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    The Karate Kid

    The Karate Kid Poster
    The Karate Kid Poster

    Released

    1984

    Runtime

    127

    The Karate Kid

    What's it About

    After moving with his mom to California from New Jersey, new kid in town Daniel (Macchio) finds himself targeted by a group of bullies with formidable karate skills. One night, he is defended by Miyagi (Morita), the soft-spoken Okinawan handyman in his apartment building, and the two form a friendship as Miyagi teaches him the moral principles of the martial arts. 

    Why we love it

    A charming retread of his own mega-hit "Rocky," Avildsen's story of an underdog who learns a lot more than karate from his Japanese mentor contains memorable lessons in love, dignity, honor, and yes, self-defense for viewers of any age. Morita's Miyagi is both comically stern and huggably wise, quick with a rattan stick but also with cheeky jokes. Macchio makes an affecting outcast, and his crush on high-school cutie Ali (a pre-"Melrose Place" Shue) is the kind of stuff Frankie Valli used to sing about. As Daniel's mean, high-kicking foe, Martin Kove couldn't be better. Let's hear it for the original "Karate Kid," still the best in Avildsen's multi-film franchise.

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