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
Distributed byColumbia Pictures[1]
Release date
  • June 30, 1989 (1989-06-30) (U.S.)
Running time
111 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$12.5 million[2]
Box office$38.9 million[3]

The Karate Kid Part III is a 1989 American martial arts drama film and a sequel to The Karate Kid Part II (1986). 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 Patty Johnson and 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.

The film received negative reviews, criticizing its rehashing of the elements found in the first two movies, narrative and a romance side-story, although Griffith's performance and some action scenes were praised.


In September 1985, John Kreese, broke and destitute after the loss of his students, visits his Vietnam War comrade, Terry Silver, a wealthy businessman who founded Cobra Kai and is the owner of a toxic-waste disposal business. Silver vows to personally help him get revenge on Daniel and Mr. Miyagi and re-establish 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 renovated, leaving Miyagi unemployed and Daniel homeless. They also learn that Daniel's mother, Lucille, is currently in New Jersey taking care of Daniel’s ill Uncle Louie. 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. Miyagi makes him a partner at the business. Visiting a pottery store across the street, Daniel meets Jessica Andrews; although he has a brief crush on her, she tells him that she's not available and they agree to just be 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 decided not to defend his title at the tournament. Barnes and his henchmen Snake and Dennis harass Daniel in an attempt to force him to enter the tournament, but Daniel still refuses, and Barnes departs in a rage.

The next morning, as Daniel and Miyagi are practicing kata, Silver interrupts their training and lies about John Kreese suffering a fatal heart attack after losing his students, and begs forgiveness for Kreese's behavior. Barnes, Snake and Dennis 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. Although Daniel reports the theft to the police, they do not take him seriously.

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 to intercept him, revealing himself to have been alive all along. After Barnes viciously attacks Daniel, Miyagi intervenes and easily defeats Kreese, Silver, and Barnes. Miyagi finally agrees to train Daniel after learning of their plot. 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 sudden death. Barnes gains the upper hand during the fight while taunting Daniel relentlessly. When the initial round concludes, Daniel wants to quit, but Mr. Miyagi urges him to continue, saying that his best karate is still inside of him.

In the sudden death round, Daniel performs the Kata, effectively confusing Barnes. Urged on by Kreese and Silver, Barnes lunges toward Daniel to claim the final point, but Daniel flips him to the ground and strikes him to win the tournament.

Silver leaves in disgust while the crowd throws back their Cobra Kai T-shirts, as Daniel and Miyagi embrace and celebrate victory.



John G Avildsen had originally wanted The Karate Kid Part III to be a prequel with the two main leads still involved.[4] However, they ultimately decided to go with an original plot they had earlier which was John Kreese's revenge.

After Robyn Lively was cast as Jessica Andrews in The Karate Kid Part III in 1988, 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.[5]

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.[6]

The film featured the same crew from the first two films, except for two key people: executive producer R.J. Louis, who was replaced by Sheldon Schrager, and cinematographer James Crabe, who was forced to pull out due to the AIDS virus making him severely ill at the time, was replaced by Steve Yaconelli. On May 2, 1989, Crabe died from AIDS at the age of 57; the film was dedicated to his memory.


The film was released in the United States on June 30, 1989. In the Philippines, the film was released on September 6, 1989.[7]

Critical reception[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 15% based on 33 reviews, with an average rating of 3.93/10. The website's critics 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".[8] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 36 out of 100, based on 12 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[9] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B–" on an A+ to F scale.[10]

Roger Ebert, who praised the first two films, did not enjoy the third movie.[11] His colleague, Gene Siskel, also did not recommend the film, though he commended the performance of Thomas Ian Griffith, which he thought was nearly enough to save it.[12] Criticism often mentioned the rehashing of elements in the former two movies, including a tournament against Cobra Kai and a romance side-story; critic Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times stated that "writer Robert Mark Kamen gave director Avildsen and his cast too little to work with for “The Karate Kid Part III” (rated a lenient PG) to have gone into production in the first place."[13]

Caryn James of The New York Times was critical of the lack of character development for the film's protagonist, saying that he "has aged about a year in movie time and hasn't become a day smarter", and also nullified the film for having "the rote sense of film makers trying to crank out another moneymaker."[14]

A 2008 DVD review of the film from Scott Weinberg of the website JoBlo said it was the installment of the series "where the wheels started to come off", remarking that it "approaches the Karate Kid formula as if it's the world's last home-cooked meatloaf", deriding the "cartoonishness" of the villains, and saying that "it all feels cynical and hollow...which is NOT the vibe we still get from Part 1."[15] Reviewing a 2001 UK DVD of the film, Almar Haflidason of the BBC praised the disc's picture and sound quality, but dismissed the film as a "desperate continuation of 'The Karate Kid' franchise [which] shudders to a pathetic halt" and decried its loss of "any warmth of the previous two films"[16]

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".[17]


  1. ^ a b c "The Karate Kid Part III". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved July 9, 2017.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "The Karate Kid Movies at the Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 8, 2016.
  4. ^ "What was the original plot of karate kid part iii".
  5. ^ Below the Belt Show (October 25, 2017). "Below the Belt Show: Interview: Actress Robyn Lively from Teen Witch and Karate Kid III (10/25/17)". Player FM. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  6. ^ "Karate Kid & Cobra Kai Stars William Zabka & Martin Kove at Niagara Falls Comic Con 2019". YouTube. Convention Junkies. Event occurs at 17:16. Retrieved November 20, 2019.
  7. ^ "Grand Opening Today". Manila Standard. Kagitingan Publications, Inc. September 6, 1989. p. 26. Retrieved January 6, 2021.
  8. ^ "The Karate Kid Part III (1989)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 2, 2020.
  9. ^ "The Karate Kid Part III Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved September 2, 2020.
  10. ^ "Find CinemaScore" (Type "Karate Kid" in the search box). CinemaScore. Retrieved September 2, 2020.
  11. ^ Ebert, Roger (June 30, 1989). "The Karate Kid Part III Movie Review (1989)". Ebert Digital LLC. Retrieved September 5, 2020.
  12. ^ " Is For Sale".
  13. ^ Thomas, Kevin (June 30, 1989). "Movie Review: An Anemic Outing for 'Karate Kid Part III'". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 25, 2010.
  14. ^ James, Caryn (1989-06-30). "Review/Film; 'Karate Kid' Enters Round 3". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-21.
  15. ^ "The Karate Kid Collection | DVD Reviews". JoBlo. Archived from the original on January 17, 2008. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
  16. ^ Almar Haflidason. "Films - review - The Karate Kid Part III DVD". BBC. Retrieved May 8, 2016.
  17. ^ "Karate Kid Q&A W/Director John G Avildsen & Cast Part 2". YouTube. H Dellamorte. Event occurs at 21:32. Retrieved 4 March 2017.

External links[edit]