Cobra Kai          Season 4
review by Bobby Blakey

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When the Karate Kid hit theaters in 1984 who would have thought that it would not only become a cult classic for marital arts fans, but spawn an entire franchise. After the 4th film it seemed the franchise was dead until the series Cobra Kai debuted on YouTube Red in 2018 before moving to Netflix with the third season. The series stars Ralph Macchio, William Zabka, Martin Kove, Courtney Henggeler, Xolo Maridueña, Tanner Buchanan, Mary Mouser, Jacob Bertrand, Gianni Decenzo, Vanessa Rubio, and Peyton List. Now the latest season is getting ready to kick its way onto Netflix, but can it bring more of the same fun and kicks or will fail to make it to the finals?

Cobra Kai takes place over 30 years after the events of the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament with the continuation of the inescapable conflict between Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence. Season 4 finds the Miyagi-Do and Eagle Fang dojos joining forces to take down Cobra Kai at the All Valley Under 18 Karate Tournament... and whoever loses must hang up their gi. As Samantha and Miguel try to maintain the dojo alliance and Robby goes all in at Cobra Kai, the fate of the Valley has never been more precarious. What tricks does Kreese have up his sleeve? Can Daniel and Johnny bury their decades-long hatchet to defeat Kreese? Or will Cobra Kai become the face of karate in the valley?

I am going to keep this review completely spoiler free including discussing stuff that has already been revealed for those that have skipped out on the trailers. This series should never have worked, but yet every season has been a ton of fun to watch and this one is no different. The ongoing feuds and evolution to the characters continues making it feel like we are going somewhere with a purpose despite it often times feeling like it is stuck in an endless loop of one step forward and ten steps back.

 

I love this show as a fan of the film series and idea to what drives it but would be lying if I didn’t say I am baffled how much crime has continued throughout this violent group of kids since season one. Are there any police in the Valley? I know it is a show and that is part of the fun and I am all in, but cracks me up the amount of stuff people get away with. At the same time as a martial artist there are so many more things that actually bother me, but I have to separate them or I would never get through it. Especially dealing with the ongoing arguments, limited techniques to their styles, strange tournament rules etc. This is something that has irritated be throughout the entire franchise so it is par for the course.

 

The fighting this season is better in some places and still klunky in others. There is an element that drives me nuts this season in relation to what all the schools teach and their perception that screams flaws all around, but they at least use it as a catalyst to the bigger picture, but makes no sense the reality of actually teaching any style martial arts.

 

The show is ridiculous in the best possible way and this season just keeps bringing the fun. It has carved its own path while continuing the legacy and call backs to the films. Fans of the series and films will have plenty to smile about this time around right up until the fun finale that sets up even more changes for next season that can’t come soon enough.

 

Get ready for the big tournament when Cobra Kai returns for its fourth season on December 31st on Netflix.