The Karate Kid

Title: The Karate Kid
Year: 1984
Length: 126 minutes
Director: John G. Avildsen
Writer: Robert Mark Kamen
Starring: Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, Elisabeth Shue
Music: Bill Conti (but mostly popular music)
Distinctions: Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor (Morita)

My reaction
Synopsis: a kid learns karate to defend himself against his new school’s gang of tall, blonde guys
How I saw it: on video (have on DVD), two days ago; a bunch of times as a kid
Concept: Indifferent.
Story: Bad.
Characters: Terrible.  Morita manages to make Mr. Miyagi seem pretty awesome, but don’t be fooled, he’s just an Asian stereotype with a muddled back story.
Dialog: Indifferent. Some of the Miyagi scenes are pretty good, but otherwise these people say some pretty absurd things.
Pacing: Great.
Cinematography: Indifferent.
Special effects/design: Good.
Acting: Good. The leads manage to make this dialog feel almost natural, so that’s something.
Music: Terrible.  One of the worst soundtracks ever.
Subjective Rating: 7/10 (Good). It’s very lame, and I laugh at it just as much as I enjoy it the way it was meant to be enjoyed. But still, it’s a lot of fun. Plus there’s the added bonus that about half of the significant characters get their asses kicked at some point.
Objective Rating: 2.0/4 (Indifferent).


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