The Karate Kid: Part III
August 31, 2010
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Director: John G. Avildsen
Writer: Robert Mark Kamen
Producers: Jerry Weintraub/Sheldon Schrager/Doug Seelig/Karen Trudy Rosenfelt
Starring: Ralph Macchio/Noriyuki ‘Pat’ Morita/Thomas Ian Griffith/Martin Kove
BBFC Certification: PG
Duration: 112 minutes
Ralph Maccio and Noriyuki “Pat” Morita return for the last time together in The Karate Kid: Part III and, even though it’s not the weakest in the series, it’s still nothing like The Karate Kid. In this installment, John Creese (a character from The Karate Kid) vows revenge on Daniel and Miyagi for ruining the reputation of Cobra Kai with the help of his old friend, Terry Silver. The Karate Kid: Part III isn’t the worst of the series but it is the worst of the trilogy. The thing that’s missing the most in this movie is the charm and the originality that the first movie had and the in-depth character development that The Karate Kid: Part II had. The story could have been improved a little with more focus on what The Karate Kid was originally about, the two main characters Daniel and Miyagi and training and guidance. However, the story this time around felt very different and felt more like it was focused on Daniel and Jessica, yet another five-minute girlfriend, and Daniel and Silver with hardly any training scenes. It’s not really a good thing since The Karate Kid movies have always been about Daniel being ‘the underdog’, getting his backside kicked through the majority of the movie and then him and Miyagi training so it won’t happen.
One of my biggest bugs about The Karate Kid: Part III is Thomas Ian Griffith, who plays villain Terry Silver. I have seen some over-the-top performances in movies in my time but Thomas Ian Griffith is definitely somewhere in my top 5 over-the-top performances and has shown, in some scenes, some really awful and seriously cheesy acting. It’s almost as bad as this and that’s saying something. While the charming friendship is still there between Daniel and Mr. Miyagi, you can’t help but think that it was a little better in the last two movies than it was in Part III. Ralph Maccio and Noriyuki “Pat” Morita are two great actors and it shows in the movie but I feel that the two characters were written much better in the last movies than they are here. Daniel’s attitude totally changed and it was like watching somebody completely different after the first thirty minutes. Also, you don’t learn anything new about the characters except for what you already knew in the first place and I think that took a little bit of charm away. In The Karate Kid, we learned about both Daniel and Miyagi and how they both started a friendship through karate. In The Karate Kid: Part II, we learn more about Miyagi, his family and his past and in the third movie, we don’t learn anything except for Daniel turns into a stroppy teenager. The writing for The Karate Kid: Part III is good but could have been much better as far as story and characters were concerned as you didn’t feel any connection to them this time around and sometimes you sighed when a certain character came on the screen (*cough* Silver *cough*).
The fight choreography was just very average, it wasn’t good or bad but it felt like it could have been better. The Karate Kid is supposed to be about karate and I felt that the scenes hardly looked realistic, especially the ending. However, the movies and the ideas provided by Mr. Miyagi were more about the spiritual philosophy behind karate than the physical part of it. The messages in the movie are there but they’re not as effective as they were in the other movies. While The Karate Kid: Part III isn’t going to stay in your mind (except for Griffith’s performance and not in a good way), it does conclude the trilogy of The Karate Kid averagely. It’s a shame as I think The Karate Kid could have ended the trilogy better but for a stand-alone movie, it’s alright and it’s enough to keep fans of The Karate Kid happy.