Daniel (Ralph Macchio) arrives at his new school in California and soon finds himself bullied by a bunch of karate-trained creeps. Nevermind, help is on hand in the form of the school janitor (Pat Morita), a wise old martial arts instructor who trains Daniel to become a karate expert. This is lucky, because when the chief bully discovers that Daniel has taken up with his girlfriend, he's not going to be very happy about it.
The Karate Kid
is a popular 1984 drama by the director, John G Avildsen and one of the better takes on the original fighting classic Rocky
(also directed by John G Avildsen). The new kid in town (Ralph Macchio) targeted by karate-wielding bullies, gets himself a mentor in the form of the handyman (Pat Morita) from his apartment building. The mentor teaches him self-confidence, fighting skills and the art of karate. The screen partnership of Macchio's motor-mouth character and Morita's reserved father figure works well and the script allows for the younger man to develop sympathy for the painful memories of his teacher. Elisabeth Shue is enlisted as the romantic interest that klutzy Macchio dreams of winning. But the film's real engine, as with Rocky
, is the fighting, and there's plenty of that. Subsequently the film went on to breed many Karate Kid wannabes in the mid 80s. --Tom Keogh, Amazon.com