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Ralph Macchio Still Doesn’t Like Karate Kid 3, But Is Proud of Cobra Kai

“It is remarkable that what I would call the shortcomings of the original franchise are now bearing fruit 36 years later,” the actor said.


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Image via Netflix

Ralph Macchio was part of many of our childhoods growing up with his role as Daniel LaRusso in The Karate Kid, The Karate Kid Part II, and of course, The Karate Kid Part III. Throughout the years, Macchio hasn’t been the kindest to his work on Part III in public and now, as he is back as LaRusso in the Netflix series Cobra Kai, a spin-off of the original films, he’s facing some of his old foes, including the return of Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffin) from Part III.


Talking with The Hollywood Reporter, Macchio was asked about his critical comments about The Karate Kid Part III, to which he responded honestly about his journey on the movie. “I was not a fan of how the Karate Kid 3 came out,” Macchio said. “I felt the story was only repeating itself and was not character forwarding for the end of LaRusso. And production-wise, it was being written one way and then changed another way. It was not a smooth ride. In the end, there were parts of the character that I didn’t embrace as well as I did with the original and the first sequel. I don’t put it on the top of my resume.”

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Macchio also opened up about season four of Cobra Kai for Daniel LaRusso, what the return of Terry Silver means, and how the show itself is informed by what happened in the original Karate Kid film series:

“However, it informs Cobra Kai going forward, clearly with season four. It gives us so much story. And what is so wonderful about doing the Cobra Kai series, the creators find ways to take that story and let it evolve and find backstories for characters who might have been thinly written. There is a larger-than-life element to Cobra Kai. When you break it down, it is kind of ridiculous — but that is why it is so much fun! So you take a character like Terry Silver for this show with those larger-than-life elements and his relationship with Daniel, then add those layers of complexity to his evilness. And now it becomes a refined performance. On top of that, from the perspective of Daniel as an adult, now we are adding other stakes and elements about his own kids and students. It is remarkable that what I would call the shortcomings of the original franchise are now bearing fruit 36 years later.”


Ralph Macchio and Xolo Maridueña in Cobra Kai Season 4
Image via Netflix

RELATED: ‘Cobra Kai’ Season 4: William Zabka Reveals the Johnny/Kreese Scene That Needed WorkshoppingAll of this is to say that Cobra Kai has, in some part, begun to mend the problems that Macchio clearly had with Part III. This doesn’t mean that he loves the film now, but the series seems to be repairing a lot of the “villain” arcs from the original film series to make them more fleshed out and believable — like making audiences care about William Zabka‘s Johnny Lawrence, as well as being a nod to the story of Daniel LaRusso, Mr. Miyagi, and the future of Cobra Kai that all ties back to our love for The Karate Kid franchise.


All four seasons of Cobra Kai are streaming exclusively on Netflix now.


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