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The Karate Kid (1984)

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This article is about the 1984 film. You may be looking for the 2010 film with the same name.
The Karate Kid (1984)
''Daniel-san, you remember lesson about balance?" "Lesson not just karate only. Lesson for all life. Whole life have a balance, everything be better.'' -Mr. Miyagi
Genre: Martial Arts
Directed By: John G. Avildsen
Produced By: Jerry Weintraub
Written By: Robert Mark Kamen
Starring: Ralph Macchio
Noriyuki "Pat" Morita
Elisabeth Shue
William Zabka
Donna Murphy
Cinematography: James Crabe
Distributed By: Columbia Pictures
Release Date: June 22, 1984
Runtime: 127 Minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $8 million
Box Office: $130.4 million
Franchise: The Karate Kid
Sequel: The Karate Kid Part II

The Karate Kid is a 1984 American martial arts drama film produced by Jerry Weintraub, directed by John G. Avildsen, written by Robert Mark Kamen, and stars Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita and Elisabeth Shue. It is an underdog story in the mold of a previous success with Rocky (1976), which Avildsen also directed.

The film would receive three sequels: 1986's The Karate Kid Part II, 1989's The Karate Kid Part III, 1994's The Next Karate Kid, an animated TV series in 1989, a remake in 2010 and a live-action TV series in 2018 entitled Cobra Kai.


A martial arts master, Mr. Miyagi, agrees to teach karate to a bullied teenager, Daniel LaRusso.

Why It Rocks

  1. A very exciting, original plot with an amazing story-development that shows progress through out later on in the series.
  2. Likable and well-developed characters, like Daniel LaRusso, Ali, Mr. Miyagi and especially Johnny Lawrence.
  3. Many memorable scenes, such as how Mr. Miyagi fights off the bullies one by one to save Daniel.
  4. Amazing performances, especially from Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita and Elisabeth Shue.
  5. Unforgettable lines of dialogue with the examples of "Wax on, wax off" and "No such thing as bad student, only bad teacher".
  6. Amazing soundtrack, along with it's most iconic song "You're The Best Around" from Joe "Bean" Esposito.
  7. Great pacing.
  8. ''Daniel-san, you remember lesson about balance?" "Lesson not just karate only. Lesson for all life. Whole life have a balance, everything be better.''

The Only Bad Quality

  1. The film can give the wrong message that violence is the only way to solve up things and that it will make you look cool in front of others. From a certain point of view, the whole problem of the story could have been quickly solved if Daniel told his mom about Johnny and his gang so his mother could have talked with the school's principal to expel them and even report them to the authorities under assault charges.



Critical response

The Karate Kid ranked #40 on Entertainment Weekly's list of the 50 Best High School Movies.

The film received an approval rating of 88% on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes based on 43 reviews, its consensus reads: "Utterly predictable and wholly of its time, but warm, sincere, and difficult to resist, due in large part to Pat Morita and Ralph Macchio's relaxed chemistry".

On its release, Roger Ebert called the film one of the year's best, gave it four stars out of four, and described it as an "exciting, sweet-tempered, heart-warming story with one of the most interesting friendships in a long time". Janet Maslin of The New York Times also gave a positive review.

Upon release of the 2010 remake, Dana Stevens wrote, "The 1984 original... may have seemed like a standard-issue inspirational sports picture at the time, but (as with another box-office hit of the same year, The Terminator) a generation of remove reveals what a well-crafted movie it actually was. Rewatched today, the original Kid, directed by Rocky's John G. Avildsen, feels smart and fresh, with a wealth of small character details and a leisurely middle section that explores the boy's developing respect for his teacher".

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