It's come to my attention that a remake of the original Karate Kid will be released soon, and when I heard the news of this the only thing that came into my mind was "will they glorify the correct hero this time?"
You see in the original Karate Kid, a punk kid named Daniel Larusso is portrayed as a loner outcast, who has to fight his way to respect. But that's not what I saw when I watched the Karate Kid at all. The trick with the movie became the music, something I will touch on later.
But for now, let me explain to you what really happened in the Karate Kid.
The movie shows Daniel Larusso and his mother driving across the States from Jersey to California. Larusso is obviously an Italian last name (it ends in a vowel doesn't it?) and he's from Jersey. Daniel is also without a father, that they never talk about. When you connect the dots it becomes obvious that he's been told never to speak of him. Why? Organized crime.
I bet Daniel's father knew this guy...
Daniel and his mother are obviously in the witness protection program, and his father was involved in organized crime. After his father was butchered for being a snitch Daniel and his mother Lucille snitched out the high level bosses and were forced to move as far away from Jersey as possible. Not convinced? This is a woman who has a job in computers in Jersey (obviously a record keeper for the mob) and leaves to take a job working in a restaurant in California. My theory is bulletproof.
Upon arriving in California, Daniel, being the snot nosed little bastard that he is, starts complaining before they even get out of the car. After he unloads the car he proceeds to kick the door in that leads into the apartment complex, knocking down a kid on the other side. After helping said kid up he's asked if he knows Karate.
"Hell yes I do."
replies the cocky Larusso, as if he's a black belt in 17 deadly arts.
After talking himself up for a while the kid seems impressed with Daniel, and invites him to come hang out at the beach.
At the beach Daniel proceeds to show off his soccer skills, like he's some kind of mini David Beckham. He draws the interest of a young Lady, Ali Mills with his display of skill. And that evening he makes his way over to talk to her.
After some light chit-chat a roar of motorcycles is heard and group of teenagers show up on the scene. The leader of the group is Johnny Lawrence. A good looking kid who is a top student at the local high school, and a REAL black belt in the deadly art known as Cobra Kai karate.
Johnny is Ali's former boyfriend, and they have only recently split up.
Johnny sees Ali talking to a young man he's never seen before. Our "hero" Daniel. And with emotions still high, he races down to the beach to talk to his ex-girl.
Johnny politely asks Ali if she will talk to him. Ali refuses stubbornly and turns the radio up. Johnny politely turns the radio down and politely asks again, and again Ali turns the radio back up.
As any 17 year old testosterone filled young man would do, Johnny picks up the radio and turns it off. Ali demands he give it back. Johnny asks if he does, will she then talk to him. She tells him yes.
Ali Mills is a liar. And who likes liars? Not me. I hope not you. Of course you don't. So we do NOT like Ali Mills. Solid.
I know a liar when I see one.
Ali turns the radio back up full blast, and Johnny proceeds to smash it. Like any self respecting man would. At this point Daniel sticks his nose in their business and picks a fight. YES DANNY PICKED THE FIGHT. He charges Johnny but Johnny merely side steps Daniel and makes him fall. Yes, a humiliating tactic but a non-lethal one. Johnny could have killed Daniel with a single blow, but showed incredibly restraint. Daniel charges Johnny once a gain, and the scenario replays itself.
This time Johnny walks over and extends his hand to Daniel, asking if he's had enough. Daniel's response to Johnny's kindness? A sucker punch and then a badly contracted Karate stance to show what a badass he really is.
"Bring it on man! I'll F'n destroy you!" Daniel shouts (or something like that) to Johnny. Johnny has no choice but to defend himself and then delivers some shots to the show boating Daniel, dropping him to the sand. Johnny knows the situation has gotten out of hand and leaves with his crew. Daniel writhes around in the sand, cursing Johnny under his breath and vowing revenge.
Johnny constantly showed restraint. The mark of a true hero.
The next day at school Daniel once again shows up Johnny by going right back into David Beckham mode on the soccer field at school, and flips Johnny the bird as he nails a last second score for his teams win. As a playful get-back, one of Johnny's friends kneels behind Daniel and makes him fall. Daniel's reaction is the only one you would expect from someone brought up around organized crime............violence. He proceeds to throw punches and prays to God for a knife.
He's immediately kicked off of the soccer field by the coach for his atrocious behavior.
Knowing he needs to learn a true deadly art so he can kill Johnny and his friends, he heads into the Karate studio that sits across the street from his mothers workplace. After he enters he sees that Johnny is in fact the assistant instructor in this particular dojo. Does Johnny intimidate or laugh or pick a fight? No. He smiles a friendly smile at Daniel, and Daniel once again returns the middle finger and walks out, slamming the door.
That evening Daniel is shown riding a new bicycle on his way home (obviously stolen), and Johnny's crew show up behind him. Daniel tries to pedal the stolen bike faster, but he's not outrunning a pack of dirt bikes.
"Look" Johnny says to him. "If you want to take Karate you have to learn how to take a fall first." Johnny then eases Daniel off the shoulder of the road where he will have to practice his balance and fall skills. Johnny is basically trying to give Daniel free lessons out of the kindness of his heart. Daniel again tries to give the middle finger, but with only one hand on the bicycle he takes a long hard tumble and ends up at the bottom of the hill bruised and battered.
A pissed off and bleeding Daniel is then seen loading his dads snub nosed .357 in his bedroom, talking under his breath. Thankfully his mother barges in wrestles the gun away from him, asking him if he wants to go down the same path his father took. Daniel informs his mother that he wouldn't have to resort to machetes and guns if someone would teach him how to kill with his bare hands. His mother is disgusted with violence and tells him no.
After the hill incident it's apparent that Johnny and his friends decide to leave Daniel alone. Johnny backs off of Ali and allows Daniel to court her. Johnny has better things to do with his time.
But the venom inside of Daniel is potent. And he will not let things rest.
At a halloween party at the school, Daniel comes as a shower. Obviously as a dedication to where his father used to skin his victims. Johnny and his gang have fun like everyone else, and a mellowed out Johnny heads into the bathroom to roll up a J. Obviously his plans for the night are chilling out and bothering no one.
But the vengeful Daniel has other plans in mind. And he runs a water hose over the top of Johnny's stall and proceeds to turns on scalding hot water. Burning Johnny's flesh, and ruining his joint.
Johnny and his friends chase Daniel as he tries to escape. And they finally capture him as he tries to scale a chain linked fence.
"You wouldn't leave well enough alone would you?" Johnny says.
This is a great part in the movie. The "bad-guy" Johnny, admits he has been showing peace to Daniel. But Daniel would have no peace, there would be no rest.
DONT EVER RUIN A MANS J!
So Johnny has to act here. He has no choice. War has been declared. And after a few shots a fight breaks out between the friends about what should happen next. Some think Daniel has had enough, and others think Daniel's brand of justice should be shown back to him. In the middle of this fight a war criminal known as Miyagi jumps down from the fence and proceeds to use Japanese execution style karate to break bones and tear ligaments in TEENAGERS!
What kind of psycho shitbag is this guy?????
Miyagi then proceeds to rescue Daniel, and agrees to go with him to confront multi-time Medal of Honor winner and American war hero, John Kreese.
Upon hearing that loser Daniel is mad about being ganged up on, Kreese offers a peace right there. Have Johnny and Daniel fight right then.
But war criminal Miyagi says no. Miyagi is used to running POW camps and torture rooms. So he's out of his element, and says being in Kreese's dojo is too much of an advantage. Too much of an advantage? We're talking kids here!
Kreese then let's Miyagi name the place. Miyagi says at the tournament. And Kreese agrees.
Then Miyagi, being the war criminal he is DEMANDS more. He says that the Cobra Kai students can't touch Daniel until the tournament, and if anyone does it's possible that they could learn what kind of horrors barb wire and a piece of water hose can instill.
And Kreese tells his students not to bother Larusso! What a champ!
Miyagi then forces Larusso into slave labor, something Miyagi is very familiar with as he's obviously sold children through the black market for various work camps. And if anyone can explain to me how Miyagi has a pad like that in downtown Los Angeles on a shit-hole apartment complex repair man salary feel free to do so.
Acres and acres with fish ponds and wooden paths in the backyard. It's a million dollar pad, and the local apartment complex repairman is living in it. His front yard is also packed with antique cars that are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions. Where did he come by them? More than likely Miyagi worked with the Vietnamese during the Air America campaign out of Laos, helping to transport heroin and fund the war as he lined his own pockets.
So Miyagi then has Daniel paint the fence, and sand the floor, and paint the house, and wax-on/wax-off blah blah blah. What else does this tell you about Miyagi? He's deceitful. He could have easily shown Daniel how to block just by showing him. But no, he got a painted house and fence and deck and waxed antique cars out of it. What a dirtbag.
Then, to make sure that the training is complete Miyagi shows Daniel a secret move. So deadly, that if done correctly "no can defense." The crane kick.
The day of the tournament Miyagi then steals a black belt from a guys bag to sneak Daniel into the tournament. More tricks he learned in Japanese death camps obviously. And then acts as if he can't speak English. The liar, aka Ali, then proceeds to act as she is his translator and talks BS so that Miyagi can get into restricted areas.
Daniel uses his death Karate effectively to win his way to the semi-final bout. Not able to live with the fact that a war criminals student could win the tournament, Kreese does the only thing one could do. Orders a shot to Daniel's knee to put him out the tournament. The student hesitates but follows orders, and then apologizes to Daniel!
And the Cobra Kai guys are the BAD GUYS? HOW? WHERE?
Daniel then lays in the back crying like a bitch. Miyagi comes to console him, but then decides to use witchcraft to heal his knee. Daniel comes back from an obvious tear of the ACL, miraculously healed! WHAT?!?!?!
A book that Miyagi is probably very familiar with...
He faces Johnny and then of course uses the now illegal "no can defense" crane kick to splatter Johnny's face, and win the tournament. What does Johnny do?
This shit was illegal!
He gets the trophy and hands it to Daniel, and says "you're alright Larusso."
And Johnny was supposed to be the bad guy. Unbelievable!
So how did this happen? Music. If you play the "bad guy" music when Daniel is on the screen and the good guy music when Johnny on the screen, it's like you're watching a completely different movie!
I urge movie goers to watch movies with more scrutiny. We don't need our kids watching movies believing dirt bags like Larusso and war criminals like Miyagi are to be admired.
War criminal, slave labor, thief, murderer, practicer of witchcraft, teacher of illegal karate tournament moves...what else needs to be said?