The Karate Kid
Poor Daniel-san. First his mom uprooted him from Jersey and moved them to L.A., and then he gets the crap kicked out of him almost daily by those jerks at the Cobra Kai.
What’s a high school kid to do?
Well, you could stay home all the time, or… or you could make sure the next time you get the crap kicked out of you that a grizzled old karate expert’s watching. Fortunately Daniel chose the latter option, because if he hadn’t we would have never been treated to one of the best underdog movies (if not the best) to come out of the 80s.
The Karate Kid hit theaters on June 22, 1984, and it was an instant hit. Directed by John G. Avildsen (who also directed Rocky), it starred cutey-pie Ralph Macchio as Daniel, Elisabeth Shue as Ali (ex-girlfriend of Johnny, the bane of Daniel’s existence), and Pat Morita as Mr. Miyagi.
It’s a movie chock-full of iconic moments, from the Cobra Kai’s beating up Daniel in their skeleton costumes, to Daniel balancing on the pylon out at the beach, to Daniel and Ali’s date at the amusement park. And then there was the whole “paint the fence” scene, the part where Miyagi’s catching flies with chopsticks, and of course the crane kick bit at the All Valley Karate Championship. (Can you seriously tell us that you don’t still stand up and cheer whenever you see it?)
There’s so much about The Karate Kid that we love, that it’s hard to narrow it down. The bad guys were particularly bad, Ali was particularly cute, and Morita was particularly… well, awesome as Miyagi (he even snared himself an Oscar nomination for the role.)
Wax on, wax off indeed.
We ♥ The Karate Kid.