The original Karate Kid debuted in 1984, but there have been several movies since then. Here is a brief recap of the movies and which one is the best.
Cobra Kai has been one of the best television surprises of recent years. From an original YouTube Red, The Karate Kid The Revival series moved to Netflix ahead of Season 3. Since then, it has been a massive streaming hit.
Cobra Kai follows the adult lives of Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) as they train a new generation of karate kids in the San Fernando Valley. One of the best parts of the series is its regular use of characters from the original movies. But how many Karate Kid have there been movies, and which one is the best?
How many Karate Kid movies are there?
the original Karate Kid was released in 1984, starring Ralph Macchio as Daniel LaRusso and Pat Morita as Mr. Miyagi. The film tells how Mr. Miyagi met a young Daniel and taught him karate with quite unconventional methods. In doing so, Daniel learned to defend himself against bullies at school. However, more than the physical conflict in the film, Mr. Miyagi’s lessons taught Daniel how to overcome his fear and deal with the challenges he faced in daily life. Although most people are probably familiar with the original Karate Kid movie, some might be surprised to find that there is, in fact, an entire movie franchise.
The Karate Kid II was released in 1986 and showed Mr. Miyagi and Daniel traveling to Okinawa. There, Miyagi had to deal with a lifelong feud with an old friend turned rival. Along the way, Daniel found a new love interest and a new feud. While deepening his understanding of Miyagi’s family karate, Daniel survived a fight to the death in the final minutes of the film. In 1989, a finale centered on LaRusso Karate Kid made its debut. Back in the United States, Daniel argued with Mr. Miyagi and decided to train with another sensei. However, it was all part of Terry Silver’s grand plot to make Daniel lose the All-Valley Tournament. In the final act, Daniel apologized to Mr. Miyagi, and they teamed up to win yet another match.
A few years later, in 1994, Mr. Miyagi returned for the lesser known The Next Karate Kid. This time his student was Julie Pierce (Hilary Swank). Mr. Miyagi went to a funeral for his former commander, and there he met the man’s granddaughter – Julie. She already knew karate from her grandfather, so Mr. Miyagi helped her control her anger. The final Karate Kid The film was released in 2010, starring Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith. Other than moving the setting to China and swapping karate for kung fu, the remake almost completely followed the plot of the original.
Which Karate Kid movie is the best?
In terms of critical reception, the original Karate Kid is by far the best. The film was hailed as one of the best sleeper films of 1984, and its Rotten Tomatoes score sits at an admirable 89%. Even though it has a predictable plot and uses common villain tropes, The Karate Kid is timeless for its lessons and the great performances of Morita and Macchio. Unsurprisingly (since it tells the same story), the 2010 remake has the second highest score with 66%. The other three films impressed critics less and less. The Karate Kid II holds 44%, The Karate Kid III at 13 percent (although Cobra Kai helped fans perceive the film) and The Next Karate Kid at seven percent. So it seems there might be too much of a good thing, but the very successful Cobra Kai revitalized the franchise and will likely continue to draw inspiration from its classic source material.
KEEP READING: Is Cobra Kai Redeeming The Karate Kid Part III?
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