years. I think it was brought back to the lime light due to the South Park episode where the kids are playing baseball, and Randy fights the dads at the games. The episode actually parodies two John G. Avildsen movies, Rocky and The Karate Kid. Have a listen, awesome song, awesome video.

Caliber’s Favorite Moments:

Man, there’s just so many. I love the beach scene in the beginning. It’s an awesome way to introduce the Cobra Kai, as they just look so fucking menacing. Rolling in on their dirt bikes, breaking radios and beating up strangers. I also love when Tommy screams “Get’em a body bag! Yeah!” and rocks this awesome laugh. Also, as mentioned, I get a major boner when Daniel rocks the Crane Kick. The music swell, the importance of all this, the fear and unsureness in his eyes, it all just explodes when he connects with Johnny. Awesome, awesome moment.

A part that I use in my Man Movie Encyclopedia reviews is letting peeps in on obscure facts. The Karate Kid deserves such honors.

Producers didn’t want the drunk Myagi scene in the movie, but John fought for it. He believes it to be the reason that Pat was nominated for an Oscar.

The above mentioned song was originally written for Rocky III. Hence the line “history repeats itself”.

Ralph Macchio was given the car that Daniel was given. He still owns it.

Stay tuned, coming soon is part II and part III of these awesome, awesome movies.


~ by Caliber Winfield on June 1, 2010.

6 Responses to “The Only Review of The Karate Kid That You’ll Ever Need”

  1. As usual, you pretty much sum up my feelings on this movie. I’m also looking forward to the upcoming remake. Hopefully Jackie Chan can give a good performance and provide more than the simple comic relief that I’m used to seeing out of him in the few movies I’ve seen.
    Get him a body bag, yeeeeahhh~!

  2. I knew my readers were smart cookies.

    I think Jackie will do alright. It’s just that, he’s only done movies where he kicks major, major ass. Sure, he plays a goof most of the time, but he’s ALWAYS whooping ass. So, I dunno if I can buy him as some humble handy man. They better have an awesome John Kreese though, those are big shoes to fill.

    Hope you dig the review of Part 2.

  3. “Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the greatest bully of all time. From the second he stepped on the screen for the first time, he was everything I ever feared as a child. He’s a mean, arrogant, bad-ass who kicks the shit out of every and anyone that stares at him crooked.”

    In short he’s CM Punk.

  4. By the way the best around song is so awesome I made my own version of it, I’m The Best Around where I bragged about how i was better than everyone else… at school. Sang it in two different classes.

    Pretty badass.

  5. I couldn’t be more proud of you, my friend…

  6. funny review all around. but for 2017, “He tries to beat up an old oriental man who was merely intervening in John Kreese’s attempted homicide.” cringeworthy gold. it’s “asian american” (or at the least, “asian”) not friggin’ oriental. thanks.

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