Number of Times Seen – Too many to count (Theater in ’84, cable, video, DVD, 16 Nov 2014, 21 Jul 2017 and 1 Oct 2020)
Brief Synopsis – After moving with his mother to Los Angeles from New Jersey, a teenager runs into trouble with a group of bullies and decides to learn Karate in order to protect himself.
My Take on it – This is a film that I recall seeing for the very first time in the theater when I was 10 and have enjoyed it so many times over the past 36 years.
The story works on numerous levels and is able to create some very iconic characters and situations that are so enjoyable to watch.
The pacing of the story is done really well and they find some clever ways to develop these characters as things move along.
Te soundtrack is VERY 80’s and is able to transport us back to a very different time in a nostalgic way.
The film has a clear message and is able to remain both powerful and poignant no matter how often one watches this film.
The film has a very unique method of teaching karate and although it has been copied many times over the years, none of them do it as well as this film.
None of the sequels are nearly as good as this one and lets not even discuss the horrendous remake.
The film is quite layered and is able to bring forth a father-son story, a coming of age story and a story about a powerful friendship between two very mismatched characters.
Blending all of these aspects together helps make this film so memorable to watch over and over again.
Bottom Line – Amazing film that works so well. Macchio and Morita created iconic roles with these characters that are still so well known even after more than 36 years. The story itself is paced really well and allows us to get to know the characters as they are slowly developed along the way. The film has great soundtrack that enhances things so much. The message of the film is quite clear and is able to remain powerful and poignant no matter how often one watches this movie. The unique way that karate is taught here has been copied so often over the years yet this still remains the best version of it. None of the sequels are as good as the original and one should stay far away from the remake which is horrendous to watch. The father-son, coming of age and friendship aspects of this film all shine through and help make this film so memorable to watch. Highly Recommended!
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – When Mr. Miyagi is drunk and celebrating an “anniversary,” he reveals that he served in the Army, in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. The unit, composed mostly of Japanese Americans (many of whom had been in internment camps), fought in Europe during the World War II. It became the most highly decorated unit in the history of the United States military. (From IMDB)
Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10) (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