The Karate Kid, Part II (1986)

6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 8/10

Ok follow-up, nice location

Just doesn't have the energy or story of the first film

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Karate Kid, Part II

Studio:  Columbia Pictures

Genre(s):  Martial Arts/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  June 20, 1986

MPAA Rating:  PG


I will defeat you Mr. Miyagi! Oh, we’re just training? Nevermind…

Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita) gets word that his father is dying and is forced to return to his home with Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) agreeing to go with him.  Daniel learns that Miyagi left Okinawa in a controversy after declaring his love for Yukie (Nobu McCarthy)…the woman betrothed to his best friend Sato (Danny Kamekona).  Sato has sworn revenge on Miyagi for his actions and Daniel finds himself defending his master against Sato and his nephew Chozen (Yuji Okumoto).

Directed by John G. Avildsen, The Karate Kid, Part II is the follow-up to the hit 1984 film The Karate Kid.  Despite The Karate Kid being a big hit, this movie actually made more at the box office.  The movie received moderately positive reviews and earned an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song for “Glory of Love” by Peter Cetera (losing the award to “Take My Breath Away” from Top Gun).


There has got to be a better way to make ice cubes

I liked The Karate Kid growing up.  I didn’t love it like many, but I did enjoy it.  I didn’t rush out to see the sequel and think I picked it up on VHS when it was released.  The movie is a fair follow-up to a much better movie.

I admire that the story changed things up for The Karate Kid, Part II (or just The Karate Kid II), but it often struggles a bit.  I loved the incorporation of the first movie.  This movie picks up immediately after the tournament and has cast returning (allegedly, original rumors that the beginning footage was shot with The Karate Kid were false).  Once the story shifts to Okinawa, it does lose me a bit.


I like my little drum…

The “honor” aspect of the story is somewhat frustrating and forced.  It is a different culture, but I love how Mr. Miyagi can just move freely through Okinawa and occasionally Sato and Chozen show up and threaten him to fight.  The tsunami and final fight seem very forced…and it kind of looks like Chozen’s outfit is the basis for Mortal Kombat’s Scorpion costume.  This storyline is paired with a very weak romance with Kumiko (Tamlyn Tomita).  When Elisabeth Shue’s character was important in the first film, she had to return to college and couldn’t be in this film…so we get her dumping Daniel for a UCLA football player…a poor sendoff (but don’t worry, Kumiko also is unceremoniously booted after this film).


Nice Scorpion costume, guy!

The movie does benefit from the change in setting but the change doesn’t help the story.  The movie just used O’ahu, Hawaii to sub for Okinawa.  I still think the whole “castle” set for the ending sequence (complete with little drums) is pretty cheesy and looks like a set.  The movie just lacks the energy of the first film, but I do like that Chozen just lays the smackdown on Danny when he tries to do the crane kick from the first film.

The Karate Kid, Part II isn’t an awful movie, but it just doesn’t live up to the first film.  It, however, is a valiant effort and at this point it doesn’t feel like it is just about the money.  The “just about the money” film is the poor sequel The Karate Kid, Part III which followed in 1989.

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Related Links:

The Karate Kid (1984)

The Karate Kid, Part III (1989)

The Next Karate Kid (1994)

The Karate Kid (2010)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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