The Karate Kid: 5 classic scenes you need to experience again on the big screen

It's hard to believe, but martial arts classic The Karate Kid is 36 years old. No, don't go and cry in a corner, those of a certain age. Because we're here to inform you of the movie's re-release in Cineworld cinemas on 21st August.

Directed by Rocky's John G. Avildsen, the film tells the story of Daniel (Ralph Macchio). A lonely boy in a new town, he falls under the wing of the benevolent Mr. Miyagi (Oscar nominee Pat Morita), who schools him in the art of karate. Good thing too, when Daniel has to take on the bullies at the local Cobra Kai dojo.

On its release, The Karate Kid was a huge box office hit, grossing more than $100 million against an $8 million budget. It inspired generations of eighties moviegoers to believe in themselves and take up karate; in fact, such was the movie's popularity, it inspired several sequels, a Jaden Smith-starring reboot in 2010, and a critically acclaimed Netflix spin-off called Cobra Kai.

Here are the five classic scenes you need to experience again at Cineworld. It doesn't matter how many times you've seen the movie – the big screen is the right environment for amplifying the film's feel-good, motivational message.


1. Daniel vs. the Cobra Kai

The seeds of the aforementioned TV series take shape in this sequence, which also sets up the rivalry between plucky Daniel and bully Johnny (William Zabka). (Incidentally, both Macchio and Zabka reprise their roles in the series.) Daniel takes more than a few knocks in his defence of Ali (Elisabeth Shue), but it's exactly what's needed to set him on the right path towards karate master.

2. Fly hard

With his portrayal of the wise Mr. Miyagi, actor Pat Morita turned stillness into an art form. When Miyagi does move, it commands the attention all the more powerfully. The famous scene where he grabs a fly with a pair of chopsticks is more than enough to convince Daniel of his abilities. It also convinces us that Miyagi is one of the great big-screen mentors. Mental strength, as well as physical, is what's needed to succeed in this discipline, an important lesson that takes shape over the course of the movie. Director Avildsen is an old hand at this, having sculpted Rocky Balboa's (Sylvester Stallone) journey from palooka to pugilist.

3. "Wax on, wax off"

One of the most famous movie quotes of all time has perhaps been diluted through parody and repetition over the years. Hearing Miyagi's words in context reinforces the appeal of The Karate Kid: he's teaching Daniel about fortitude and patience, cornerstones of the discipline that will guide him to victory against Johnny.

4. Mr. Miyagi's most important lesson

The moment where Daniel realises what Miyagi is teaching him is a wonderful, understated demonstration in humility. Miyagi is not advocating violence for its own sake, but defence and fair play. It was a bolt from the blue that immediately arrested the attention of 1980s moviegoers, helping spur on the popularity of karate in America and other countries.

5. The crane kick

Massive blockbuster movies routinely climax with a pile-up of characters punching and hitting each other. The Karate Kid needs no such gimmicks. Instead, it's one simple kick that embodies Daniel's transition from upstart punk into karate master, felling Johnny without betraying Miyagi's principles. The movie's restraint and ability to land the killer blows in contained bursts make it a powerfully emotional experience. The film also has the good grace to suggest that Daniel and Johnny have a new-found respect for one another.


Click here to book your tickets for The Karate Kid, opening in Cineworld cinemas on 21st August. What's your favourite scene from the movie? Let us know @Cineworld.