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'Cobra Kai': Snake Pun

Noah Stepanov

Posted on September 14, 2020 01:23

2 users

Fun and self-aware, if a bit rough at times, "Cobra Kai" is a nice change of pace from the familiar trend of rebooting old franchises, even if that franchise has already been rebooted.

As someone whose last interaction with the Karate Kid franchise was back in 2010 — a movie I actually remember enjoying, despite its flaws — I can't pretend like it's something I hold particularly close to my heart. It's a staple movie of its time, for sure, with cheesy lines, fun action, and the same old anti-bullying message rewrapped into a fresh concept, but it also suffered from weak characterization, a heap of unnecessary sequels, and a reboot — which, again, I liked.

I got turned on to "Cobra Kai" a while ago when it was on youtube, but couldn't bring myself to pay out for a subscription to a service with nothing else that interested me. However, now that its first two seasons are on Netflix, I've finally gotten a chance to give it a shot.

And, well, it's pretty good.

In all honesty, it took a bit to get into. Some of the acting early on is a bit stiff, and without the nostalgia goggles to soften the blows of choppy dialogue and cliché exposition, there are some tough-to-ignore flaws. But that said, "Cobra Kai" does something I love, which is it tells to story from the perspective of the villain. Or, rather, the story of the movie's villain.

Johnny is by every account, a complete jerk, and I have to give recognition to Billy Zabka because I've always thought that playing the antagonist is so much more difficult than playing the hero. Zabka in particular got saddled with being one of the most iconic bullies in film history, who gets beaten in one of the most iconic fights in film history, and he runs with it extremely well.

The reality of "Cobra Kai" is a stark contrast to the 80's movie. The world moved on, the kids grew up. Daniel (reprised by Ralph Macchio) is a car dealer and Johnny is an out-of-work handyman, with their peaks behind them. Daniel has used his old reputation to further his career, and Johnny has spent his life so far trying to escape his, not just literally, but also emotionally. And while these two battle with real-world issues like parenting, finding jobs, and managing depression, stress, anxiety, and issues of self-worth, we also get a fresh take on the old movie's anti-bullying plotline with Miguel, Samantha, and Robby.

"Cobra Kai" is fun, if at times cheesy and a little stiff, but it also does an excellent job at being a retrospective of its own source material. Its messages change and grow with the characters, and we learn that there isn't always a cut-and-dry answer to everything. The hero doesn't always stay the hero, the bully doesn't always stay the bully, and rarely do either choose to be who they are.

If you haven't seen it yet, and even if you aren't a huge fan of the franchise, I recommend giving "Cobra Kai" a shot.

Noah Stepanov

Posted on September 14, 2020 01:23

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Source: The Wrap

Netflix has revealed the first footage from Season 3 of “Cobra Kai,” as well as (pretty general) premiere timing for new...

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