Karate Kid I From Academy Award®-winning director John G. Avildsen (1976, Rocky) comes the highly entertaining, coming-of-age classic that will have you cheering! Starring Ralph Macchio and Noriyuki “Pat” Morita in his Academy Award®-nominated performance (Best Supporting Actor, 1984) as Mr. Miyagi.
Karate Kid II Returning with Daniel (Ralph Macchio) to his Okinawa home for the first time in 45 years, Miyagi (Noriyuki “Pat” Morita) encounters Yukie (Nobu McCarthy), the woman he left behind when he immigrated to America.
The Karate Kid John G. Avildsen not only directed Rocky, he tried remaking it over the years in a dozen different ways. One of them was this popular 1984 drama about a new kid (Ralph Macchio) in town targeted by karate-wielding bullies until he gets a new mentor: the handyman (Pat Morita) from his apartment building, who teaches him self-confidence and fighting skills. The screen partnership of Macchio’s motor-mouth character and Morita’s reserved father figure works well, and the script allows for the younger man to develop sympathy for the painful memories of his teacher. But the film’s real engine, as with Rocky, is the fighting, and there’s plenty of that. Elisabeth Shue is on board as the girl the klutzy Macchio dreams of winning. –Tom Keogh
The Karate Kid, Part II Literally picking up about five minutes after the conclusion of the 1984 The Karate Kid, this 1986 sequel, also directed by John G. Avildsen, sends Ralph Macchio’s and Pat Morita’s characters to the latter’s home turf in Japan, where the older man is confronted by an old rival, and Macchio’s newly confident fighter gets a tougher challenge than the punks back home. Sillier than its predecessor, this follow-up at least has some distracting soap opera elements in Morita’s coming to terms with an old flame, while Macchio woos a lovely local girl. Ironically, it’s the action that evokes laughter, particularly a climactic fight that gets over the top quickly. –Tom Keogh