Review of “More Than Miyagi: The Pat Morita Story”

“Sometimes the best things in life come from the worst things.”

This couldn’t be any more true about Oscar-nominated actor Pat Morita. He is best known as playing one of the most iconic characters in modern American cinema. Mr. Miyagi (from The Karate Kid franchise), basically the modern day Yoda of the karate world. With this role, he was able to touch a lot of lives as it was a very important movie to a lot of people. It was so successful, there were multiple movies in the franchise with Miyagi and we are even seeing a new series version of that today with a few original cast members and lots of cameos. A huge part of the series still encompasses teaching the core values of Miyagi, even many years after his character passes in the series.

Each person who has worked with Morita over the years would say the same thing, Morita would go out of his way to make you laugh, to make you comfortable. But underneath were a lot of complications and that especially came out when he drank.

Growing up with The Karate Kid movie franchise, I was not privy to how much of a pioneer he really was years before that role. And fortunately for so many people out there, he overcame so huge obstacles to bring us the amazing, iconic, and unique characters he has brought to us over the years even with those demons nipping at his heels. 

Part of his skills were being able to play so many different characters with such range. But to me, and after watching his documentary, I have a better understanding how he was able to do this. It takes someone having to live these different lives, to overcome so much, to be able to tap into the various characters and portray them. 

Luckily for us, this documentary exists. To not only find out more about the man behind Miyagi, but to hear an unbelievable true story about overcoming all odds and living a life that brought joy to all he touched.

This documentary is very unique in how much content it has. Not only from the famous actors who commented about working with Morita and from the family he left behind after his death, but with interview content with Morita himself.

It was said by Morita’s last wife that it was his dying wish to have this documentary made. I think he would be very proud. 

As much as I would love to leave you with a Miyagi quote, I now see how he is so much more than Miyagi. I highly recommend this movie if you are a fan of Hollywood history movie culture and of true stories about overcoming what we would see as impossible.

Featuring: Ralph Macchio, William Zabka, Martin Kove, Henry Winkler, James Hong, Sean Kanan, Marion Ross, Esai Morales, Tommy Chong, Don Most, Anson Williams and more.
Run time: 89 mins. (Not rated)
Directed by Kevin Derek
Executive Producers: Evelyn Guerrero-Morita, Greg Lai, Cindy Lai
Producers: Oscar Alvarez, Kelly Jackson
Co-Producer: Byrad Yyelland

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