Friday, September 18, 2015

The Karate Kid Revisted


It had been awhile since I had seen The Karate Kid all the way through until recently.  The movie is great and still has its 80s charm, although I noticed some quirks I never did before.

1. Ali Throws Herself at Daniel

Daniel stops playing soccer to make extended well over a minute, creepy eye contact with Ali and she's all about him.  Not only does Daniel do nothing to warrant this, but he is actually a jerk to her.

He yells at her twice to go away when he's hurt and she checks on him.  Not to mention, he bails on plans with Ali when she invites him out and unnecessarily snaps at her when the cool kids invite her to go in their car.   Nothing seems to deter her, despite his behavior.

The one time she actually does get mad at him, all Daniel has to say is something like come on baby don't be mad at me, and she forgives him in like two seconds.

I'm all for women going after what they want, but this clearly was more of a case of Ali irrationally throwing herself at Daniel.

2. Mrs. LaRusso is the Worst

She moves her son across the country from New Jersey to California in a broken car far away from all her family for some vague job.

Then she's almost never around and forces Daniel to go on a date in her horrible car that of course breaks down and embarrasses him.

Worst of all is that she just allows her son to spend all his time with some random Asian guy that she met once.  Don't worry though, Mr. Miyagi gave her a Bonzai tree and fixed Daniel's bike, and that's all the approval she needs. You know who sometimes fix bikes for children? That's right, pedophiles.

Mrs. LaRusso had no clue if he could have been a pedophile or not.

3. The Teenagers' Behavior is Weird 

Freddy, the kid Daniel meets while moving in, pretty much wants to be his best friend after seeing Daniel kick the gate open.  That's weird enough, but once Daniel gets beat up by Johnny, Freddy and his friends want nothing to do with him.

More perplexing is why Ali's friends hate Daniel so much.  From the moment they meet Daniel, they act like mean girls to him, and this is after he defended Ali at the beach.

It's never really explained why they act this way either.  Maybe it's because he's poor, although that's never indicated.

It's as if Ali's friends were just meant to represent a minor obstacle to Daniel pursuit of Ali even though they really had no effect it.

4.  Almost Everything Prior to the Soccer Field Scene is Forgettable

For some reason, I had forgotten every scene before soccer field tryouts on the first day of school and thought that was the starting scene of the movie.  It's probably because everything outside of the first fight on the beach with Johnny is pretty forgettable.

The drive across the country, moving in scenes, and soccer on the beach aren't exactly thrill rides. Those scenes mostly made me feel like Milhouse and think "When are they going to get to the fireworks factory?"

5.  There's a Black Person in the Movie

No, I'm not talking about the remake with Jaden Smith.  There is actually a black kid in the movie, but you have to pay close attention because his screen time is limited.

He's a member of the Kobra Kai.  In the Korba Kai dojo scene, you can see him in the back left of karate students.

Then during the "You're the Best" montage, he's one of the opponents that Daniel defeats.  Clearly he is not the Last Dragon like Leroy Green.

6. Miyagi's Gets Dark with his Backstory

In this mostly light-hearted movie, let's just throw in that Miyagi was in a Japanese internment camp at the start of World War II with his pregnant wife and when he leaves to serve in the U.S. Army, his wife and child die there due to complications from child birth.

If that's not depressing enough, the scene features a drunk Miyagi still hurting from this loss. Needless to say, that's quite a shift in tone from Daniel's high school problems.

7. Bananarama's "Cruel Summer" is Still Awesome

Okay, I always knew this, but had to restate it.  I will hear no arguments to the contrary.  It's just a fact, and the song synced up so well with the first day of school / soccer tryouts scene.

8.  Hey, it's the 80s

The greatest response to a question ever. This is what Daniel says to Ali when he shows her his new car and she's shocked that he wants her to drive it.  It's still the best line in the whole movie.  Never gets old.

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