Cobra Kai has reinvigorated the Karate Kid franchise in a way that a lot of people might not have seen coming, but many fans could have easily guessed it when it first started on YouTube. It took off from the first season and has currently lasted to a season five, which has seen the defeat of Terry Silver and given way to the uncertain future of Cobra Kai. But it would appear that another Karate Kid movie is going to be headed to the fans, only it won’t be connected to the rest of the franchise. Some might want to state that this has already been done, and it was seen in the 2010 movie, The Karate Kid, with Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith. It does feel kind of odd to realize that this movie was titled The Karate Kid when it was more about Kung Fu, but a lot of people were more than willing to overlook this. Now that there’s another movie coming out without any ties to the original movie, it feels hard to imagine what will happen and if the movie will be about karate at all. Hey, it’s a valid question.
Cobra Kai has moved forward from karate even though this is the base that’s been used to push the story.
To better explain, karate is still the basic style that drives the franchise and has sustained Cobra Kai, but things have been changing since the 2010 movie, and throughout the last five seasons of Cobra Kai, other styles have been shown on the sly or up front and personal. MMA was shown in season 5, and it was easy to see that karate couldn’t really hang with this style without a bit of cheating on Johnny’s part since a hot pepper to the eyes is a rather big advantage that could help against just about anyone. But all the same, karate has held strong for the sake of the franchise since it is what managed to bring things to this point. But the emergence of a movie titled after the original and using kung fu made it clear that things were not going to stay the same.
What kind of story is going to be told this time around, though?
For every movie in the main franchise, it’s been seen that there is a Mr. Miyagi or someone similar to him that has helped the main protagonist achieve their potential and discover their talent as well as the need to believe in themselves. Trying to imagine someone like that being brought into the next movie isn’t difficult, but it does feel as though whoever is brought in will be a cheap copy that won’t be able to replace the spirit of Mr. Miyagi, or Mr. Han, much less replace either one of them. That’s not likely going to be the goal, to be fair, but at the same time, the next movie will probably need an older mentor that can help the main protagonist in some way since trying to state that a discipline such as karate, or any fighting discipline, can be learned without guidance is bound to upset a few fans, not to mention the experts that know different and have attempted to keep tradition within the martial arts. It might sound a bit nitpicky and paranoid, but the fact is that a lot of us grew up with The Karate Kid in our lives, and it was a little heartbreaking to realize what was fake and what was real when we grew up a little. A new movie would have the responsibility of showing at least enough realism to be worth watching.
If a different martial art is unveiled in this next movie, it feels as though the integrity of the franchise will take a hit.
Should this next movie be something that’s inspired by the idea but not truly attached to it at all in any way, then so be it. The style of fighting could be just about anything. But calling it The Karate Kid would still be kind of a mistake since without practicing the actual style that gives the movie its title, it does feel that the integrity of the name could take a serious hit. A lot of people might disagree since, like it or not, folks are going to ignore a lot of things and let even more pass them by so long as they’re entertained and kept busy with one idea or another.
If this is the future of The Karate Kid, then it might be the end of it as well.
There are a lot of martial arts movies out there, and The Karate Kid was a classic back in the day, and it’s a classic now. Cobra Kai has been a worthy successor, and if there’s another season or two, it wouldn’t be surprising. But another movie that’s inspired by these movies could be interesting to watch.
Hopefully, it will be worth the effort.