To cleanse the palate, I was skeptical of the concept when it was announced in August but, watching this … I’m sort of feeling it, I can’t lie. Macchio and Zabka, together again? For a schlub of a certain age like myself, you can’t experience childhood movie nostalgia more viscerally than this. “The Karate Kid” is in the pantheon of 80s-est 80s movies, alongside Ferris Bueller, Rambo, The Terminator, and a few others. And while the “spunky ethnic underdog versus ruthless Nordic killing machine” dynamic arguably achieved its most perfect expression in “Rocky IV,” it was never done with more heart than it was in “Karate Kid.”
If Hollywood can swing this, it can swing a “Just One of the Guys” reboot too. If we’re going to make America great again, let’s really do it.
One lingering question: Will Daniel be the villain this time? (The acknowledged villain, I mean.) God knows Zabka deserves some audience cheers after playing the menacing towheaded goon so memorably in various 80s classics. I smell Emmy.