The Karate Kid Part III
|The Karate Kid Part III|
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
|Music by||Bill Conti|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Box office||$38.9 million|
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 Pat E. 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 Griffiths performance and some action scenes were praised.
In September 1985, John Kreese, who is now broke and destitute after the loss of his students, visits his Vietnam War comrade, Terry Silver, a wealthy businessman who founded 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 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 demolished, 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. 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 broke up before she came to L.A., but they still remain friends. Jessica decided to get back together with her boyfriend and go back to Ohio in a few weeks.
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 Snake and Rudy 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 Rudy 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. Daniel was going to report the theft to the police, but there is nothing they could do.
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 after Snake forces Daniel to hand it over by threatening to drop Jessica. 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 appears 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 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 Mr. Miyagi urges him to continue. In the sudden death round, Daniel performs the kata. When Barnes lunges toward him, Daniel flips him to the ground and strikes him to win the tournament. Silver leaves in disgust while the crowd throws their Cobra Kai merchandise back at Kreese, as Daniel and Miyagi celebrate their victory with a hug.
- Ralph Macchio as Daniel LaRusso
- Noriyuki "Pat" Morita as Mr. 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
- Christopher Paul Ford as Dennis
- Randee Heller as Lucille LaRusso
- 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 as Rudy
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. 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.
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". On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 36 out of 100, based on 12 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B–" on an A+ to F scale.
Roger Ebert, who praised the first two films, did not enjoy the third movie. 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. 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."
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."
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." 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"
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).
- "The Karate Kid Part III". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved July 9, 2017.
- "The Karate Kid Movies at the Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2016-05-08.
- 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.
- "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.
- "The Karate Kid Part III (1989)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 2, 2020.
- "The Karate Kid Part III Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved September 2, 2020.
- "Find CinemaScore" (Type "Karate Kid" in the search box). CinemaScore. Retrieved September 2, 2020.
- Ebert, Roger (1989-06-30). "The Karate Kid Part III Movie Review (1989) | Roger Ebert". Rogerebert.com. Retrieved 2020-09-05.
- "Siskelandebert.org Is For Sale". siskelandebert.org.
- Thomas, Kevin (1989-06-30). "Movie Review: An Anemic Outing for 'Karate Kid Part III'". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-25.
- James, Caryn (1989-06-30). "Review/Film; 'Karate Kid' Enters Round 3". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-21.
- "The Karate Kid Collection | DVD Reviews". JoBlo. Archived from the original on January 17, 2008. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
- Almar Haflidason. "Films - review - The Karate Kid Part III DVD". BBC. Retrieved 2016-05-08.
- "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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