The Weekend Australian - Review

Karate Kid se­quel’s got all the right chops

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Cobra Kai is hav­ing a mo­ment. Re­cently ranked the se­cond most pop­u­lar se­ries on the Aus­tralian it­er­a­tion of Netflix and al­ready a big hit in the US, the half-hour sen­sa­tion is the un­likely yet com­pletely log­i­cal se­quel of the Los An­ge­les-set 1984 teen sports drama The Karate Kid.

No less a sage than Roger Ebert be­gan his re­view of the 80s clas­sic by say­ing “I didn’t want to see” but pro­claimed “one of the nice sur­prises” of its year.

Watch­ing the orig­i­nal isn’t nec­es­sary to pre­pare, but it’s a fun way to re­con­nect with a film that has aged sur­pris­ingly well. It also al­lows a greater ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the mis­chie­vously comedic yet ut­terly re­spect­ful way in which a trio of cre­ators who bonded over the film as child­hood mates have com­bined a “where are they now?” adult drama with an in­creas­ingly over­heated comin­gof-age high school saga.

“Back in the day,” some­one says, “karate in the [San Fer­nando] val­ley was like football in Texas. And Daniel was a cham­pion.” Daniel is Daniel LaRusso (then, as now, Ralph Mac­chio), who started as a friend­less, picked-on New Jer­sey trans­plant but rose to a cham­pion of the sport by best­ing high school bully Johnny Lawrence (the re­turn­ing Wil­liam Zabka) for the golden tro­phy in the 1984 All Val­ley Un­der-18 karate tour­na­ment. He did this un­der the pre­cise tute­lage of his apart­ment build­ing’s cus­to­dian, Ok­i­nawa-born mar­tial arts master Nariyoshi Miyagi (Pat Morita). It was their im­prob­a­ble but un­de­ni­ably sweet friend­ship that sold the film, and Morita, who had al­ready es­tab­lished him­self in the pop­u­lar sit­com Happy Days and died in 2005, was Os­car-nom­i­nated for his per­for­mance.

Thirty-six years later, the 50ish Johnny is a seethingly re­sent­ful handy­man liv­ing in Reseda, while Daniel smiles down from road­side bill­boards as the cheer­ful and pros­per­ous front­man for the lo­cal used car-chain LaRusso Auto Group. Fate and the younger gen­er­a­tion bring them to­gether when a car bear­ing Daniel’s daugh­ter Sa­man­tha (Mary Mouser) smashes into Johnny’s and it is towed to her fa­ther’s flag­ship re­pair shop. In an epiphany, Johnny seeks an ini­tially mis­guided re­demp­tion by re­viv­ing Cobra Kai, the dojo in which he was trained by the ruth­less Kreese (Martin Kove, also back again), tak­ing on young Miguel (Xolo Mariduena) as his first pupil.

Mean­while, Daniel finds his own in­ter­est in the sport re­vived, and be­gins train­ing ju­ve­nile delin­quent Robby (Tan­ner Buchanan), un­aware that he is Johnny’s es­tranged son. The teenagers all go to the same high school, so while the first sea­son is an as­tute gen­er­a­tional re­work­ing of the movie’s plot, the se­cond amps up the ado­les­cent in­trigue and is capped by a knock­down, drag-out brawl the likes of which haven’t been seen since the cli­mac­tic shop­ping cen­tre melee in Jackie Chan’s 1985 ac­tion clas­sic Po­lice Story.

Cobra Kai cre­ators, ex­ec­u­tive pro­duc­ers, showrun­ners, writers and di­rec­tors Josh Heald, Hay­den Schloss­berg and Jon Hur­witz have been friends for more than two decades.

“We all ended up hav­ing sep­a­rate screen­writ­ing ca­reers,” Heald re­cently told an in­ter­viewer. “I did the Hot Tub Time Ma­chine movies and they did the Harold and Ku­mar se­ries. We al­ways kept com­ing back to Karate Kid … Stream­ing has taken over this abil­ity to tell this long, se­ri­alised story … It be­came more and more likely that some­thing like this could hit.”

And hit it has. The show orig­i­nally was pro­duced by YouTube Pre­mium, then Netflix ac­quired it and re­port­edly has a third sea­son fin­ished but as yet un­sched­uled. When re­leased, it will once again stand as one of its year’s nice sur­prises.

Cobra Kai,

6.00 Rage. 7.00 Week­end Break­fast. 10.00 Rage.

12.00 ABC News At Noon. 12.30 Free­man. 1.30 Fa­ther Brown.

2.15 Clas­sic Count­down Extras. 2.30 Fur­ther Back In Time For Din­ner. 3.30 Es­cape From The City. 4.30 Land­line. 5.00 Aus­tralian Story.

5.30 Mid­somer Mur­ders.

(CC) Takes a look at to­day’s top sto­ries.

(Mv, CC) Af­ter his girl­friend’s fa­ther is ac­cused of mur­der, Sid asks Fa­ther Brown to help prove the man’s in­no­cence.

(Mdl, CC) As Hannah pre­pares Fi Hansen for her di­vorce, she feels in­creas­ingly stressed by her dou­ble life with Christie.

(Mav, Rpt, CC) Morse’s in­tel­lect is taxed by a baf­fling sui­cide, an an­guished fa­ther search­ing for his daugh­ter and the rob­bery of An­glo-Saxon trea­sures, as he re­turns to Ox­ford City Po­lice fol­low­ing a four-month ab­sence. (CC) (PG, CC) (CC) Sir Ru­pert Clarke Stakes and Ge­orge Main Stakes. (CC)

(PG, Rpt, CC)


(PG, CC) An Amer­i­can woman at­tempts to smug­gle a live cat across the bor­der. Cus­toms find a soft toy stuffed with sus­pi­cious items. (2018, Mav, CC) Stars Taron Eger­ton, Jamie Foxx. A Cru­sader and his Moor­ish com­pan­ion mount an au­da­cious re­volt against cor­rupt English au­thor­i­ties.

(2015, Mav, Rpt, CC) Stars Dy­lan O’Brien, Kaya Scode­lario. Thomas and his fel­low Glades un­cover a plot. 6.00 An­i­mal Tales. 7.00 Week­end To­day. 10.00 To­day Ex­tra: Satur­day. 12.00 Ri­vals.

12.30 Gar­den Gu­rus. (CC) 1.00 Netball. (CC) Su­per Netball. Round 13. West Coast Fever v Giants.

(CC) Su­per Netball. Round 13. Ade­laide Thun­der­birds v NSW Swifts.


(PG, CC)

(2014, Mlv, Rpt, CC) Stars Chris Pine, Kevin Cost­ner, Keira Knight­ley. A young, covert CIA an­a­lyst un­cov­ers a sin­is­ter plot to crash the US econ­omy.

(2014, Mavl, Rpt, CC) Stars Kevin Cost­ner, Hailee Ste­in­feld, Con­nie Nielsen. A dy­ing Se­cret Ser­vice agent is of­fered an ex­per­i­men­tal drug that could save his life in ex­change for one last as­sign­ment. 7.00 WhichCar. 7.30 GCBC.

8.00 My Mar­ket Kitchen.

8.30 Ev­ery­day Gourmet.

9.00 Desti­na­tion Dessert. 9.30 St10.

12.00 Cre­ative Gen­er­a­tion.

1.00 Jamie: Keep Cook­ing And Carry On.

1.30 Healthy Homes Aust.

2.00 Pooches At Play. 2.30 Ho­tels By De­sign. 3.00 What’s Up Down Un­der. 3.30 The Liv­ing Room.

4.30 Taste Of Aus­tralia.

5.00 News.

6.00 Fam­ily Feud.

7.00 Bondi Res­cue.

7.30 Am­bu­lance Aus­tralia.

(Madlv, Rpt, CC) Paramedics re­spond to a se­ri­ous call in­volv­ing a 51-year-old man suf­fer­ing a heart at­tack.

(Mm, Rpt, CC) A cou­ple are ex­pect­ing their se­cond baby. 6.00 France 24 English News First

Edi­tion. 6.30 Al Jazeera English News. 7.00 Tour De France: Daily Up­date. 8.00 Ital­ian News.

8.10 Filipino News. 8.40 French News. 9.30 Greek News. 10.30 Ger­man News. 11.00 Cycling. (CC) Tour de France.

Stage 19. Re­play.

(CC, US)

(PG, CC, Ger­many)

(CC) Giro Rosa. Stage 8. High­lights.

(CC) Tour de France. Stage 19. Bourg-en-Bresse to Cham­pag­nole. 166.5km flat stage. High­lights. From France.


(PG, CC, UK) Rob Bell travels to Wales to find lost rail­ways that once pow­ered the world’s great­est slate in­dus­try.

(CC) Tour de France. Stage 20. Lure to La Planche des Belles Filles. 36.2km in­di­vid­ual time trial. From France.

Ital­ian Food Sa­fari. Ital­ian Food Sa­fari. CGTN English News. NHK World English News. Deutsche Welle English News.

6.00 Rage. 7.00 Week­end Break­fast. 9.00 In­sid­ers. 10.00 Off­siders. 10.30 World This Week.

11.00 Com­pass.

11.30 Praise. 12.00 ABC News At Noon. 12.30 Land­line. 1.30 Gar­den­ing Aust. 2.30 Se­crets Of The Mu­seum. 3.20 Steal­ing Van Gogh. 4.30 The Mix.

5.00 An­tiques Road­show.

6.00 Aus­tralia Re­mas­tered: Wom­bat King­dom.

ABC News Sun­day.

The Rise Of The Mur­doch Dy­nasty: King­maker. (Ml, CC) Part 1 of 3. Grantch­ester. (Re­turn, PG, CC) When a stu­dent from a pres­ti­gious all-fe­male uni­ver­sity is found dead, Will and Ge­ordie find them­selves delv­ing into the murky world of cam­pus pol­i­tics and drink­ing so­ci­eties as they search for the killer.

(PG, Rpt, CC) Martin’s ca­reer hangs in the bal­ance. (MA15+v, Rpt, CC)

(Madlsv, Rpt,

CC) Bea un­der­mines her own au­thor­ity.

7.00 Week­end Sun­rise.

10.00 Morn­ing Show. 12.00 House Of Well­ness. 1.00 Jabba’s School Hol­i­day Movies. 1.30 The All New Monty: Guys And Gals.

3.00 Surf Pa­trol. 3.30 Beach Cops. 4.00 Bet­ter Homes. 5.00 News. 5.30 Syd­ney Week­ender.

6.00 Seven News.

7.00 The All New Monty: Guys And Gals.

(MA15+alv, CC) Takes a look at the 1997 mur­ders of Bega High School stu­dents Lauren Barry and Ni­c­hole Collins. (PG, CC) (CC) (PG, CC) (PG, CC) (CC) Su­per Netball. Round 13. Mel­bourne Vix­ens v Queens­land Fire­birds.

(CC) NRL. Round 19. New­cas­tle Knights v St Ge­orge Illawarra Dragons. (CC)

(PGl, CC) The judges de­liver their ver­dict on the master en­suite bath­rooms.

(CC) Cur­rent af­fairs pro­gram, in­ves­ti­gat­ing, analysing and un­cov­er­ing the is­sues af­fect­ing all Aus­tralians.

(CC) Takes a look at the lat­est news and events from Aus­tralia and around the world. (Mls, Rpt, CC) Gigi tries to save the ho­tel.

(Rpt, CC) Surfers put their skills to the test. (Nth/Wagga/ Can) Lead­ing The Way With Dr Michael Youssef. (PG, Rpt, CC)

(Nth/Wagga/Can) Fish­ing Aus­tralia. (Rpt, CC) 8.00 The Liv­ing Room.

9.00 Taste Of Aus­tralia.

9.30 St10. 12.00 Fam­ily Feud. 1.00 Ev­ery­day Gourmet. 1.20 The Masked Singer Aus­tralia. 2.30 Ho­tels By De­sign. 3.00 Jamie: Keep Cook­ing And Carry On. 3.30 WhichCar. 4.00 Mo­tor Rac­ing. the day’s news.

(CC) The re­turn­ing fire­fight­ing Ross fam­ily are chal­lenged by com­mu­nity he­roes Poor Toms.

(Mav, CC) A kid­nap­ping vic­tim is linked to a se­ries of mur­ders that in­cludes the daugh­ter of an NYPD de­tec­tive.

(Mv, Rpt, CC) The team un­cov­ers a crim­i­nal op­er­a­tion while in­ves­ti­gat­ing the ab­duc­tion of a woman.

(M, Rpt, CC) 6.00 France 24 English News First Edi­tion.

6.30 Al Jazeera News.

7.00 Tour De France: Daily Up­date.

8.00 Ital­ian News. 8.10 Filipino News. 8.40 French News. 9.30 Greek News. 10.30 Ger­man News. 11.00 Cycling.

1.00 Speed­week. 3.00 Travel Man. (Rpt,

3.30 Gad­get Man. (Rpt, CC, UK)

4.00 Gad­get Man. (PG, Rpt, CC, UK)

4.30 Cycling. (CC) Giro Rosa. Fi­nal stage. High­lights. 5.30 Cycling. (CC) Tour de France. Stage 20. High­lights.

(CC) (Malv, Rpt, CC, US) Michael Moore ex­plores the so­cial, eco­nomic and po­lit­i­cal im­pact of the Trump pres­i­dency.

Food Sa­fari.

Food Sa­fari.

Shane Delia’s Moor­ish Spice Jour­ney Bite­size.

4.55 Shane Delia’s Moor­ish Spice Jour­ney Bite­size. 5.00 CGTN English News. 5.15 NHK World English

News. 5.30 Deutsche Welle English News.

 ??  ?? Wil­liam Zabka, left, and Ralph Mac­chio reprise their Karate Kid roles in Cobra Kai
Wil­liam Zabka, left, and Ralph Mac­chio reprise their Karate Kid roles in Cobra Kai

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