If you were a kid from the 80s, you were introduced to the satisfying trilogy of the Karate Kid saga, which saw the trials of a skinny kid from Jersey using Karate, taught by Sage and the maintenance man, Mr. Miyagi, to find his balance. in their life. .
The original series ran for five years and three movies and introduced us to real-life topics like relationships, courage, fear, and love, not necessarily in that order. He also introduced us to how an outlet such as music, art … or in this case Karate can be used to interact and gain wisdom from these very life lessons that we must do to truly live our best lives.
If you are a child of the new century, go for it because in 2018 the Karate Kid saga took its proverbial head out of the sand and began a sequel to the almost 30-year predecessors in the form of Cobra Kai. Who could have predicted that the show broadcast on YouTube Red would be picked up by Netflix and its rival? Bridgerton as the most watched streaming show on TV just a few years later? That is a rhetorical question because the answer is nobody.
From the perspective of fans of popcorn action, Cobra Kai He has given us the best of teen (and adult) fights that produce serious crimes, which undoubtedly have a certain credulity, and he has a double list of stunts that is more abundant than the Lieutenant’s. Commander Data has positronic connections. But make no mistake Cobra Kai focuses primarily on relationships and redemption stories that warm our hearts from the antagonists we used to hate and the forgiveness that comes from that. This theme is also present in the many complex adolescent characters that litter the series as they go through a difficult world, made more complex with their immersion in the cult of pseudo-Karate acted out in conflicting ideologies and actions by their teachers. As if teenagers don’t have enough difficulties these days.
Up to this point, the series has moved us through the first volume of The Karate Kid and the many characters, girlfriends and villains that marked these films, from Daniel and Johnny to the stabilizing and grassroots forces of Kumiko and Alli played so perfectly by Tamlyn Tomita and Elizabeth Shue. Then we have the latest villain of anti-Karate philosophy, John Kreese represented by the almost ageless Martin Kove and we can only speculate what Cobra Kai season 4 will bring.
Up to this point, showrunners Josh Heald, Jon Kurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberger have artistically woven classic characters from the first two. Karate kid Deliveries, as well as introducing us to a universe of new and incredible new talents with the likes of Xolo Mariduena as Miguel, Courtney Henggeler as Samantha and Jacob Bertrand as Hawk.
With season 3 of Cobra Kai offering us a more complete backstory of John Kreese and his relationship with Terry Silver, we meet the sociopathic president of Dynatox Industries and main antagonist in Karate kid iii, can not take a return that then leads us to the other great evil of the Karate kid story, Mike Barnes.
Another great casting choice many years ago was the introduction of Sean Kanan, who played ‘Karate Bad Boy’ Mike Barnes. In the Karate Kid tradition, Mike Barnes is considered the best fighter of Daniels’ many antagonists and was a national tournament champion, an achievement that goes beyond the Under 18 All Valley Tournament that Daniel and Johnny frequented. That wide-eyed creepy look that always seemed to have made his “your Karate is a joke, LaRusso” even more intimidating and we loved hating him. We also believed him because he showed it in several encounters with Daniel before the big showdown. How perfect would it be to see the conversation Daniel had with his daughter Samantha about the crippling fear he was experiencing with Tori, in the face of his own terror for Mike Barnes, become tangible in the return of Mike Barnes.
In a recent article on Page Six, it was reported that during an interview with FanRoom Live, when asked, ‘What is the future of Mike Barnes?’ Kanan replied, “If I had to guess [I’d say] you haven’t seen the last of Mike Barnes. “Also, in a recent interview with the Desert Sun in January this year, Sean had this to say:” I think [the creators] I’d like to work with everyone on … I think there’s a definite possibility, but I can’t confirm or deny. “That’s Hollywood’s doublespeak, ‘of course I’m in, but I just can’t say it.’ Even without these subtle admissions and training videos now populating her Twitter account, the progression of the show simply requires it. which will be interesting is how they will use Mike Barnes. Could we see a redemption story here again or finally See what all Karate Kid fans have always wondered, IS Mike Barnes better than Johnny Lawrence? I think the writing is in the wall folks that Mike ‘there’s nothing you have that I can’t counteract’ Barnes will be back!
But our list of characters is not complete and there is another Miyagi prodigy besides Daniel. Enter Julie Pierce, played by future Oscar winner Hillary Swank, main character of the forgettable, but not least, The Last Karate Kid who concluded the Karate Kid canon when Mr. Miyagi became Karate sensei for one last bullied and wayward teenager. This final outing of the Karate Kid franchise earned a 4.5 rating from users on Rotten Tomatoes and is considered the worst of the movies. However, to be fair, how could the magic of the original really be duplicated in a project like this, even if Michael Ironside was in it? However, despite her lack of box office success and only a cult following in the fandom, there are several reasons why we need to see Julie Pierce in Cobra Kai. First, it’s Hillary Swank. For the winner of the Academy Award for ‘Best Actress’ to film scenes in Cobra Kai provides more credibility and respect than the Netflix show you already have. Second, Julie Pierce is part of the Miyagi legacy and part of the accepted history of Miyagi-Do Karate. No conclusion seems complete without all its influence being carried out and transmitted to the new generations. Third, if you understand martial arts, you will recognize that from an aesthetic perspective, Hillary Swank’s athletic ability and technical proficiency in The Last Karate Kid was impeccable. Visually speaking, his martial arts form is clearly equal to or better than that of the most skilled martial artists in the Karate Kid tradition, which to be blunt is a short list.
It takes little introspection or theorizing to understand that Miyagi viewed Daniel and Julie as the children he never had.
In S3E5 we saw Kumiko reading letters from Miyagi to Daniel to help him reconnect with his late teacher. The content of those letters revealed that Miyagi regarded Daniel as the son he never had. Also, in one of the few poignant scenes in The Last Karate Kid, we saw Julie tell Mr. Miyagi, “It’s a shame you never had a daughter, you would have been a great father.” Miyagi’s expression is priceless. It takes little introspection or theorizing to understand that Miyagi viewed Daniel and Julie as the children he never had. This is a powerful and important connection shared by both Daniel and Julie, and is well worth exploring.
Finally, leaving Julie Pierce out would leave a notable niche in the saga of the Karate kid and it’s a bookend franchise that is Cobra Kai. The definitive ending will close the narrative of Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence participated, as well as the myriad additional characters that they have in this cultural phenomenon but there is still more story to tell.
It will be a long wait, but all the fans hope it will be worth it. You can catch Cobra Kai Season 4 streaming on Netflix, likely late 2021 or early 2022.
Topics: Cobra Kai, Karate Kid
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