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The Karate Kid Part 2
1986 - PG - Mins.
Director: John G. Avildsen
Starring: Ralph Macchio, Noriyuki Morita, Martin Kove, Tamlyn Tomita, Clarence Gilyard Jr.
Review by: John Ulmer
When John G. Avildsen's "The Karate Kid" was a smash hit, the fact that a sequel would be made was inevitable. Perhaps even a trilogy would form. A totally unnecessary trilogy, but a trilogy nevertheless. Well, there were three sequels made - "The Karate Kid, Part II," "The Karate Kid, Part III," and "The Next Karate Kid," each installment worse than the last entry.

The point of the first movie was stressed clearly without becoming too overbearing. Violence is wrong. Right, right, right - we've heard it before. Of course, self-defense is fine when used correctly, but nonsensical violence is criminally and morally wrong.

That's sort of forgotten in "The Karate Kid, Part II," which stumbles along and runs into major problems. One, the script - it's weak. Two, the acting - it's stiff. Three, the actual story and scenes within the film - all idiotic. Take, for example, the end of the film, when a Chinese girl is performing some ancient dance and a disowned martial arts expert swings from the top of the stadium down a cable, landing next to the girl and holding a knife to her throat. "Behind you!" Daniel (Ralph Macchio) yells helplessly as he jumps into the sand pit before him and proceeds to battle the martial artist. (Is that a word? And what's the difference between martial arts and karate? Never mind, don't answer that.)

No one offers any sort of help as Daniel is beaten to a bloody pulp. None whatsoever. They just sit around and watch with fixated smiles on their faces, forgetting that their characters call for them to be scared and not to be happy that they are getting not even fifteen minutes of fame out of the deal.

A small complaint? Perhaps, but pretty much all of the film contains these children's fantasy ideas that a boy such as Daniel may dream of during his sleep. In fact, perhaps this sequel is all one big hallucination - perhaps Daniel, after a tough karate match, was knocked out. He's laying in a hospital, dazed and confused, unconscious and lost in a deadly coma. It's the easiest way to create a half-baked sequel, so pay attention, scriptwriters.

Daniel has gone back to Mr. Miyagi's ("Pat" Morita) country of origin, China, and now he's getting into fights with an old adversary of Mr. Miyagi. There's not much more to tell you than that - unless, of course, you would like to know that the mandatory girlfriend appears for Daniel (a Chinese chick, of course), and that the adversary's niece is Daniel's foe.

Great stuff.


I really liked the first "Karate Kid" movie, but this is pushing it. The third film was absolutely appalling, the fourth a total mess. The second is below average and quite mediocre. I'd call it an uncredited rip-off of "Rocky" if not for the fact that the director of the film, John G. Avildsen, happens to be the director of "Rocky," among other films. His expertises are these underdog flicks. Unfortunately, despite having a strong predecessor and possible character developments in store, "The Karate Kid, Part II," offers nothing new to the series. And, needless to say, either will the following two sequels.

Ralph Macchio is fine, Pat Morita is still the same, but the film is too goofy and unreal to appreciate. It's a weak example of filmmaking. It's not even that fun to watch - whereas the first film sort of had the viewer attached to the screen, this one makes you want to walk away and not pay attention to it at all.

Perhaps the only positive thing to say about this movie is that it is the best of the sequels. But that's really not saying very much at all, is it?
Movie Guru Rating
Disappointing.  Had the right ingredients and should have been better. Disappointing.  Had the right ingredients and should have been better.
  2 out of 5 stars

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