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
Written by Robert Mark Kamen
Based on characters created by
Robert Mark Kamen
Starring Ralph Macchio
Noriyuki "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 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 aftermath of his abusive behavior at the All-Valley Tournament, Sensei John Kreese loses all of his students. Ostracized and broke, he visits his Vietnam War comrade Terry Silver, a billionaire owner of a toxic waste disposal business. Silver and Kreese scheme to take revenge on Daniel and Mr. Miyagi, 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 complex has been demolished, which puts Miyagi unemployed. Against Miyagi's wishes, Daniel uses his college funds to realize Miyagi's dream of opening a bonsai shop. Miyagi thanks Daniel and makes him a partner at the store. When Daniel visits a pottery store across the street, he meets and befriends Jessica Andrews.

Meanwhile, Silver recruits Mike Barnes to take Daniel's title at the next Under-18 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. In response, Barnes and Silver’s henchmen confront Daniel in attempt to coerce him to enter the tournament. Daniel declines and Barnes departs in a heated rage.

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 have been stolen, with a tournament application hanging in their place.

Daniel and Jessica decide to dig up a valuable bonsai tree that Miyagi brought from Okinawa with the hope of selling the tree and using the money to replace the stolen trees. While retrieving the tree at the bottom of a cliff, Barnes and his men appear, retract their climbing ropes, and force Daniel 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 Miyagi-taught kata in favor of more aggressive tactics. Throughout the training sessions, Daniel's frustration increases and ultimately alienates himself from his closest friends. 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 as 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, 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, winning the tournament. Disgusted and humiliated, Silver walks away from Kreese and Barnes. 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 The 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.[9]


  1. ^ The Karate Kid, Part III at Box Office Mojo
  2. ^ "The Karate Kid, Part III (1986)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 28 July 2014. 
  3. ^ The Karate Kid, Part III (1989) - Box office / business
  4. ^ James, Caryn (1989-06-30). "The Karate Kid Part III (1989)". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-21. 
  5. ^ Weinberg, Scott. The Karate Kid Movie Collection; Accessed July 7, 2009
  6. ^ Haflidason, Almar. The Karate Kid Part III review at BBC
  7. ^ Ebert, Roger. The Karate Kid Part III at Chicago Sun-Times; June 30, 1989
  8. ^ Thomas, Kevin (1989-06-30). "Movie Review : An Anemic Outing for 'Karate Kid Part III'". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-25. 
  9. ^ Topel, Fred (October 8, 2012). "Not a Sequel: Robert Mark Kamen on Taken 2, Bloodsport and Karate Kid - The Karate Kid, Bloodsport and More". CraveOnline. AtomicMedia. Archived from the original on December 5, 2015. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 

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