What a terrific end to a series I have thoroughly been enjoying since the first time I sat down and binge-watched the first season on YouTube Red. As a huge fan of The Karate Kid, this was a much-welcomed reboot to a series I was sure died with Jaden Smith. I’ll admit, with the trend of bad reboots we’ve gotten in recent years, I was skeptical of Cobra Kai. I have since dismissed that skepticism and am fully content with its conclusion.
Cobra Kai is the story of where Daniel and Jonny ended up after the events of The Karate Kid. Daniel is a very successful car salesman with his own dealerships, and Jonny is a down-on-his-luck loser trying to get by. Their lives completely change when Jonny decides to reopen Cobra Kai and teach the kids of the valley karate. But the trauma Daniel and Jonny carry from their youth has a way of complicating things. Tensions grow high, new rivalries form, and the battle for the valley erupts into some of the most fun displays of Karate I have seen in a while. This isn’t just a rehashing of an old story, but a proper continuation and conclusion to the beloved IP.
If you are holding off on watching this series, don’t. This is a fantastic narrative with great actors and lots of karate. Sure the fan service, the callbacks, and the high school drama get a little overbearing and slow the show down, but there is enough good within this series that makes it worth your time. This season is in no way the best of the series, but it does close it out in the best way possible. Sure there are some rushed bits and some slow ones, but all the loose ends are tied up relatively nicely.
The action scenes in this show are so fun that I don’t mind that they used a lot of stunt doubles. A huge shoutout goes out to the people responsible for the choreography, editing, and stunt work for making the series so much fun to watch. But while the karate was much appreciated, I stayed with this series for its stories. You have betrayal, redemption, and some of the best character growth I’ve seen recently. It is very cool to see how they incorporate a lot of what happened in the movies to make this series not only a homage but a proper hero’s journey for more than just the main characters.
I’ll admit, I have some bias because I loved The Karate Kid. This was an incredibly influential film for me growing up, and I have seen everyone since, even the bad ones. This series honors the beloved IP and adapts it for a modern audience. Sure it may not be perfect, but as I fan, I couldn’t ask for more. Check it out on Netflix. It is well worth your time!