Fun facts to know:
- Directed by John G. Avildsen and Christopher Cain.
- Created by Robert Mark Kamen
- Pat E. Johnson was the choreographer of The Karate Kid’s fight scenes, and appeared in Enter the Dragon as a gangster in John Saxon’s flashback scene. Also a former student of Chuck Norris.
- Charlie Sheen and Sean Penn both turned down the role of Daniel LaRusso. Kyle Eastwood, Clint Eastwood’s son, was turned down for the role. Clint Eastwood retaliated by banning all Coca-Cola products from his movie sets, since Columbia Studios, who made The Karate Kid, was owned by Coca-Cola at the time.
- Believe it or not, Pat Morita was initially turned down for the role of Mr. Miyagi because apparently there was a policy that prohibited comedians from being hired for the role. He was later given the role because he did the best reading during the auditions.
- During filming in late 1983, Ralph Macchio was discovered to be age 22. Not even the cast believed him when he revealed his true age.
- There was a character named “Karate Kid” in DC Comic’s “Legion Of Superheroes.” who was a member of the Legion. DC Comics owned the name, and gave special permission for the title to be used in the film. At the end of the credits, there is a thank you to DC Comics for use of the name.
After watching this film, I noticed one thing that may have been overlooked by others…Daniel LaRusso (played by Ralph Macchio) has got some serious anger issues. He’s also quite a jerk. He even admits it, as a form of an apology none the less, which is unacceptable people. If anyone were to tell you “Hey, I’m a jerk” (his exact words), instead of apologizing by saying “I’m sorry, I was a jerk”, is not being sincere in my book. Sounds like a lame excuse to be a douchebag.
Now I get that moving to a new city, where you’re literally the outsider in every way shape and form, is stressful and hard to adjust to. But that’s no excuse to react the way Daniel did. Especially to his love interest, Ali Mills (played by Elisabeth Shue), who only wanted the best for him and was treated unfairly for it. Apparently, she felt she was at fault for him avoiding her after his attitude escalated. Ladies, listen to me, don’t ever blame yourself for a guy becoming angry with you after voicing your concern on his well-being. Only pride is to blame. Unfortunately, it can get the best of anyone.
The whole movie is just Daniel being schooled for karate, but really he’s given an “attitude adjustment” by the one and only, Pat Morita aka Mr. Kesuke Miyagi. A kick in the right direction when they crossed paths. The best friend that each other needed, but neither expected. Karate being the common ground that united them both, but really it was the life lessons that needed to be taught more than the physical aspects of karate. After all, with great power comes great responsibility. Mr. Miyagi even makes a comment to Daniel, “Fighting always last answer to problem.”
Had Daniel listened to him, he wouldn’t have gotten himself into the mess that he did. Of course, by flirting with the wrong girl, he had automatically made enemies with her ex-boyfriend and his colleagues. But he made matters much worse by pulling a water prank in the school bathroom during a dance to his nemesis, Johnny Lawrence (played by William Zabka). To his misfortune, Johnny happens to be the best in his karate class, and corners him on the street. However, he is saved in the nick of time from a major beat down.
Spiderman? No, it’s just Mr. Miyagi in action! BONZAI!!! Due to Mr. Miyagi’s wise words, he convinces Daniel to face his troubles head-on by showing his lack of fear to his enemies. Which eventually leads to a karate tournament to settle the disputes. At the dojo that Johnny attends, his sensei, John Kreese (Martin Kove), teaches his students to be merciless. Perhaps, it is not Daniel’s attitude that is the real problem. Perhaps it is the lack of respect that these boys are taught to have towards others that is the reason for these quarrels. According to Miyagi, ” No such thing as a bad student – only bad teacher.”
Growing up, I always figured that Daniel was thee Karate Kid. But an episode of How I Met Your Mother made me rethink who the true karate kid was. The character Barney, (Neil Patrick Harris), claims that Johnny was the true karate kid. I do see how Daniel is the bigger bully of the two, but I’m not quite sure how Johnny is the hero according to some.
Overall, the movie is a delight to watch full of knowledge and good advice that everyone should know in life. Now, I finally understand the reference of “Wax on, wax off” that Michelangelo (orange clad ninja) makes in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II. With dedication and perseverance, you learn you can achieve much even if the odds are against you. A classic that lives up to its reputation. To be honest, I think the best part about this film is that no matter how many times you watch it, it never seems to get dull. I give this movie 8.5 out of 10 stars!