The Karate Kid: That ‘Illegal’ Kick Plot Hole

Man, the Cobra Kai TV show is far better than I ever thought it would be. I’ve been gripped for all three seasons so far, and with season four coming at the end of this year, I’m pretty damn excited. For those not in the know, Cobra Kai is a sequel TV series that continues the bitter rivalry story of Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence from The Karate Kid film(s). Of course, there’s much more going on than Daniel-san and Johnny’s dislike for each other as a whole host of other characters join the story. Along with some fantastic returns of other characters from the movies to boot.

Anyway, part of that rivalry between the two leads stems from the original The Karate Kid flick. In Cobra Kai, Daniel is a rich and successful businessman. Beautiful wife, big house, kids, etc, he’s got it all. But Johnny’s life, following the film, went in a very different direction. He’s more of a loser, doing odd jobs to put food on the table, living in a shitty apartment and so on. The two opposing lives are put down to the fact that Daniel LaRusso won the All Valley Karate Tournament in the first film, beating the previous two-time winner, Johnny Lawrence.

When the two first cross paths after so many years in Cobra Kai, the karate tournament that Daniel won (thanks to Mr Miyagi) by beating previous champ Johnny is brought up. So too is the fact that Daniel won via an illegal kick to the face, the famous crane kick move. For many years, even before the TV show, the internet has been swamped with people claiming that Daniel won the tournament illegally, using an illegal kick to the face. Pretty much everyone is stating that Johnny was the rightful winner of the fight as Daniel should’ve been disqualified, or at the very least, shouldn’t have been given the winning point, for using an illegal move. Most people are in agreement that the ending of The Karate Kid and Daniel winning is a major plot hole. So much so that the whole thing has become a very famous meme, then there’s the fact that it has now become canon within the universe as Cobra Kai itself even brings up the fact that Daniel shouldn’t have won in the show. So then to summarise, it is now in-universe fact that Johnny (incorrectly) lost the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament due to Daniel basically cheating. But here’s the question, was the kick to the face actually illegal as many claim, and was it a plot hole that Daniel won?

MEME2MEME

Well, that’s what I’m here to cover. I’ve done a few of these explorations of plot holes and I always use the same handful of rules. I can only use in-movie universe logic, I can’t just make shit up to suit my own agenda. I can’t use explanations in novelizations, comic books, etc and only what’s in the film(s). Deleted scenes are a bit of a wildcard, depending on why they were deleted. Example, if a scene was removed against the director’s better judgement, because the suits forced it to be cut, then I can think about using it. But if a director cut a scene over something like time constraints, then that’s a bit more questionable as, if the director didn’t think the scene was worth fighting for, then why should I? So, with the rules in place, it is time to destroy this plot hole that Daniel used an illegal move and Johnny should’ve won.

Okay so, getting back to the point. Daniel’s kick to the face was not illegal at all and the many years of memes and videos are wrong. Of course, you’ll want proof of this claim, right? It’s not as if you’ll just going to believe something written on the internet with zero evidence to back it up, are you… Kind of like how this whole thing started then eh? Okay, some proof. First, here’s a little montage of the ending fights, just give it a watch and tell me what you see.

Okay, I’ll bring up a few highlights for you. Starting at 0:53 in the video, Johnny delivered a kick to the face and wins the point. Directly in front of two judges. Perhaps you missed it, well here’s a screengrab for you.

JOHNNY KICK TO THE FACE

So if kicks to the face are illegal, then why did Johnny win that point? Then later, we have Daniel take a kick to the face from Dutch of the Cobra Kai dojo. Is his opponent reprimanded for the face kick? Nope, he wins the point. Again, screengrab for you.

DANIEL LOSING POINT

Aside from the fact that, given the obvious reasons, the kick doesn’t actually connect in real life. Within the reality of the film, it did and the point was awarded to Dutch against Daniel, and in front of the judges too. In fact, if you go back and re-watch the various fights in that final tournament, you’ll see multiple examples of people winning points from kicks to the face. Johnny wins three points via kicks to the face alone, one against Daniel. None of those kicks are deemed illegal either.

So there you go, head/face hits score a point. So given the fact that multiple people win points with blows to the head through the entire tournament… How or why was Daniel’s winning kick illegal? I mean, even Ralph ‘Daniel-san’ Macchio himself has said that the kick was illegal… But it wasn’t. In the article I linked to there, Ralph states that:

“No hits to the face was clearly something when the referee made the list of things what not to do.”

Errrr, no. The ref never says hits to the face are not allowed, neither do any of the other judges. Nobody in the first film says that hits to the face are illegal. Want more eh? Well, here’s a line taken directly from the film where the rules of the tournament are explained to Daniel:

“Everything above your waist is a point. You can hit the head, sternum, kidneys, ribs. Got it?”

The exact opposite is actually said about hits to the face, the movie outright states that hits to the head can score you a point. Now, for the tournament in The Karate Kid Part III, the ref does say that no face contact is allowed, but never in the first film. So I think this is where the confusion lies, people seem to think (Ralph Macchio included) that the no face contact rule is in the first film when it’s not. Several of the tournament rules have been changed between the films too, not just the face contact one. But in the first film, face contact is allowed… Multiple times.

Daniel’s kick was legal, there is no plot hole.

Movie Sequels We Never Got: Tim Burton’s Batman 3

I’m doing a few of these movie sequels we never got articles through the year. See my previous look at the Italian Job sequel that never happened. But now, I take a look at the Tim Burton helmed Batman 3 that we never got to see.

The 1989 Batman flick is one of my personal favourites. Tim Burton’s vison of Gotham City is visually stunning, even now, three decades since the film was released. His dark tone and style put in place the stepping stones for many superhero films to follow. Then there was the casting of Michael Keaton as The Caped Crusader himself. Man, that casting really caused some problems with die hard Batman fans. It has been said that the studio producing the film received over fifty-thousand complaints in relation to Keaton playing Batman. This was the eighties remember, no social media, no Twitter to vent your anger at the studio itself. These folk had to write these letters of complaint and post them to the studio themselves. Just take a quick look at this article snippet from Rolling Stone magazine before the film was released::

“Michael Keaton is no Batman. Or so a vast sector of the bat community has vehemently asserted. Upon learning last year that Michael Keaton would, indeed, be Batman – the definitive cinematic Batman, no less – batheads were disconsolate. In Keaton’s hands, they felt, Batman would become a smirky wisenheimer. Mr. Mom in a cowl, they thought. ‘Treating Batman as a comedy is like The Brady Bunch going porno’, wrote a fretful fan, one of the tens of thousands who swamped comics fanzines with disapproving nerd mail. The common refrain among disbelievers: Keaton has no chin, not enough hair; he’s too scrawny, too doughy, too short, too glib, too distracting.”

There was even a petition made to try and have Keaton removed from the role, don’t believe me?

BATMAN PETITION

The biggest fear among fans was that they felt the film was going to be a campy comedy. Tim Burton was mostly known for directing 1985’s Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure at the time. Then, Michael Keaton was famed for his comedy roles in flicks like Johnny Dangerously, The Squeeze and more specifically, Mr. Mom. Nothing sounded right about the first ‘proper’ big screen outing for The Dark Knight. The dark and brooding tone of the comics was sure to be thrown out for a more comedic take on the superhero, something more like the TV show from the sixties. Of course, that’s not what we got. We got a moody, harder edged Batman film, far removed from the camp, kitschy, comedy slant of the TV show. When released, Batman was a massive hit and those fears from Batfans were quickly quashed. Of course, with a huge hit on their hands, the studio wanted a sequel. So in 1992, we got Batman Returns

Batman Returns was even darker than the first film. So much so, that a licencing deal with McDonald’s to include Batman toys in their famed and kid friendly Happy Meals was scrapped. As Tim Burton himself recalled when talking to Yahoo:

“I think I upset McDonald’s. [They asked] ‘What’s that black stuff coming out of the Penguin’s mouth. We can’t sell Happy Meals with that!’”

BATMAN MCDONALDS TOYSBATMAN MCDONALDS

Long story short and due to a lot of arguments behind the scenes, Tim Burton left the Batman franchise behind as director and Joel Schumacher stepped in to helm the third film, Batman Forever. Also gone was Michael Keaton. Under Schumacher, the Batman films (d)evolved into the campy, kitschy, comedy slant the old TV show had and that darker edge that Burton gave The Caped Crusader was long gone. 

Anyway, before both Tim Burton and Michael Keaton left and before Joel Schumacher ruined the franchise, there was another and a very different Batman 3 in early development. That film was to be called Batman Continues. There are quite a few details around that give us a bit of insight as to just what this other third Batman flick was going to be like. Under Burton’s direction, it was sure to continue that darker vein the pervious two films had. Michelle Pfeiffer’s now iconic take on Catwoman was said to return and be a permanent love interest and partner for Bruce Wayne/Batman. A quick aside. While developing Batman Continues, Tim Burton expressed an interest in making a Catwoman spin-off flick. This was going to pick up exactly where Batman Returns ended and was going to bridge the gap between the second and third Batman films. Then when Burton dropped out of the whole project, that Catwoman spin-off became the much panned Halle Berry film.

CATWOMAN

On the villain side of things, Robin Williams was being eyed up to play Edward Nygma/Riddler. Interestingly enough, Burton actually originally wanted Williams to play Joker in the first flick. It has been said that Robin Williams was unsure about playing Joker in the film and as the start of production crept closer, Tim Burton needed someone to play the role, so Jack Nicholson was approached an asked instead. Billy Dee Williams was also going to return as Gotham’s district attorney, Harvey Dent and of course, become Two-Face. But that was not all for the villains, Brad Dourif was rumoured to have been asked to play Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow too. To me, that sounded a little too ‘full’.

Batman’s sidekick Robin was going to make an appearance. He was even originally going to be in the first flick, storyboards exist that show how Robin was going to be in the film (click here). Then, Robin was also almost in Batman Returns too. Anyway, obviously Robin never made it into either film. But Tim Burton really wanted to introduce the character in his third Batman film and he was going to be played by Marlon Wayans. Reportedly, Wayans still gets paid to this day for NOT being in the film. Marlon Wayans recalls the role when he spoke to io9.gizmodo.com:

“I was actually supposed to play Robin, in Batman Returns, about 15 years ago. But there was too many characters. I was cast, I was paid and everything. I still get residual checks. Tim Burton didn’t wind up doing three, Joel Schumacher did it and he had a different vision for who Robin was. So he hired Chris O’ Donnell.”

BATMAN

Not bad that, being paid to NOT do a job. Tim Burton’s Batman Continues is a bit of a stupid title but that is exactly what is was going to do, continue the story of Batman and be a direct sequel to Batman Returns. But exactly what that story was going to be is unknown. Elements of Burton’s Batman Continues were tweaked and reworked into Batman Forever (Riddler, Two-Face, Robin, etc)… that’s probably why Tim Burton was credited as a producer on that film.

For me, I still think there’s time for Tim Burton and Michael Keaton to team up and do another Batman picture. There are comics with an aged Batman, so why not a film too? Sure, it wont be the Batman Continues they originally wanted to make, but it could still be a ‘proper’ continuation of their first two Batman flicks.  I mean, Keaton is going to play The Dark Knight at least one more time in the new The Flash film. Burton, Keaton and Pfeiffer reunite for another Batman project? It could happen…

 

Why I Don’t Think I’ll Ever Be A ‘Proper Journalist’

I like to think that I’m fairly competent at what I do with this blog. This was only ever meant to be a bit of fun for me, a way to share my passion and opinions of games and films… Sometimes TV and other subjects too. When I started Little Bits of Gaming, I only ever wanted to do small, easy to read posts. But I began to get into larger retrospectives, histories, editorials, etc and the smaller articles just stopped as the more in-depth ones took over. My skill and confidence as a writer grew and I began writing bigger and richer articles, I moved onto writing books and much more. It even got to a point where I even considered getting into ‘proper journalism’.

I spend several months last year looking into and applying for real writing jobs for various big-name sites that cover similar subjects that I do here and a few random and general writing jobs too. I’m not going to name those sites, but if you’re into gaming and film news, then you’d be more than familiar with several of the sites I looked into and even applied for jobs with a few places. I just really wanted to get into writing on a professional level In fact, several years back now, I used to write ‘professionally’ for Movie Pilot and their sister site, Now Loading as one of their paid creators. I had to go through a whole host of ‘lessons’ to pass thier writing academy and become one of their verified creators (as they called us) and bring in some side cash as well as learn a lot more about writing on a professional level.

Anyway, I’ve always believed that outside of this blog that I could easily do this writing thing for real and be a ‘proper journalist’. I genuinely enjoy writing, I like to think I’m pretty decent at it too. So, that’s why I spent a chunck of last year trying to get into this writing thing proper. It was the midst of the first covid lockdown here in England over last summer. I wasn’t doing my day job as my workplace had to close in accordance to the covid restrictions at the time. I had been dealing with anxiety and depression for a while at the time too, even before the lockdown. It was all work-related and being in that first lockdown really made me realise how much my day job was affecting my mental health. Long story short, I ended up quitting my job in the midst of mass unemployment due to the whole coronavirus thing, with many businesses closing for good.

After I quit my job, I began to feel better about myself. The anxiety and depression are both still there, but just nowhere near as badly as before and I’m managing my mental health far better than ever. As I write this now, I still don’t have a job, I’m unemployed I guess. But, my partner returned to work at the start of this year after being off for a year following the birth of our son at the end of 2019. With my better half in employment and earning well, we made the decision that I’d be a stay at home father for a while, instead of going back to work, as it saves us a fortune in childcare. Plus, I get plenty of time to do a spot of writing too. Oh, and spend a lot of time with my two kids.

Two days a week and my little monsters are in nursery. That’s two days that I have to myself and can write. I’ve never had that much free time to write before and I’m loving it. Before, when I was working full-time, I could only write after work. And my job had me working unsociable hours too. Late finishes, working weekends and holidays, etc. On top of having one, then two small children to care for too. As a result, I could only write for around four to six hours a week, if I was lucky. So, with all this newly found spare time as a stay at home father, I thought I’d explore writing as a job. As I said, I did look into and apply to a few notable sites… And it seriously began to depress me. I wish I had screen-grabbed some images of the expectations from some of these sites. I mean eight to ten articles a day… A DAY! That’s what one of the sites I looked into were expecting from a content writer.

I tend to do around three to four articles a month on this blog on average, and I feel that’s plenty of content. I actually spend time on my articles though. I research and fact-check as best as I can. Something that a lot of modern journalists just don’t seem to do anymore. For most, if not all, of these entertainment websites, it’s all about quantity over quality. Often I find myself reading badly researched and written content from (what are supposed to be) respected sites written by ‘professional journalists’, that are really generally just lazy copy & paste jobs. Big named websites churning out shit as fast as they can and screw the quality of the content itself, as long as there’s lots of it. I know I can produce far superior content for most of these sites, but they’re just not interested. It’s all about suffocating people with as much crap as possible, while the quality of the content takes a back seat. I just can’t write like that, I can’t fart out endless dreck just to meet an unrealistic quota.

I know why big-name sites do this, it’s all about the clicks and ad revenue. These sites are a business and a business needs money to survive, it’s just a shame it’s that quantity over quality aspect of the business that brings in the most money.

Then there are the editors. From my last experiences writing for Movie Pilot and Now Loading, I learned to loath editors. See, whenever I published something for Movie Pilot, especially if it was a major article that got main coverage (I had several articles published as lead articles when I wrote for them), they would have to pass through an editor before publishing. Most of the time, the editors would completely mess up my work to the point where I asked for my name to be removed. Look, editors are needed, I get that. But the ones I had to work with were clueless imbeciles. I recall one article I wrote where I set up a joke and used a picture as the punchline. I send it off to the editor, a few hours later and it was published. I clicked on the link to read my published work and the editor had moved my picture punchline. The lead in joke was still there, but the punchline was gone. Now, it wasn’t an issue with the picture itself, because it was still used in the article, the editor had just moved it elsewhere and further down. I remember emailing the editor to explain the situation and all I got back was a snippy reply telling me how the image worked better in its new place. Despite the fact it ruined the joke and now made no sense… apparently, it was in a better place… How?

Then there was the time I wrote an article on why Metal Gear Solid V took me over a year to finish. Honestly, the game really kind of bored me and I found it utterly repetitive with having to do the same handful of missions over and over in the same handful of locations. Now, I was very respectful in my (long) article. I admitted to not being a huge MGS fan, but I still respect the franchise for what it is. I made that point very clear in my writing too. Again, I sent the article off to the editor for publication and yes, it made the grade, got published and even given credit as a lead article too, proudly displayed front and centre of the main site. Probably no more than an hour after my MSG V article had been published, my inbox was inundated with alerts to comments made about the article. Honestly, I was getting dozens of them, the biggest response to an article I had ever written for them. So of course, I was curious as to why I was getting such a huge response. I clicked on my article and went straight to the comments section, where I found nothing but personal attacks aimed at me, not my article, me directly. Swearing, threats, insults, you name it and there was a derogatory and personal slur there in the comment section. Now, I’m very thick-skinned and I don’t get offended easily. Call me whatever you want, I’m a grown man, I won’t cry about it. But I began to grow very curious as to just why my perfectly harmless article, where I respectfully explained why it took me over a year to finish MGS V, was attracting people to personally attack me. So I scrolled up from the comments and read my article after going through an editor.

It had been altered to the point where I honestly hardly recognised my own work. Now, the main gist was still there as I explained why the game just never gelled with me, but that respectful nature and tone of my writing was gone. I began to see vitriolic words such as ‘abhor’, ‘detest’ and ‘hate’ in the article, words I never wrote myself. See, I personally think words like ‘hate’ are often over and misused. It’s a strong word that I only use for particularly strong circumstances. Yet, here was my article littered with trigger words put there just to clearly get a certain response. In fact, the article ended with the line (and I quote) ‘If you hate Metal Gear Solid V as much as I do, let me know in the comments below’. A line I never wrote, a line that was clearly saying I hated the game. It had been put there by the editor as a final twist of the knife. Anyway, as I read my now edited article, I began to understand why I was getting such abuse in the comments section. Because the article was altered to be nothing more than a very bitter rant that came across as a mass insult to MGS fans and even Hideo Kojima himself. Which certainly was not the intention of my original scrawling. 

I was fuming, I emailed my editor and demanded the article be reinstated to how I originally wrote it. I was told the editor’s decision is final and it would not be changed. I pointed out the comments section and all the abuse being aimed at me due to how the article came across. They loved it, to them, it was traffic to the site, which meant more clicks, more ad revenue, more money. I was told to just take it on the chin, that sometimes I’d get comments I don’t like, that I should just ignore them. Fuck that, I was getting abuse over an article that had my name on it as I had written it… but one that had been edited to remove my respectful nature and replace it with hate and vitriol. Again, I didn’t care so much about the comments themselves, I could handle them. I was angry, not because I was getting abusive comments, but because my article had been purposely edited to incite those type of comments. My name was attached to a piece of work I didn’t agree with. 

Now, I don’t have anything against editing, it’s a necessity in this writing thing I do. But there are ways and means of doing editing well. I don’t mean to blow my own trumpet, not long back and a fellow blogger and friend, Lord Badger Nimahson from Stoffel Presents did a review of Zack Snyder’s Justice League for this blog. I was emailed the review and spotted a few minor gaffs, so I edited it, I also did a little polishing of some of the formatting and overall review. However, the end result was still 99% of Badger’s work and 1% of my editing. I didn’t change the tone or voice of the review, I didn’t add any vitriolic wording just to get a response.

Anyway, back to my Movie Pilot/Now Loading story. I refused to write for them any more. In fact, I asked for my account with them to be deleted and all of my content removed. They said they couldn’t do that, some bollocks about it going against their policy, that they can’t remove content from their paid creators. Of course, the real reason was that they were still making money off my articles every time someone clicked on them and they didn’t want to lose out on any revenue. So, as I still had access to my account with them, I spent two days just uploading articles with nothing but hardcore porn. Porn films, pictures and so on. Bombarded them with so much salacious, very adult content that they were forced to shut my account down. Then about three weeks later Movie Pilot/Now Loading shut down the entire writing department to concentrate on video content. There was a rather in-depth article that uncovered some rather questionable management practices, including accusations of sexual harassment and more at the company. I couldn’t find that article when I looked, but I did find this one about the selling off of the brand and there are a few mentions of mismanagement and the like. So it seems that I was not alone in my distrust of the company.

It’s shit like this that really put me off exploring writing professionally. What’s the point if I have to write ( copy & paste) asinine crap and lots of it, to meet a pathetic quota just to get more clicks? Why should I spend time and effort researching and writing content, just for some wanker of an editor to completely fuck up my work because they only care about getting comments and traffic to the site? That’s not what being a journalist is about. After looking into getting into ‘proper journalism’ last year, I learned that I’m a rather large square peg trying to force my way into a tiny and uncomfortable round hole. It’s just not worth it. My love, respect and passion for writing, my integrity and my moral compass just won’t allow me to go down that route.

I mean, here’s a typical piece of what passes for modern gaming ‘journalism’. An article that looks at a game character’s shoe size. This actually exists as ‘proper journalism’ from a reputable site, this is how low this shit has sunk. Even more so, the article ends with:

“What do you think of Lady Dimitrescu’s shoe size? Are you surprised by all the interest surrounding the tcharacter? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter.”

How about no, fuck off?

This is it folks, this is what passes as journalism these days. This is the kind of very low quality dreck that gets published on well known sites. This is what you get when you hire cluless writers with zero passion for writing and force them to churn out ten articles a day.

I have this very minuscule piece of real estate of a blog, lost on the gargantuan plot of land that is the internet… And I’m happy about that. I can post what I like, when I like, how I like. I mean, do you think some big-name and ‘reputable’ media site would allow me to write a lengthy rant about how shit modern journalism is now?

Face/Off: The Plot Hole

I love the 1997 John Woo action flick Face/Off. In it FBI Agent Sean Archer (John Travolta) undergoes top secret surgery to swap faces with his son’s killer and general dickish bad guy Castor Troy (Nicolas Cage), in order to work deep undercover to infiltrate Troy’s gang and learn the location of a bomb. Long story short, things go wrong and Castor Troy ends up swapping faces with Sean Archer, leaving Archer stranded in the face of the man he hates most, while Troy enjoys life as an all star FBI Agent… along with the added bonus of porking his nemesis’ wife.

I guess, the basic plot of Face/Off is nothing more than a take on the classic and often used The Prince and the Pauper story, but given a modern and more violent John Woo twist. Anyway, the reason I’m addressing a plot hole in this flick is because Face/Off has been popping up in my newsfeed a lot over the last few days. See, a sequel is currently being developed. To be directed by Adam Wingard, the man behind the very recent Godzilla vs. Kong flick. The sequel is set to reunite John Travolta’s Sean Archer and Nicolas Cage’s Castor Troy once more, though details on the plot are very sparse right now and just how involved in the sequel the original stars will be is up for speculation. Will they be the main characters, or perhaps more of a secondary/cameo thing? Anyway, none of that is important to this article. What is important is the plot hole I need to address.

See, along with news of a Face/Off 2 comes several reports on how the sequel will address and correct a plot hole from the original. Quite a few notable sites have already been talking about this plot hole fixing. Notable sites such as Digital Spy, We Got This Covered, ScreenRant and other entertainment news sites are commenting on the ‘big plot hole’ of the original film. That got me thinking… What plot hole?

FACEOFF SURGERY

Apparently, these sites are saying that the original flick has a major plot hole in that, while Sean Archer and Castor Troy only swap faces, their bodies magically change too. If you read these plot hole articles, then you’ll see things like ‘in the first movie, the bodies of the lead actors change, despite the characters only undergoing face-swap surgery‘ being claimed. Yeah, you can definitely see a big difference between the body types of John Travolta and Nicolas Cage. And yes, one would have to question why when they have the face surgery that for some reason, the bodies also change. Even I can’t deny that’s a plot hole, or it would be if you don’t pay attention to the film.

Still, what I like doing is looking at film plot holes and trying to cover them. When I do this plot hole covering thing, I set myself a few rules. I can only use in-movie universe logic, I can’t just make shit up to suit my own agenda. I can’t use explanations in novelizations, comic books , etc and only what’s in the film(s). Deleted scenes are a bit of a wildcard, depending on why they were deleted. Example, if a scene was removed against the director’s better judgement, because the suits forced it be cut, then I can think about using it. But if a director cut a scene over something like time constrains, then that’s a bit more questionable as, if the director didn’t think the scene was worth fighting for, then why should I?

Anyway, you can check out the other plot holes I’ve covered with the likes of Die Hard and the Back to the Future trilogy to better understand my thinking. So with that out of the way, on to this major plot hole in Face/Off.

As covered, this plot hole surrounds the difference in body types between Sean Archer and Castor Troy. You can clearly see in the film that Travolta has a (I’ll declare delicately) ‘chunkier’ body type than Cage, whose body is certainly leaner. So when the two swap faces, those differing body types really would and should stand out to the other characters in the film, but after the face surgery… they have also swapped bodies. However, this isn’t a plot hole as it’s being declared by certain sites, nor does it need addressing and fixing in the sequel either. Because, the original film already covered this in its plot. As proof, I need to jump to the part where John Travolta’s Sean Archer finally agrees to the surgery and has it all explained to him. This occurs at around twenty-five minutes into the flick. The doctor in charge of the super secret face-swapping procedure talks Archer through what will happen and I take the following quote directly from the film. This is not a deleted scene, not a part of the script that didn’t make the final cut. This scene and quote is right there in the film for all to see and hear.

“Hight difference is negligible. Skin pigment, eye pigment, both almost identical. We’ll use laser sheers for the hairline, micro-plugs for body hair. We’ll do an abdominoplasty to take care of those love handles.”

There’s more to that speech of what the surgery entails, but that’s the basic gist. So to summarise. The surgery to swap the face wasn’t just to swap the face as these sites are claiming. Other aspects of the surgery are mentioned in the film, including altering the body via an abdominoplasty and more. Now, one can argue just how ‘realistic’ it is to change someone’s body type so much or so drastically. But hey, you’re watching a film about an FBI agent that swaps faces and then lives his life as his son’s killer and general terrorist-type bad guy (and visa versa), so I think you can apply some of that suspension of disbelief to the body surgery too, if you’re willing to accept the whole face-swapping thing in the first place, right?

FACEOFF CAGE

Point is, that it’s not a plot hole because the plot of the film addresses the difference in body types and does change them via the surgery. No plot hole and those sites reporting on the plot hole are wrong… as is director of the sequel, Adam Wingard, who is the one saying he’s going to address the non-existent plot hole in the sequel.

 

My Coming To America Sequel Pitch

After watching, being disappointed by and writing a review for the Coming to America sequel. I thought I’d have a go at pitching a sequel idea myself. As with my Terminator sequel pitch from a while back, this is purely for fun and an experiment by me just to so see if I can come up with a better story premise in a few minutes than highly-paid Hollywood writers who do so over several months.

First order of business, the title. The actual sequel title of Coming 2 America is really fucking stupid. As I mentioned in my review, a far better title would’ve been Coming to Zamunda. But, as my sequel idea doesn’t involve anyone coming to Zamunda, that’s not going to work. Instead, I’ve gone for the much more simple and far more sensible Coming to America II. Also, obviously we’re going to have to keep the whole thirty years later thing.

So, my idea has Akeem and Lisa already established as King and Queen of Zamunda. They’ve been in rule for many years as King Jaffe Joffer and Queen Aoleon had died several years previously. They’ve been doing a cracking job too and the people of Zamunda love and respect their King and Queen. They have a nice little family,  being taught the royal ways to readying them to be the next rulers, male or female, let’s not get all ‘woke’ here and try to force an agenda.

AKEEM AND LISA

Everything is peachy… Until Lisa gets word that her father, Cleo McDowell is gravely ill back in America. Concerned, Lisa heads back home for the first time in three decades. Going along for support is Akeem and Semmi, while Zamunda is overseen by Akeem and Lisa’s eldest child in their absence. It’s while traveling to the US when Cleo passes away before Lisa can touch down to say her goodbyes. If you think starting a film’s plot with the death of an established character is a bad idea, just watch Coming 2 America. Anyway, Lisa’s family are as angry with her as she is with herself as her time in Zamunda has made her forget about her all about her roots. Now back in America both Lisa and Akeem struggle with not only both being fish-out-of-water types, they’re also shocked at how much Queens as changed over the last thirty years. They’re even more removed from reality than they first thought.

The whole McDowell’s restaurant thing has been going under, due to legal action from McDonald’s and the McDowell family are in dire straits as they’ve spent the family fortune in defending themselves against McDonald’s. Having to sell that big house from the first film to keep their heads above water and not wanting charity, they never contacted Lisa in Zamunda and she in turn, got lost in all the pomp and ceremony of being a Queen to keep in contact with them. The whole relationship between the McDowell family and Lisa is at breaking point.

MCDOWELLS

Usual high-jinks ensue as Akeem and Lisa try to get on with living in the US while Cleo’s funeral is arranged and the whole legalities thing with McDonald’s is worked out. Now, you need a bit on an emotional impact, which comes in the form of Lisa actually realising how much she missed being home. She decides to quit being Queen of Zamunda to stay with her family. Obviously, Akeem isn’t too pleased about the idea and their relationship begins to fray. Long story short, there are several arguments between the couple, Semmi acts like a horny teenager by soaking up seedy side of Queens, New York, the fish-out-of-water angle is played up for laughs through the film. Akeem eventually comes to his senses and renounces the throne (as he suggested he would at the end of the first film) to be with Lisa and they both stay in America to live happily ever after, rebuilding the McDowell’s empire after standing up to McDonald’s and winning.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. What about Zamunda, what’s going on there? Who gives a fuck? The film is called Coming to America II, it’s sequel to the first film. And when watching the first film, did you care about what was going on in Zamunda? No, cos it’s got nothing to do with the story being told. Akeem and Lisa’s kid(s) are running the show and doing a good job too, that’s all you need to know.

MANSION

Obviously, this is a rough idea that’ll need working on… It’s also an idea that’ll never happen. Anyway, make it adult rated with the barbershop guys arguing and swearing like sailors… Like the first film. Make Lisa one of the main characters, seeing as she is one of the main characters and don’t push her to the background like the actual sequel. Amp up the fraying relationship between Akeem and Lisa, tug the heart-strings and make out they’re going to split up. For Akeem to quit as King just to be with love of his life, as he was prepared to do in the first film. Then you’ve got yourself a proper sequel.

Also note in my pitch, there’s no drugging and raping of Akeem, no charmless bastard son,  no annoying and unfunny Leslie Jones… And the majority of the film takes place in America. Oh yeah, there’s also no retconning events from the first film that provides a gargantuan plot hole meaning Akeem and Lisa never met either. But of course, I’m not a highly-paid Hollywood writer, so I’m obviously not good enough to come up with massive, unnecessary plot holes.