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
Music by Bill Conti
Cinematography Steve Yaconelli
Edited 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 $38.9 million[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 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 (Ralph Macchio) 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 (Robyn Lively). 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, since they won the tournament, Mr. Miyagi bows at an over-excited Daniel, but Daniel says, "Forget bowing!", and happily hugs Mr. Miyagi in celebration.



The film maintains an approval rating of 16% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 32 reviews.[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, including a tournament against Cobra Kai and a romance side-story.[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 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.[citation needed]


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