People love hearing stories of underdogs – a person who was destined to fail, or so the world thought, who wins the battle and leaves everyone in awe of him or her.

Everyone in this world is fighting a battle that may seem impossible to achieve. Similarly, we love watching movies that are relatable and can give us the hope we need to survive this battle we call life.

We love to see people who were never expected to win actually win. It makes us think, if they can fight and win, why can’t we? Such movies make us believe that no fight is fruitless, the result of constant hard work will always be fruitful and sooner or later it will come to our feet. Here are our picks for the best underdog movie!

The Karate Kid (2010) – Summary with Spoilers

One of the best underdog movies of all time is “The Karate Kid” (remade in 2010 featuring Jaden Smith, Will Smith’s son, as Dre Parker, the underdog, and Jackie Chan as Mr. Han, who plays the role of a maintenance guy and also teaches karate to him.

“The Karate Kid” (2010) starts with showing Dre moving to China with his mother where he gets bullied every day by a kid, Li, who practices Kung Fu. During all this, Dre meets a beautiful Chinese girl named Mai Ying, a violinist.

In a fight initiated by Li, Dre gets all the hits and comes back home feeling embarrassed and insulted. Due to this bullying, Mr. Han comes to his rescue and goes with him to Li’s Kung Fu class in order to tell the kid to lay it low.

However, Li’s Kung Fu instructor threatens them. He also challenges Dre to fight his students, as he is very confident that the chances of Dre winning the fight are next to zero. To get out of there, Mr. Han announces in front of the whole class that Dre will fight his students, but at the Kung Fu tournament. Karate is a part of Chinese culture ,and with Dre being a foreigner, no one expects him to win this battle.

After this, Dre and Mr. Han start their Kung Fu trainings, which frustrate Dre a lot. Even Mr. Han is skeptical about his performance and has doubts about winning this tournament against other kids who consider Kung Fu more than just a hobby.  

Mr. Han trains Dre by making him repeat everyday work like hanging a jacket, taking it off, wearing it, then again taking it off, and putting it on the hanger again. Mr. Han teaches this routine to Dre, as he believes Kung Fu lies in everyday chores.

Mr. Han takes Dre out to the mountains and teaches him Kung Fu all while also teaching him things about the Eastern culture. The strategy Mr. Han uses to teach him Kung Fu is to instill Dre with patience rather than aggression.

In the end, Dre moves from one level to another, shocking everyone in the process, until he reaches the semifinals, where Cheng intentionally hits Dre’s leg on the instruction of his trainer. However, even after a lot of injuries, Dre does not lose hope. He fights Cheng and wins the battle as the underdog – against all odds.

Moral of the Movie

This movie shows how an underdog who was never expected to win, who never did Kung Fu before in his life and was not even a part of an academy, wins a battle. In the end, hard work and consistent effort is what counts and turns the tables around. That is why “The Karate Kid” is considered one of the best underdog movies of all time.

We also highly encourage you to watch the original film series of “The Karate Kid” (1984), starring Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, and Elisabeth Shue, and “The Karate Kid II” (1986). The series continues 30-plus years later on YouTube with “Cobra Kai.”

In your opinion, what’s the best underdog movie of all time?