The Next Karate Kid

The-Next-Karate-Kid-1994 Director: Christopher Cain 
Writer: Mark Lee 
Producers: Jerry Weintraub/Susan Ekins/R.J Louis 
Starring: Noriyuki ‘Pat’ Morita/Hilary Swank/Michael Ironside/Constance Towers 
Year: 1994
Country: US
BBFC Certification: PG
Duration: 107 minutes

The Next Karate Kid is the last in the series of the original and, by far, the worst of the lot. The movie didn’t have anything going for it and it didn’t feel anything like the other Karate Kid movies. It’s a stand-alone movie and doesn’t have anything in common with the other movies except for Mr. Miyagi. The story is about Mr. Miyagi taking care of  troubled seventeen-year-old Julie who starts being harassed by a fraternity called the Alpha Elite, who like to torment her in school every day. Mr. Miyagi decides to teach Julie karate so she can defend herself and channel her anger. The Next Karate Kid doesn’t come close to the other movies and is seen through the quality of the story. The story displays the same message that the last three movies had but it isn’t so effective this time around. The characters in The Next Karate Kid aren’t really good except for Mr. Miyagi, who stays the same through all of The Karate Kid movies. Julie, played by Hilary Swank, isn’t written good, her character isn’t likeable or even interesting. In fact, most of the characters in the movie weren’t interesting, even the villains were boring and one-dimensional. The acting in the movie was very average except for Noriyuki “Pat” Morita, who delivers a good performance as Mr. Miyagi. Hilary Swank  isn’t bad although there are times when she could have been a lot better.

In all of The Next Karate Kid’s faults comes a positive light in form of the monks, who were a comic relief in the movie and there were a couple of enjoyable scenes with them. Unfortunately, that’s where it ends as there isn’t many positive things I can say about The Next Karate Kid, it should never have been made. The writing is a mess and totally unrealistic and the characters are even worse. For example, Julie’s grandmother has just met Mr. Miyagi for the first time as he introduces himself as a friend of her deceased husband’s. Mr. Miyagi spots Julie and her grandmother having an argument and he sees their relationship falling to pieces and so he suggests she stays at his place in California and he’ll look after Julie in her house in Boston and she agrees. She hasn’t known this man for nearly five minutes and she just goes away and leaves her granddaughter in a house alone with a stranger? I mean, come on! Also, I didn’t like how Mr. Miyagi hardly mentioned Daniel, he only mentioned him once in the movie. I know that The Next Karate Kid isn’t about Daniel but I thought that it would have been a little better if he was mentioned a few more times.

It really is such a shame that The Next Karate Kid was made because it didn’t feel like any proper thought went into the movie. It also felt like no effort went into the movie either and instead felt like it was made because The Karate Kid is a cash cow and would have made some money. Everything could have been improved from the acting to the writing. The Karate Kid is well known for its messages and the characters but The Next Karate Kid has nothing that you’ll remember and nothing that you can take away from it. This should never have been made and shouldn’t even be included in The Karate Kid series as it just didn’t feel like a Karate Kid movie. What a horrible way to end the original series, it should have stayed as a trilogy.



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