The Karate Kid, Part III

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The Karate Kid, Part III
Karate kid part III.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by John G. Avildsen
Produced by Jerry Weintraub
Karen Trudy Rosenfelt (co-producer)
Sheldon Schrager (executive producer)
Doug Seelig (associate producer)
Written by Robert Mark Kamen
Based on characters created by
Robert Mark Kamen
Starring Ralph Macchio
Pat Morita
Robyn Lively
Music by Bill Conti
Cinematography Steve Yaconelli
Editing by John G. Avildsen
John Carter
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates June 30, 1989 (1989-06-30) (United States)
Running time 112 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $12.5 million (estimated)
Box office $38,956,288[1]

The Karate Kid, Part III is a 1989 martial arts film, and the second sequel to the hit motion picture The Karate Kid (1984). The film stars Ralph Macchio, Noriyuki "Pat" Morita and Robyn Lively. As was the case with the first two films, it was directed by John G. Avildsen, written by Robert Mark Kamen, its stunts were choreographed by Pat E. Johnson, and the music was composed by Bill Conti.


The story picks up almost a year after the first film, and following the events of the second film. Having lost the Cobra Kai dojo and his students, Sensei John Kreese (Martin Kove) visits his Vietnam War comrade Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith), who owns a toxic waste disposal business and is very wealthy. Silver and Kreese scheme to take revenge on Daniel and his teacher, Mr. Miyagi (Noriyuki "Pat" Morita), and re-establish Cobra Kai. Terry sends Kreese to Tahiti to rest and get his life back in order.

Upon returning to Los Angeles, Daniel and Miyagi discover that the South Seas apartment building has been demolished, which puts Miyagi out of work. Daniel's mother has moved back to New Jersey to care for her elderly uncle. Daniel wants to use his college funds to realize Miyagi's dream of opening a bonsai tree store, but Miyagi insists that he use the money to go to college; going against Miyagi's wishes, Daniel uses the money to purchase a building for Miyagi. Miyagi thanks Daniel and makes him a partner in the bonsai business.

The next day, as Daniel and Miyagi are preparing the store for business, Daniel presents Miyagi with an application to enter the All-Valley Karate Tournament to defend his title. He tells Miyagi that this year, as defending champion, he only has to fight in the final round and asks Miyagi to sign the application. Miyagi refuses on the principle that he taught Daniel karate for survival and dignity, not to win tournaments. When Daniel visits a pottery store across the street, he meets Jessica Andrews (Robyn Lively), and they become friends.

To begin his plan against Daniel and Miyagi, Silver first recruits "Karate's Bad Boy" Mike Barnes (Sean Kanan) to fight in the tournament and promises him equal-partner ownership in Cobra Kai if he wins. He sneaks into Miyagi's house to gather information to use in his plan to discredit Miyagi and bait Daniel into entering the tournament. That night, as Daniel prepares for a date with Jessica, he tells a pleased Miyagi that he will not enter the tournament and burns the application in the fireplace, where Silver happens to be hiding.

Daniel and Jessica are confronted by Mike and Snake (Jonathan Avildsen), one of Silver's goons. They threaten to harm Daniel if he does not enter the tournament. Daniel declines, and Mike departs in a heated rage. The next day, as Daniel and Miyagi are practicing kata at Miyagi's home, Silver pays them a visit and introduces himself as a fellow student of karate under the same master as sensei John Kreese. He tells them that Kreese had a heart-attack after being overwhelmed by stress and anger after his students quit on him. Silver asks both for forgiveness on behalf of Kreese.

Later, Daniel and Jessica are at the store and again confronted by Mike, Snake, and Mike's personal trainer, Dennis (Christopher Paul Ford). When Daniel again refuses to enter the tournament, Mike and Dennis begin to destroy the store. Daniel beats Dennis easily, but cannot match Mike's skills. Miyagi shows up and fends off the three men. Later, Miyagi and Daniel arrive home to find that their stock of bonsai plants has been stolen, with a tournament application hanging in their place. Miyagi peaceably decides against retaliation, but Daniel is enraged and tries to call the police, but gets no assistance.

The next morning, Daniel is training at home and Mike shows up to further torment him after realising he called the cops on him and his goons soon after he signed for the tournament. Silver then appears and defends Daniel against Mike, with Daniel unaware the two are actually working together in the plan to get Kreese's business back. Silver then shows Daniel some karate techniques with an offer to help anytime Daniel wants.

Daniel and Jessica decide to dig up a bonsai tree which Miyagi had planted halfway down the cliffs surrounding the Devil's Cauldron. Daniel thinks they can use the tree, which is the one true bonsai Miyagi brought from Okinawa, as a new source of capital. After Jessica slips off a cliff, Daniel drops the tree at the bottom. Whilst Daniel and Jessica are at the bottom of the Cauldron, Silver's goons appear and retract their climbing ropes and bait Daniel once again with the tournament application. Since the tide is coming in to flood the cauldron, Daniel has no choice but to sign up for the tournament. After pulling Daniel and Jessica to safety, Barnes maliciously breaks the valuable tree. Daniel returns to the shop with Miyagi’s damaged bonsai, which Miyagi attempts to mend. Unbeknownst to Daniel, Miyagi has sold his truck in order to buy a new stock of trees. Daniel informs Miyagi that he signed up for the tournament by force, but Miyagi refuses to train Daniel in preparation.

Silver then offers to "train" Daniel at the Cobra Kai dojo. Daniel accepts, and Silver instructs Daniel in cheap and corrupt ways of fighting, discouraging Daniel from using his kata. Silver forces Daniel to practice his techniques of targeting his opponent's face, ribs, and knees against a dummy made from hardwood pieces of board and pipe, making his knuckles bleed and bruising his elbows and feet. Miyagi tends to Daniel's wounds and wonders what Daniel is up to, but Daniel says that Miyagi should not concern himself with his problems if he will not help him.

After several sessions, Daniel destroys the dummy, at which point Silver proclaims that he is ready to win the tournament. That night, as Daniel and Jessica are at a dance club, Silver bribes a man into provoking a fight with Daniel. Daniel punches the man, breaking his nose. Shocked by his aggressive behavior, he apologizes and makes amends with Miyagi and Jessica.

Daniel visits Silver at the dojo to inform him that he no longer wishes to train with him and that he will not compete in the tournament. Silver then reveals his true agenda to Daniel, and Mike and a "revived" Kreese, back from Tahiti, enter the room. After Mike pummels and chases Daniel out of the dojo, Miyagi arrives and soundly defeats all three opponents. Afterwards, Miyagi, having realized that he might have been rash to abandon his student along with realizing the intentions of Silver, Kreese, and Mike and knowing what they did to Daniel, he finally decides to train Daniel for the tournament with Miyagi showing aggression. They train by Devil's Cauldron, where they replant the now-healed bonsai. Along the way, Miyagi imparts a lesson that the natural bonsai was able to heal and grow because of strong roots, just as Daniel, even though he was temporarily broken, now has strong roots which will enable him to grow and succeed.

At the tournament, Mike makes his way to the final round to face Daniel. Silver and Kreese order Mike to alternately score points and then intentionally lose them by incurring penalties with cheap shots and get to sudden death. When the final round is over, a broken Daniel tells Miyagi he cannot continue any further. However, Miyagi tells him it's okay to lose to an opponent- but not through fear- and still believes his best karate is still inside and that it is time for him to let it out. After Barnes rains one last tirade of intimidation and badmouthing, Daniel begins the sudden-death round with kata that Miyagi taught him. A confused Mike comes in to attack, and Daniel counters by flipping him to the ground and scoring a point. A disgusted and humiliated Silver walks away as the Cobra Kai supporters throws back the t-shirts that were given to them. An excited Daniel then breaks tradition and hugs Mr. Miyagi.



The film received mostly negative reviews from critics, and maintains a "Rotten" score of 22% on Rotten Tomatoes.[2] It did significantly less business than the first two films, grossing $39 million at the box-office.[3] It was dismissed by critics, including Roger Ebert.[4][5][6][7] Criticism often mentioned the rehashing of elements in the former two movies: a tournament against Cobra Kai, a romance side-story, etc.[8]

At the 1989 Golden Raspberry Awards, this entry received five nominations but did not win any of them. They are for Worst Picture (Jerry Weintraub; lost to Star Trek V: The Final Frontier), Worst Screenplay (Robert Mark Kamen; lost to Harlem Nights by Eddie Murphy), Worst Director (John G. Avildsen; lost to William Shatner for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier), Worst Actor (Ralph Macchio; lost to William Shatner in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier), and Worst Supporting Actor (Pat Morita; lost to Christopher Atkins in Listen to Me).

Kamen was so disgusted with the way Daniel LaRusso (Macchio's character) was altered for the script that he refused to involve himself in The Next Karate Kid, the only film in the original franchise in which Macchio did not appear.[citation needed]

The film has developed a cult following over the years with much attention being paid to Griffith's performance.

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