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Watch This Video Essay That Convincingly Argues Daniel Is The Villain Of “Karate Kid”

Nothing will ever be the same again.

Up until now, I’ve only had one qualm with The Karate Kid: the circumstances that force young Daniel Russo to become a kid who does karate. Early on, Daniel relocates from New Jersey to the San Fernando Valley. Despite the daunting task of having to fit in with a strange new peer group, he instantly wins over a bunch of bros by holding his own in a game of beach-soccer. He even musters the courage to flirt with a young lady in front of his teammates, which in the world of high school boys means instant street cred. After that young woman’s recent ex-boyfriend begins to harass her, Daniel is the only one with the guts to stand up to him, and he gets his world rocked by beach-karate in her honor. Here comes my problem. Instead of Daniel’s teammates being impressed by his courage and carrying him home on their shoulders, they make fun of him for not knowing karate and leave him to his beach-tears.

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