Daniel LaRusso inspired kids everywhere in the 1980’s to realise that it doesn’t matter if you’re a nerd or a total weakling from the suburbs; if you train hard enough you can be a bad-ass martial arts powerhouse of death. However, thanks to a recent and more PG remake, kids everywhere TODAY can beat up their local bully with brutality and finesse too. Which Karate Kid waxes on, and which is a wax off?
Dre Parker aka Jayden Smith – The Karate Kid (2012)
Will Smith‘s adorable son has a huge advantage in that he is being trained by a Jackie Chan version of Mr. Miyagi – though he is called Mister Han in this version – but has the disadvantage of being in Beijing where everybody is probably capable of issuing a sleeper-hold. Smith keeps it clean with an incorporation of some new-age medicine type stuff and proof that you don’t have to fight dirty to be champion.
Daniel LaRusso i.e. Ralph Macchio (1984)
As with all eighties movies, the plot here revolves around some dorky teen from out of town trying to impress some girl with big hair. That is until he has a tussle with her ex boyfriend Johnny who practices deadly and illegal forms of martial arts with the Cobra Kai dojo. Thankfully, mystical old men are ace at beating up school-kids and Mr. Miyagi agrees to train Daniel to become enlightened as well as teaching him how to kick the shit out of ‘put him in a body-bag’ Johnny. A tale of morality and hitting stuff made Macchio the poster-child of awesomeness.
The Verdict: The 1984 version is obviously a classic and no amount of meditation and self belief can take that away. Smith was good but LaRusso would probably win in the fight.