The first footage of “Cobra Kai”, the new “Karate Kid” sequel is here, and it’s painfully apparent that this is a YouTube movie.
Ever eager to control a larger chunk of the internet, Google has been trying for a while to turn YouTube into a legitimate alternative to Netflix. This is one of the big reasons why the platform is no longer going to pay out advertising money to smaller creators – the aim is to create a smaller pool of more popular content sources, rather than endless amateurs who cost the site more than they generate in revenue.
YouTube’s efforts haven’t exactly gone well, so the platform is attempting to make the paid subscription service YouTube Red feel more like Netflix by producing brand new, exclusive content from professional filmmakers.
Naturally, the order of the day is nostalgiabait, and so, we’re getting “Cobra Kai”.
It looks pretty terrible.
The production value and cinematography here looks terrible. The entire trailer has a filthy, sticky YouTube feel to it, and honestly, it all comes across as a really bad fanmade trailer for an imaginary film, rather than something that actually has some budget behind it.
There are a couple of pretty aerial shots that might have been exciting a few decades ago, but which are now easily replicable using a quadcopter drone and a GoPro.
The movie’s main actors, Ralph Macchio and William Zabka, are probably supposed to be an exciting draw for this new film – it’s the classic rivalry, back again decades after the original “Karate Kid”.
The problem is that neither actor is all that recognizable after all these years, and as they’re not in their iconic karate costumes, they just looks like two dads that have been roped into a teenager’s elaborate home movie.
It’s hard to figure out exactly what YouTube was expecting people to think when they saw this, but one thing is certain: this is hardly more engaging than any of the free content that already exists on the platform.
Perhaps the finished movie will look better, but at this point in time, “Cobra Kai” looks a little too YouTube to be worth paying attention to.