Number of Times Seen – Too many to count (Theater in ’84, cable, video, DVD, 16 Nov 2014 and 21 Jul 2017)
Link to original review – Here
Brief Synopsis – After he and mother move to California, a teenager decided to learn karate to defend himself against local bullies.
My Take on it – This to me is one of the very best coming of age movies made in the 1980’s.
Thais is largely due to the fact that they deal with many different aspects of growing up.
We get many parts that deal with a father-son relationship, a best friend relationship, a teen romance, a teacher-student relationship and ultimately a great adrenaline pumping tournament sequence at the end.
the chemistry between Daniel and Mr. Miyagi is ultimately makes this film so watchable because it seems so genuine and realistic as it slowly builds between them.
The two lead characters have become so iconic over the years that most people know and recognize them.
Despite the fact that the three sequels to this film aren’t as good as this one, their personas haven’t been marred by the sub-par additional outings.
We all still can see this film as being a classic tale of how a kid can standup to bullies after moving to a new neighborhood.
Yes, this film has some humongous plot holes like how did Daniel’s mother jump from getting a new job in a computer company (hence their move from NJ to California) to being a waitress/hostess in a restaurant?
But it’s still so much to watch it all happen.
Both Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita are great here and these are the roles they both have ever since been known for.
Their portrayals of the characters are quite believable and we easily can care for them both.
This film has an amazing 80’s soundtrack which works so well keeping things even more interesting and also helps keep us in the 80’s mood the whole time.
They made a pointless remake of this in 2010….
Don’t even bother…….
Bottom Line – Great film that deserves much more praise than it usually gets. It’s an amazing coming of age film, buddy film, father-son film, teacher-student film and ultimately a great tournament film. The chemistry between all of the characters is great and it mostly comes off as being quite realistic. The characters of Daniel and Mr. Miyagi have become iconic and despite the sequels slightly marring the ideas of this first film, it still remains a classic tale of a teenager trying to stand up for himself in a new setting. Despite a few plot holes, the story works really well and we easily care for the lead character and want him to succeed in every way possible. Macchio and Morita are both superb here as the mismatched teacher-student duo yet is still remains quite believable. Great soundtrack helps keep this film stuck in the 80’s mode and rightfully so. Highly Recommended!
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Mr. Miyagi’s medal is the Medal of Honor, the highest military decoration awarded by the United States. It is easily recognizable by its blue ribbon and the inscription containing the word “valor.” In real life, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team had 21 Medal of Honor awardees, including Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii. Its members also received 52 Distinguished Service Crosses, 560 Silver Stars, 4,000 Bronze Stars, and 9,486 Purple Hearts. (From IMDB)
Rating – Oscar Worthy (no change from original review)
Check out my *updated* movie stats here
To see my reviews of Oscar Winning Performances check out this link
To see my reviews of all Oscar Best Picture Winners click here (now complete)
Here is a link to my movie index A-Z