Season 3 of the Karate Kid sequel series, Cobra Kai, continues with the fan favorite call backs and surprises that has helped blend the new generation of karate fighting kids with the old.
The writing continues to be a strong point of the series even when dealing with “karate gangs” being a threat to the local community. In lesser hands this could have been down right laughable (*cough* The Next Karate Kid *cough*). But the series continues to build up its three new leads, Miguel, Sam, and Robbie as the future of the franchise. Each are given very strong character arcs this season. Miguel’s fight to walk again; Sam trying to overcome her fear of fighting again; and Robbie joining Kreese’s dojo.
Speaking of Kreese his backstory is more developed this season as the show explores his Vietnam tour of duty. Something the movies only hinted at. You feel for Kreese as it’s revealed that he too at one point was bullied. After his time with the Army, he returned home as the Kreese we know today. I don’t want to go into too many spoilers but it is pretty well done.
The weakest part of the season probably dealt with Daniel traveling to Japan to save his car company. The much anticipated reunion with Chosen (from Karate Kid 2) felt kind of underwhelming and how Daniel saves his business feels very contrived. However due to my love of the franchise and the swell of nostalgia I get whenever I watch this show, it gets a pass.
Speaking of nostalgia, Elizabeth Shue reprises her role of Ali, the girl Johnny and Daniel fought over in the first film. Again, her return to the franchise was very welcome but felt a little underwhelming. One has to wonder if her character is being set up for something bigger in season 4?
Finally let’s talk for a moment about the fighting. Now, I know we shouldn’t cheer on teenagers beating the crap out of each other, but Season 3 has some of the best fight scenes of the series so far. Whether it be Hawk going insane on a new Cobra Kai recruit; the arcade beatdown; the Christmas party home invasion; or the climatic Johnny & Daniel vs Kreese fight, this season had some great action set pieces. I literally cheered at certain points during various fights. The fight choreography is simply fantastic because even though they are trained karate students they still look like kids fighting. We don’t get that horrible wire fu on constant stunt doubles doing all the work.
Like it previously stated, Cobra Kai is a wave of nostalgic fun that knows what it is and doesn’t try to be anything too edgy or too goofy. It knows how to walk that fine line and deliver a fun, family show that is a worthy sequel to the original Karate Kid films.
HipsterZOMBIEJoint Experience highly recommends you DEVOUR season 3 of Cobra Kai now streaming on Netflix!