21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
"Wax On, Wax Off",
This review is from: The Karate Kid [DVD]  (DVD)
I remember watching this film as a kid and feeling the magic of it all, and even now when I watch it many years on I still get that same buzz when Daniel wins the final of the karate tornament and I still cheer when his wise old teacher Mr Miyagi gives the gang who have been bullying him a good beating. The fact that this film made over $90,000,000 at the box office in the USA alone, gives you an idea of how good the film is and how popular it was on its release.
When Daniel LaRusso and his mum move to a new town, he becomes the victim of a gang of karate students because he is dating the ex-girlfriend of the leader of the pack. After several beatings a wise old Japanese handyman and martial arts master called Mr Miyagi agrees to teach him karate so that he can enter an upcoming karate tornament and beat the bullies once and for all.
The real key to this film is the relationship between the two main characters Mr Miyagi and Daniel. Despite the obvious age difference they become the best of friends very quickly, as Mr Miyagi begins to teach Daniel not only martial arts, but self confidence and self respect through philosophy. He becomes a father figure to Daniel who's real father is dead, forming a real bond right from the start, which continues (and grows) throughout the two sequels that they both appear in.
Ralph Macchio who plays Danniel does a good job with his character, however may be just slightly over-shadowed by the stunning performance from Noriyuki 'Pat' Morita who played Mr Miyagi, and was actually nominated for an Oscar for his role in this film, in the catagory of Best Actor in a Supporting Role, beaten only by Jack Nicholson for his performance in 'Terms Of Endearment'. Elisabeth Shue is on board as Ali, the girl Daniel starts seeing when he arrives in the new town. Martin Kove also does a good job as the nasty Cobra Kai sensei.
In terms of the DVD itself there a few extras; three quite cool games that you can play when the disc is inserted into a computer. They include Catch The Fly, Find The Village, and Capture The Bonsai Tree, and although they are very easy they are quite fun, and kids would probably enjoy that a lot. Besides this there is a theatrical trailer and filmographies for Ralph Macchio, Noriyuki 'Pat' Morita, Elisabeth Shue, and John G. Avildsen the director.
Overall, 'The Karate Kid' really is a good film, possibly one of the best of its kind to come out of the 80's, with John G. Avildsen doing a good job of directing, especially when it comes to the fight scenes, something that he was always pretty good at (check out 'Rocky'). He is also re-united with Bill Conti (whom he also worked with in 'Rocky') to produce a very catchy score that fits the film perfectly.
If you are a martial arts fan, or just want an enjoyable film to entertain you for a couple of hours and have you cheering at the screen, then this is a good choice of film. If you have seen it before, then you could try any of the three sequels.