The Karate Kid, Part III
|The Karate Kid, Part III|
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
|Music by||Bill Conti|
|Edited by||John G. Avildsen
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|June 30, 1989(United States)|
|Budget||$12.5 million (estimated)|
|Box office||$38.9 million|
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.
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (May 2015)|
The story picks up after The Karate Kid, Part II. In the aftermath of his abusive behavior at the All-Valley Tournament, Sensei John Kreese (Martin Kove) loses all of his students. Ostracised and broke, he visits his Vietnam War comrade Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith), the wealthy billionaire owner of a toxic waste disposal business. Silver and Kreese scheme to take revenge on Daniel and Mr. Miyagi (Noriyuki "Pat" Morita), and re-establish Cobra Kai. Silver sends Kreese to Tahiti to rest up 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, going against Miyagi's wishes, uses his college funds to realize Miyagi's dream of opening a bonsai tree store. Miyagi thanks Daniel and makes him a partner in the bonsai business. When Daniel visits a pottery store across the street, he meets Jessica Andrews. Daniel has a brief crush on her, until she reveals that she has a boyfriend back home in Columbus, Ohio. They remain friends.
Silver recruits "Karate's Bad Boy" Mike Barnes (Sean Kanan) to take Daniel's title at the next All-Valley Tournament. Silver sneaks into Miyagi's house to gather information and overhears Daniel telling Miyagi that he will not be defending his title at the tournament this year. Daniel and Jessica are then confronted by Barnes and Silver's henchmen, who attempt to coerce Daniel to enter the tournament. Daniel declines and Barnes departs in a heated rage. The next day, as Daniel and Miyagi are practicing kata at Miyagi's home, Silver arrives and tells them that Kreese had a heart attack after losing all his students and asks both for forgiveness for Kreese's behavior.
Later, Daniel and Jessica find their dinner date interrupted by Barnes and his entourage. When Daniel again refuses to enter the tournament, a skirmish breaks out before Miyagi shows up to fend off the three men. After taking Jessica home, Miyagi and Daniel return to find that their stock of bonsai plants has been stolen, with a tournament application hanging in their place.
Daniel and Jessica decide to dig up a valuable bonsai tree which Miyagi brought from Okinawa and planted halfway down a cliff. Daniel thinks they can sell the tree and use the money to replace the stolen trees. Jessica slips during the climb and drops the bonsai, forcing them to retrieve it. Whilst they are at the bottom of the cliff, Barnes and his men appear and retract their climbing ropes, leaving Daniel 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. Miyagi refuses to train Daniel for the tournament.
Silver then offers to "train" Daniel at the Cobra Kai dojo. Daniel accepts, and Silver consistently discourages Daniel from using his kata, but instead invites him to attack a wooden dummy, which makes his knuckes bleed. Throughout the training sessions, Daniel's increasing frustration alienates himself from his closest friends. Eventually, Daniel destroys the dummy, at which point Silver declares he is ready for the tournament. Later, 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 and causing Jessica to storm out in disgust. Shocked by his aggressive behavior, Daniel 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 as he will not compete in the tournament. Silver then reveals his true agenda to Daniel, and Barnes and Kreese enter the room. After Barnes viciously beats Daniel, Miyagi arrives and defeats all three opponents. Miyagi then agrees to train Daniel for the tournament. They train and replant the now-healed bonsai.
At the tournament, Barnes reaches the final round to face Daniel. Silver and Kreese instruct Barnes to inflict as much pain as possible on Daniel, and then beat him in the sudden death round. When the initial round concludes, a severely beaten Daniel tells Miyagi he cannot continue any further, but Miyagi encourages him to carry on. In the sudden death round, Daniel begins with the kata that Miyagi taught him. When a confused Barnes comes in to attack, Daniel counters with a throw followed by a palm strike to win the tournament. Disgusted and humiliated, Silver walks away from Kreese and Barnes. Their deal is off, since they lost the tournament and Cobra Kai was shut down for good and as for Daniel hugs Mr. Miyagi when they won the tournament instead of bowing.
- Ralph Macchio as Daniel LaRusso
- Pat Morita (Noriyuki 'Pat' Morita) as Keisuke Miyagi
- Robyn Lively as Jessica Andrews
- Thomas Ian Griffith as Terry Silver
- Martin Kove as John Kreese
- Sean Kanan as Mike Barnes
- Jonathan Avildsen as Snake
- Randee Heller as Lucille
- Pat E. Johnson as Referee
- Rick Hurst as Announcer
- Frances Bay as Mrs. Milo
- Joseph V. Perry as Uncle Louie
- Jan Tříska as Milos
- Glenn Medeiros as Himself
- Gabriel Jarret (Gabe Jarret) as Rudy
- William Zabka as Johnny Lawrence Uncredited
The film received mostly negative reviews from critics, and maintains an approval rating of 16% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 32 reviews. It did significantly less business than the first two films, grossing $39 million at the box-office. It was dismissed by critics, including Roger Ebert. Criticism often mentioned the rehashing of elements in the former two movies, including a tournament against Cobra Kai and a romance side-story. Gene Siskel seemed to agree: "Griffith nearly saves the movie; he's a terrific villain, but Daniel is so relentlessly upbeat that he loses the credibility he had in the first two films. Miyagi is fine, but Daniel's new girlfriend is a dunce."
In his YouTube Retrospective/Review of the film, Oliver Harper commented that "Macchio's performance in the film is a big letdown. 'Daniel is not very likeable here: in one scene, he acts all hyper and won't shut up; in the next scene, he's a complete a******. He acts like he's been snorting cocaine: one minute, he's really happy; the next minute, he's on a comedown and acting really grumpy. You only root for Daniel when it comes to the climactic tournament. Morita is solid and likeable, but the main reason to watch this flick is Griffith - who chews up every scene he's in, and is so over the top that he's a joy to watch. He's also the best martial artist in the entire series. Despite playing a total bastard, he effortlessly downplays his character to befriend Daniel. Bill Conti's score for this film is easily best out of the four Karate Kid movies he's done: it's very epic and grand, both in scale and in sound; when you listen to the score by itself, without the movie, it paints a picture in your head of a larger film than the one it accompanies. Said music is a highlight of the movie: the training montage is inspirational; the score really drives the final fight scene, which is so dramatic it will probably bring a tear to your eye. On the other hand, Silver's motives are completely ridiculous. The plot outline - a millionaire goes out of his way to make a teenager's life miserable - feels like something out of a cheap Cannon movie. The fight scenes are very dull; once you've seen a proper martial arts film, the Karate Kid choreography and fighting styles look very amateur. This may be done intentionally to make it seem realistic, but it's not very exciting as a result. Daniel's martial arts technique in KK3 is weak and clumsy; after two of these movies in five years, he should be a much more impressive fighter. His finishing move, the kata technique, is ludicrous. The movie is very lazily directed and feels empty; stronger establishing shots would have helped. With such a small cast, it feels incredibly cheap and rushed - like a TV movie."
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 from his portrayal in the script to his portray in Karate Kid, Part III that he refused to involve himself in The Next Karate Kid, the only film in the original franchise in which Macchio did not appear.
- The Karate Kid, Part III at Box Office Mojo
- "The Karate Kid, Part III (1986)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- The Karate Kid, Part III (1989) - Box office / business
- James, Caryn (1989-06-30). "The Karate Kid Part III (1989)". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-21.
- Weinberg, Scott. The Karate Kid Movie Collection JoBlo.com; Accessed July 7, 2009
- Haflidason, Almar. The Karate Kid Part III review at BBC
- Ebert, Roger. The Karate Kid Part III at Chicago Sun-Times; June 30, 1989
- Thomas, Kevin (1989-06-30). "Movie Review : An Anemic Outing for 'Karate Kid Part III'". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-25.
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