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Ralph Macchio Says Cobra Kai Has Redeemed The Worst Karate Kid Movie

Everyone knows the beloved story of "The Karate Kid," which saw underdog Danny (Ralph Macchio) learn the invaluable art of karate and defeat his enemy and bully, Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka). His friendship with his kind apartment handyman, Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita), led Daniel LaRusso to learn a lot about himself, and the strength that resides within him. Those who know the story love the story, which spawned three other films: "The Karate Kid Part II," "The Karate Kid Part III," and "The Next Karate Kid." Macchio starred in the first three films as Danny and was less than happy with the final film he was in, "The Karate Kid Part III." "All they did was make the first one over again, without any of the good stuff," Macchio said about the third film (via Heavy).

"The Karate Kid Part III" followed the events of the last film, seeing 18-year-old Daniel and Mr. Miyagi returning home. They are then soon approached by Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith) who has teamed up with John Kreese (Martin Kove) to get revenge and also reopen the dark Cobra Kai dojo. In the end, Daniel predictably triumphs over his enemy, Mike Barnes (Sean Kanan), a karate champion Silver uses as a pawn. Sounds very similar to the first one. 

The third installment offers up a stronger point of trouble for Daniel's relationship with Mr. Miyagi, as Daniel goes to Silver to be trained for the showdown. However, the film ends happily and mirrors the first "Karate Kid." Macchio still hates it.

Without The Karate Kid Part III there'd be no Cobra Kai

While the third installment is detested by not only Ralph Macchio but also fans, the star admits that Netflix's "Cobra Kai" series has been able to redeem the shortcomings of that disastrous last film. Audiences who have seen the worst "Karate Kid" movie and have watched "Cobra Kai" have seen how a few familiar and also sinister, faces have joined the ranks. Martin Kove arrived in Season 2, reprising his part as John Kreese, Johnny Lawrence's relentless sensei. Thomas Ian Griffith returns as Terry Silver, Kreese's henchman who wanted to help Kreese to seek revenge on Daniel and Mr. Miyagi while attempting to reinstate the Cobra Kai dojo.

Having these characters return allows them to expand beyond their hollow roles, which was part of the problem the first time they appeared. Macchio lamented that the third film's storyline didn't move any of the characters forward, but now in the series, writers are crafting backstories for these characters, giving them layers to their personalities and histories (via Den of Geek). "It doesn't necessarily change my perspective on the film at the time, but what it does do is teach me something," Macchio said. "Even the shortcomings of this franchise bear fruit going forward."

The third film could perhaps blame time constraints on the unfortunate output, as it is a little easier to develop more about individual characters in a television show. Though we can agree that "The Karate Kid Part III" was an unfavorable installment, we can still argue along with Macchio that without it, "Cobra Kai" would hardly be the same without the foundation laid by its unsuccessful predecessor.