The long awaited sequel series to the original Karate Kid has finally arrived on YouTube Red, and you can watch the first two episodes of Cobra Kai right now for free. While I’m still new to the idea of paying for content on YouTube, Cobra Kai is a powerful incentive as these first two instalments are surprisingly good.
We’re used to reboots, and legacy sequels that feature a few original characters in a largely new cast, but Cobra Kai brings Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) back to face his high school nemesis Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) 30 years later.
Having bested Lawrence in the ring, LaRusso has become a success with his local celebrity status and car dealerships. However, life has dealt Johnny a cruel hand as the former bully finds himself on hard times and seeking solace in a bottle. Johnny finds fresh purpose when he becomes a mentor for a bullied teenager in need of guidance, and re-opens the Cobra Kai dojo. I wasn’t expecting much from this series, despite my love of the original movie, but Cobra Kai is a fun high kick of nostalgia that’s unexpectedly emotional.
You can decide for yourself by watching the first two episodes below.
In the highly-anticipated return of two iconic characters, the arch-rivals from the legendary Karate Kid film series reunite over 30 years after the events of the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament. Now living in the affluent hills of Encino, Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) leads an enviable life with his beautiful family, while running a successful string of car dealerships throughout the valley. Meanwhile, his high school adversary, Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), whose life has taken a rocky turn, seeks redemption by reopening the infamous Cobra Kai karate dojo. Their lives inevitably become intertwined and the rivalry is reignited, setting forth the next generation of “karate kids” in COBRA KAI, a YouTube Red Original Series.