FROM THE VAULT: Karate Kid

By in Culture

MATT CHEETHAM
Arts Writer

I chose to review The Karate Kid because I wanted to review something with open eyes and sans nostalgia goggles that was a little older and considered a cult classic by many.

KarateKid

I had a hard time tracking this movie down. It was almost as if the universe itself wanted to prevent my viewing. Every movie store either had their copies already rented or borrowed indefinitely.

When I finally found a copy I thought to myself “after all this trouble this movie had better be good or so bad I’m entertained.”

There are three things I learned from this movie: nothing goes better in an ’80s movie than teenage angst accompanied by Ace of Base; if you’re having a bad day in California a palm tree will cure all ills; and, finally, I understand the phrase “Wax on, wax off.”

For those who haven’t seen it, Karate Kid is a movie about a teenage boy named Daniel LaRusso and his mother who leave the harsh reality of New Jersey for brighter pastures in the city of angels and lost souls, Los Angeles.

Daniel soon gets himself into trouble with the local karate-kicking motorcycle driving bullies whose leader likes the same girl young Daniel likes. Enter teenage drama and angst, a staple of these kinds of ’80s movies.

After getting beaten daily, Daniel meets handyman Mr. Miyagi, who turns out to be a guardian angel for young Daniel.

Mr. Miyagi schools Daniel with hard work, wise Zen philosophy and the ability to kick ass in karate. The movie comes to a climax as Daniel enters the karate championship to stand up for himself and be free of the bullies and maybe even win the girl at the end.

I actually enjoyed this movie mainly because the actor Ralph Macchio provides heart and charm and became the rock of the whole film. Not that the movie was bad but without him it was just filled with ’80s music and clichés and stereotypes that have existed since the beginning of cinema. This is the kind of movie that many people who grew up with it will love forever, defending it till death. And that’s not a bad thing.

This movie has a place in our hearts because it’s familiar, has great memories and just gives you the special feeling inside when you watch it every five or ten years. If you’re looking for an ’80s movie that has heart and charm, look no further than Karate Kid.