Relive the 80s with the Karate Kid - Classic Movie
Directed by John G. Avildsen
Written by Robert Mark Kamen
Produced by Jerry Weintraub
R.J. Louis (executive producer)
Bud S. Smith (associate producer)
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date June 22, 1984
Runtime 126 min.
About the Karate Kid - One of the best 80s movies and Sports movies
The Karate Kid is about a teenage boy, Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio), who moves with his mother from Newark, New Jersey to Reseda, California, in the San Fernando Valley district of L.A.. The handyman of their apartment building is a kindly and humble Okinawan immigrant named Mr. Kesuke Miyagi (Pat Morita).
The last night of summer, Daniel and his new friends, including Ali Mills (Elisabeth Shue), are at the beach, when Ali's ex-boyfriend Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) and his friends, pull up on motorbikes. Johnny and Ali begin arguing, and Ali blasts a radio. Angered, Johnny throws the radio to the ground. Daniel moves to pick it up, and ignores Johnny's warning not to get involved. Soon Daniel and Johnny fight, but Daniel loses. Unwittingly, Daniel has made an enemy of one of Cobra Kai karate dojo's best students. The Cobra Kai dojo is an arguably over-the-top portrayal of a sadistic, macho, and prideful form of martial arts, perhaps a symbolic representation of the "dark side" of martial arts.
Johnny and his cronies torment Daniel as much as they can. When Daniel retaliates with a prank at a Halloween dance (where Johnny is seen rolling what appears to be a marijuana cigarette laced with PCP), he is pursued by Johnny and his friends, who proceed to beat him until he can barely stand. Just then, Mr. Miyagi intervenes and rescues Daniel in a surprising display of karate (stunt work by Fumio Demura). Daniel, upon learning this, asks Mr. Miyagi to be his teacher (sensei).
With some persuasion, Miyagi agrees to accompany Daniel to confront the sensei of the Cobra Kai dojo and insist that he tell his students to stop their harassment of Daniel. However, the sensei, John Kreese (Martin Kove), is a vicious fighter (later revealed in the sequels as a Vietnam Veteran) who regularly barks out condemnations of mercy or restraint. To settle the matter, Miyagi announces Daniel will enter a Valley-wide tournament where Cobra Kai students can fight Daniel on equal terms. Miyagi also requests that Johnny and his friends stop bullying Daniel in the interim while the boy is trained. Kreese assents and orders his students to leave Daniel alone, but threatens that if Daniel does not appear at the tournament, the harassment will resume and Miyagi himself will be targeted as well.
Without spoiling the movie's ending, Mr. Miyagi and Daniel experience conflict as Daniel-son struggles with a male authority figure so intent on teaching focus and patience. But Daniel LaRusso's skill and mental toughness are put on the line in the ending karate tournament where Daniel must face the Cobra Kai clan!