The Karate Kid Part III

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The Karate Kid Part III
Karate kid part III.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJohn G. Avildsen
Produced byJerry Weintraub
Written byRobert Mark Kamen
Based onCharacters created
by Robert Mark Kamen
Music byBill Conti
CinematographySteve Yaconelli
Edited by
  • John G. Avildsen
  • John Carter
Distributed byColumbia Pictures[1]
Release date
  • June 30, 1989 (1989-06-30) (U.S.)
Running time
111 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Box office$38.9 million[2]

The Karate Kid Part III is a 1989 American martial arts drama film and the second sequel to The Karate Kid (1984). The film stars Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, Robyn Lively, and Thomas Ian Griffith in his film debut. As was the case with the first two films in the series, it was directed by John G. Avildsen and written by Robert Mark Kamen, with stunts choreographed by Pat E. Johnson and the music composed by Bill Conti. In the film, the returning John Kreese, with the help of his best friend Terry Silver, attempts to gain revenge on Daniel and Mr. Miyagi which involves hiring a ruthless martial artist and harming their relationship.


After a repeat of the first scenes from the previous film, the now-destitute former sensei of Cobra Kai dojo, John Kreese, visits his Vietnam War comrade, Terry Silver, a wealthy businessman who founded the Cobra Kai and now owns a toxic-waste disposal business. Silver vows to personally help him get revenge on Daniel and Mr. Miyagi and re-establish the Cobra Kai, sending Kreese on vacation to Tahiti to rest and recuperate.

Upon returning to Los Angeles from Okinawa, Daniel and Miyagi discover that the South Seas apartment complex is being redeveloped, leaving Miyagi unemployed and Daniel homeless. They also learn that Daniel's mother, Lucille, is in New Jersey taking care of Daniel’s ill uncle. Miyagi invites Daniel to stay at his house, and Daniel uses his college funds to help finance Miyagi's dream of opening a bonsai shop. As thanks, Miyagi makes him a partner at the business. When Daniel visits a pottery store across the street, he meets Jessica Andrews; though Daniel has a brief crush on her, she tells him that she has a boyfriend back home in Columbus, Ohio, but they still remain friends.

Silver hires Mike Barnes, a vicious karate prospect nicknamed "Karate's Badboy", to challenge Daniel at the upcoming All-Valley Karate Tournament. Silver sneaks into Miyagi's house to gather information and overhears Daniel telling Miyagi that he will not defend his title at the tournament. Barnes and his henchmen attempt to coerce Daniel to enter the tournament, but Daniel refuses, and Barnes departs in a rage. The next morning, as Daniel and Miyagi are practicing kata, Silver interrupts and lies about John Kreese suffering a fatal heart attack after losing his students, and begs forgiveness for Kreese's behavior. Barnes and his henchmen return to make Daniel sign up for the tournament; when Daniel again refuses, a fight ensues until Miyagi arrives and fends off the three men. After driving Jessica home, Daniel and Miyagi return to find their stock of bonsai trees missing and a tournament application hanging in place.

To replace the missing trees, Daniel and Jessica decide to dig up and sell a valuable bonsai tree that Miyagi brought from Okinawa, and planted halfway down a cliff. As they retrieve it, Barnes and his henchmen appear and retract their climbing ropes, leaving Daniel no choice but to sign up for the tournament. After pulling them back up, Barnes breaks the tree. Daniel returns to the shop with Miyagi's damaged bonsai, which Miyagi attempts to mend. Miyagi tells Daniel that he sold his truck to buy a new stock of trees, and refuses to train him for the tournament.

Silver offers to "train" Daniel for the tournament at the Cobra Kai dojo with a series of brutal, violent, and offensive techniques. He derides Miyagi's kata forms and pressures Daniel to destroy a wooden practice dummy, causing him several injuries in the process. Throughout his training, Daniel's frustration alienates him from Miyagi. While Daniel and Jessica are at a nightclub, Silver bribes a random man into provoking a fight with Daniel, who responds by punching the man and breaking his nose. Shocked by his aggressive behavior, Daniel apologizes and makes amends with Jessica and Miyagi.

Daniel visits Silver to inform him that he will not compete at the tournament, but Silver reveals his true agenda to Daniel as Barnes enters the dojo. Daniel attempts to leave, but Kreese leaps out of hiding to intercept him, revealing himself to be alive all along. After Barnes viciously attacks Daniel, Miyagi intervenes and easily defeats Kreese, Silver, and Barnes. Miyagi finally agrees to train Daniel. They replant the healed bonsai and begin training.

At the tournament, Barnes reaches the final round to challenge Daniel. Silver and Kreese instruct Barnes to inflict serious damage on Daniel, keep the score a tie, and finally beat him in the sudden death round. Barnes gains the upper hand during the fight while taunting Daniel relentlessly. When the initial round concludes, Daniel wants to quit, but Miyagi urges him to continue on. In the sudden death round, Daniel performs the kata. As a confused Barnes lunges toward him, Daniel flips him to the ground and strikes him to win the tournament. Silver and Kreese leave, pondering that Cobra Kai is finished for good. Daniel and Miyagi embrace each other in celebration.



After Robyn Lively was cast as Jessica Andrews in The Karate Kid Part III in 1989, producers were forced to modify her role of protagonist Daniel LaRusso's new love interest because Lively was only 16 at the time of filming and still a minor, while Ralph Macchio was 27 (although his character Daniel is 18). This situation caused romantic scenes between Jessica and Daniel to be rewritten so that the pair only developed a close friendship.[3] John Kreese was initially intended to have a larger role in the film, but due to Martin Kove’s filming schedule conflicts with Hard Time on Planet Earth, the character of Terry Silver was written into the script. [4]


The film maintains an approval rating of 16% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 32 reviews. The film's consensus reads: "Inspiration is in short supply in this third Karate Kid film, which recycles the basic narrative from its predecessors but adds scenery-chewing performances and a surprising amount of violence".[5] It did significantly less business than the first two films, grossing $39 million at the box office.[citation needed] It was dismissed by critics, including Roger Ebert, who praised the first two films.[6][7][8][9] His colleague, Gene Siskel, also did not recommend the movie, though he commended the performance of Thomas Ian Griffith, which he thought was nearly enough to save it.[10] Criticism often mentioned the rehashing of elements in the former two movies, including a tournament against Cobra Kai and a romance side-story.[11]

At the 1989 Golden Raspberry Awards, this entry received five nominations but did not win any of them.[citation needed] 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).[citation needed]

In 2015, director John G. Avildsen himself called the film "a poor imitation of the first one" and "a horrible movie".[12]


  1. ^ a b c "The Karate Kid Part III". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved July 9, 2017.
  2. ^ "The Karate Kid Movies at the Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2016-05-08.
  3. ^ Below the Belt Show (2017-10-25). "Below the Belt Show: Interview: Actress Robyn Lively from Teen Witch and Karate Kid III (10/25/17)". Player FM. Retrieved 2019-10-21.
  4. ^ "Karate Kid & Cobra Kai Stars William Zabka & Martin Kove at Niagara Falls Comic Con 2019". YouTube. Convention Junkies. Event occurs at 17:16. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  5. ^ "The Karate Kid Part III (1989)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
  6. ^ James, Caryn (1989-06-30). "The Karate Kid Part III (1989)". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-21.
  7. ^ "The Karate Kid Collection | DVD Reviews". JoBlo. Retrieved 2016-05-08.
  8. ^ Almar Haflidason. "Films - review - The Karate Kid Part III DVD". BBC. Retrieved 2016-05-08.
  9. ^ Ebert, Roger (1989-06-30). "The Karate Kid Part III Movie Review (1989) | Roger Ebert". Retrieved 2016-05-08.
  10. ^ " Is For Sale".
  11. ^ Thomas, Kevin (1989-06-30). "Movie Review: An Anemic Outing for 'Karate Kid Part III'". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-25.
  12. ^ "Karate Kid Q&A W/Director John G Avildsen & Cast Part 2". YouTube. H Dellamorte. Event occurs at 21:32. Retrieved 4 March 2017.

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