Cobra Kai Season 4 Review: Ralph Macchio & William Zabka's show is entertaining even in its silliest moments

Updated on Jan 03, 2022 05:02 AM IST  |  300.3K
   
Cobra Kai Season 4 review
Cobra Kai Season 4 releases on Netflix on December 31.
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Cobra Kai Season 4

Cobra Kai Season 4 Creators: Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg 

Cobra Kai Season 4 Cast: Ralph Macchio, William Zabka, Martin Kove

Streaming Platform: Netflix

Cobra Kai Season 4 Stars: 3/5

Cobra Kai Season 4 review 1

In terms of film to TV adaptations, Cobra Kai has been one of the most successful ones in recent times as it maintains the balance between capturing just enough essence from the movies while also adding on a new layer to the existent franchise. Much of Cobra Kai's appeal though remains in the fact that it revolves around the lives of The Karate Kid leads, whom we first met in 1984 and it's unbelievably fitting how we find them at a later stage in their lives. While The Karate Kid franchise may have been all about the underdogs rising up to take on those trying to keep them down, the series takes a different route as it presents us with the idea that if there's a bit of an evil streak in all of us and no one escapes the lure of it. 

Among The Karate Kid film franchise, the third film which came out in 1989, showed how Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) wasn't always the zen, non-confrontational man who now runs LaRusso motors. The film captured a time when Daniel wanted to wield power as a karate champion and shun Mr Miyagi's calm ways to embrace Terry Silver's ways ( Thomas Ian Griffith). It was the time that LaRusso found himself leaning into the Cobra Kai way and well, let's just say that ended up causing major chaos for him. With Silver's return in the fourth season of Cobra Kai, things once again seem to look darker for 'Danny boy' (as Silver refers to him). 

Cobra Kai Season 4 review 2

The third season of Cobra Kai saw Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) realising the evil control that Cobra Kai's values laid by John Kreese(Martin Cove) have had on his life and as he walks away from it to join hands with Miyagi-do, it's not an easy task. Daniel and Johnny's opposing ways of handling conflict pose a challenge for their students at first but also makes the show's younger leads, Miguel (Xolo Maridueña) and Sam (Mary Mouser) realise that they may different role models than what they initially set out for in the first season. Committing to dig deeper into its old characters, the fourth season also gives a background to Kreese (Martin Kove) and Terry Silver's (Thomas Ian Griffith) friendship and how the Vietnam veterans went on to become the founding members of Cobra Kai. And to add it all, there's also the entry of a new story arc following Dallas Young Dupree's young Kenny who is becoming Silver's new target. 

With its fourth season, Cobra Kai continues to remain entertaining even during its dullest bits. Even as corny dialogues are thrown around, the show remains true to its style of building up character conflicts in the most engaging ways. Multiple storylines, all surprisingly thriving on something as strange as practising karate and running dojos bring enough fodder to make you sit through ten episodes that follow the show's regular format of pitting opponents together with the only difference being that there's never a clear definition of who's the bad guy. 

Cobra Kai Season 4

One of Cobra Kai's strengths is that it does not sell the idea that pure evil resides in anyone. The show constantly showcases the thin line that exists between the hero and a villain. While the first season kicks off with us seeing a different side of Johnny than what we remember him as from The Karate Kid films. He isn't the Cobra Kai golden boy bully but in fact, a washed-up middle-aged man who has nothing to look forward to. Daniel on the other hand is a successful business owner who appeases his customers by showing off his karate moves. Although what Daniel doesn't realise then and will realise this season is that the cycle of bullying and abuse doesn't stop with him conquering over Lawrence at the All Valley tournament. History repeats itself in mysterious ways in the Cobra Kai universe and this time the sides may have changed for Lawrence and LaRusso. 

Cobra Kai's fourth season does enough foreshadowing and its meta-commentary is what works the best. The fourth season packs enough to keep you invested in it including a crowd-pleasing moment with Johnny and Daniel facing each other on the mat once again after all those years except this time, you'll end up pitying them both for not overcoming their issues with each other and displaying how their fragile male egos stop them from doing their best for the students. The students on the other hand in this season seem to show more maturity than their Senseis. Be it how Robbie (Tanner Buchanan) decides to handle Kenny's conflict or Tory (Peyton List) deciding to ask for help instead of reeling under pressure and letting her pent up anger take the best of her and even Hawk/Eli (Jacob Bertrand) taking the decision of stepping away from situations that may only bring out the worst in him. Although if there's one character that grabs the most attention this season it will be Terry Silver. The show isn't very good at tying up its loose ends though and in the multiple character arcs, there's a lot that goes unexplained.

ALSO READ: Cobra Kai Season 4 Twitter Review: Netizens hail new season as 'incredible' and 'awesome'

The action choreography of Cobra Kai continues to become better with each season and clubbed with the amazing adrenaline-inducing score, the show successfully keeps you all pumped up. In the ten-episode fourth season, we get a two-part finale that showcases two major events, the All Valley Karate tournament as well as prom and well without giving away any spoilers, all I can say is that some major twists happen and it's quite a nail-biter finale. It's the newbies on the series, Thomas Ian Griffith and Dallas Young Dupree who deliver stand out performances this season. 

Despite its flaws and how ridiculously it takes karate seriously enough to a point where the whole town thinks their future depends on a valley championship, Cobra Kai still remains an enjoyable romp that is easily binge-able. Even the most cringey dialogues don't put you off from this show that plays hard on nostalgia which keeps us connected to Daniel and Johnny's journey that we first set on since the 1980s. 

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