50 Best Movies on Amazon Prime Video Right Now

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Karate Kid Movies on Amazon Prime Video
Karate Kid Movies on Amazon Prime Video /

31. The Karate Kid (1984)

Director: John G. Avildsen

Starring: Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, Elisabeth Shue, William Zabka, Ron Thomas, Rob Garrison, Chad McQueen, Tony O’Dell, Martin Kove, Randee Heller, Julie Fields

Not to be mistaken for the remake starring Jaden Smith that wasn’t nearly as good, the original 1984 version of The Karate Kid is one of the most beloved young-adult movies in the history of cinema. It features the classic tale of the outsider coming-of-age and becoming accepted in an unfamiliar, uncomfortable environment that makes it hard not to love.

Daniel LaRusso (Macchio) moves to California from New Jersey with his mother and is almost immediately involved in a conflict with a karate-trained bully named Johnny Lawrence (Zabka), a student at the devious Cobra Kai dojo. After Daniel’s mysterious neighbor, Mr. Miyagi (Morita), fends off the group of Cobra Kai students from beating up Daniel, Daniel asks him to train him in karate and, not without resistance, the two begin training together through Mr. Miyagi’s unconventional methods.

There’s nothing terribly inventive about the story-arc used in The Karate Kid, but the film is so good that it almost doesn’t matter. If it follows a tested formula of coming-of-age dramas, it does so to near-perfection and, if this movie wasn’t already part of your childhood, it should be part of your now.

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