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Ralph Macchio: Guitar Hero or Karate Kid?

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I was looking at our 25 Movie Endings We Love gallery and was especially taken with the finale to Karate Kid, which ends with — SPOILER ALERT! — Ralph Macchio’s Danny Larusso crane-kicking that blond putz into oblivion. In case you forgot, here it is:

Of course, I completely don’t buy Ralph Macchio as a karate savant. He’s just too…pear-shaped for that. (Not to beat up on the Macch; he was great on that episode of Entourage where he and Drama battle to get into the Playboy Mansion.) Then I got to thinking: “Is the Macch more unbelievable in Karate Kid or Crossroads?” You remember that one, right? He plays Eugene Martone, classical guitar prodigy who loves the blues, falls in with Joe Seneca’s sage mentor, and faces off against Steve Vai in a guitar showdown for his immortal soul. Here’s the end of that one:

Come to think of it, aren’t they, essentially, the same movie? Dumpywhite kid finds confidence and the love of a good woman through themastery of an ethnic art form, aided in his quest by a small person ofcolor, culminating in a face-off with the very embodiment of theperversion of that art form. Which do you think is harder to swallow, Karate Kid or Crossroads?