Your Favorite Film is Trash: The Karate Kid

Written by Eric Trillman

Young Person here, Obes and Cha were kind (and patient) enough to let me contribute to one of the best series online right now, YFFIT. As a young person, I find 80’s movies to be terribly overrated. There’s like 8 good movies made in the 80’s and 6 of them star Eddie Murphy. In a decade full of trash, it was hard to choose just one film to disparage but I ultimately settled on The Karate Kid. So, without further ado, let’s get into why what some call a “classic film” I call trash.

1. Daniel’s mom is one of the worst parents ever

Daniel spends the entire 1st act of this film getting his ass kicked and his mother doesn’t do a thing about it. She never once thinks to go to the school or the police. My mom would’ve met with the principal after the 2nd time Cobra Kai put their foot in my ass, but I guess Mrs. LaRusso just isn’t built like that. After the third beating I began to wonder if Mama LaRusso was putting the Cobra Kai up to it herself. A few chores get left undone? Have Johnny and the boys teach Daniel a lesson.

Karate Kid

“Bet you’ll think twice about leaving your room a mess next time!”

2. Why does everyone hate Daniel so much?

I understand Johnny’s beef with Daniel, making time with his gal and all, but why does everyone else pile on this kid so badly? Freddy and the gang seemed to welcome him with open arms until he got the beats put on him defending Ali at the beach. Sure he lost the fight but he was defending the honor of a young lady, a deed almost anyone would find commendable.

Karate Kid

Daniel-san, getting no help whatsoever

I didn’t see any of them hike up their high waisted 80’s pants to square up with Cobra Kai, so where do they get off? Ali’s friends could be nicer too, Daniel-san spends most of the film going 1 on 5 in the name of love and chivalry and her friends treat him like he told Ali she should smile more. I just don’t get it.

3. The terms of the agreement between Mr. Miyagi and Kreese don’t make any sense

Mr. Miyagi takes Daniel to the Cobra Kai dojo in the hopes of bringing the conflict between Daniel and Johnny to a non-violent end. Instead, the sensei of the dojo, John Kreese, tells them it’s time to fight then and there. Ultimately, a compromise is made and both parties agree to meet at the karate tournament.

This makes no sense because any number of things could prevent a meeting between Johnny and Daniel: either of them being eliminated, injury, Mrs. LaRusso’s hooptie breaking down on the way to the venue, etc. The resolution to such a dispute shouldn’t have been left up to chance like this.

4. There’s no way Daniel should’ve won that tournament

Honestly, he shouldn’t have even made it past the first round. The tournament was only for brown belt students and above and I did a little research: it usually takes a few years to reach brown belt status depending on how often you train, your particular martial art, and things of that nature, Max Kellerman.

So, to me, it’s absolutely ABSURD that Daniel, who had only been formally training a few months, could hang with students who had been at it for years. Never mind the fact that by the time Daniel reaches the finals he’s literally on one leg.

People forget this, but kicking above the neck was illegal in the tournament and they let this slide

In real life Daniel would’ve lost to some no name from a completely different gym, never faced off with any of the Cobra Kai, and continued to catch the fade on a daily basis until graduation in the spring.

5. Everybody’s cool now?

After Daniel wins the tournament against all odds he’s hoisted on the shoulders of friends and enemies alike. Freddy rushes down from the bleachers to shower him with praise, Cobra Kai goons chant his name, Johnny snatches the trophy from an official’s hand to present it to Daniel and tell him “You’re alright”.

COULDN’T BE ME.

I would’ve have flexed on everyone. Freddy, Johnny, the boys in the high waisted pants. Everybody would’ve been told about themselves. After months of physical and verbal abuse “You’re alright” and “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow” wouldn’t make things square with me, but I guess that’s why I’m not the Karate Kid.


The Karate Kid is a film I think you had to be there to appreciate. When there were only 20 channels on TV and all the ideas hadn’t been done already I’m sure this was great. But in 2017, where I’ve seen homages to this film executed better than the actual thing this, just ain’t it.

Follow Eric on Twitter and be sure to catch him when he appears on The Chicken Social podcast!

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