The Karate Kid, Part III (1989)

4.0 Overall Score
Story: 2/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 7/10

Ok fighting and some visuals

So-Bad-Its-Good acting and story

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Karate Kid, Part III

Studio:  Columbia Pictures

Genre(s):  Martial Arts/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  June 30, 1989

MPAA Rating:  PG


We will kick the ass of these seagulls!!!

Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita) are back from Okinawa.  Daniel puts off college to help Mr. Miyagi open a banzai shop, but Miyagi and Daniel find themselves the targets of John Krees (Martin Kove) and Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith) who have created a new Cobra Kai.  With Silver’s backing and a new fighter named Mike Barnes (Sean Kanan), Daniel is forced to enter the tournament again.  When Miyagi refuses to train him, Daniel is tricked into turning to Silver for help without knowing Silver’s darker intents.

Directed by John G. Avildsen, The Karate Kid, Part III (or just The Karate Kid III) was the follow-up the popular 1986 film The Karate Kid, Part II.   The film was nominated for Razzies for Worst Picture, Worst Screenplay, Worst Director, Worst Actor (Macchio), and Worst Supporting Actor (Morita)…losting most of the awards to Star Trek V:  The Final Frontier.


So…I don’t see how this could go wrong at all Daniel…

The Karate Kid, Part III is embarrassingly bad. While The Karate Kid and The Karate Kid, Part II had a lot of heart, The Karate Kid, Part III seems completely heartless. The characters which were once likable have just become repetitive clichés and the story is a non-story.

You get a rather dull plot. Much like the first movie the culmination of the plot is the karate competition…here Daniel is forced to fight due to a diabolical plan. Along the way, he loses another girl, almost kills a priceless banzai tree, and opens a new business. It doesn’t make much sense why these characters are so bent on crushing Miyagi and Daniel, but I guess they have to have hobbies.


We might as well do some crazy laughing while we wait…

The acting in the film is possibly some of the worst I’ve seen. It could be due to the poor script, but I’m leaning toward just horrible acting. While Morita and Macchio were recognized by the Razzies for their performances they pale in comparison to the acting of Thomas Ian Griffith as the evil dojo leader who continued to have maniacal laughter.  Griffith is back by Kove as the overacting beaten dojo leader.  Sean Kanan tries to rival Johnny from the first film but fails, but I do like his friend who is like “put him in a body bag” guy from the first film (also like all the “evil” characters, he could give classes in maniacal laughter).


I will crush you!

I have to laugh because all three of the Karate Kid movies are supposed to take place in just over a year, but it is obvious that all the actors have aged far more than a year. To recap, Daniel moved to California, met Miyagi, learned karate, wooed Ali, defeated Johnny, lost Ali, went to Okinawa, defended Miyagi’s honor, wooed Kumiko, defeated Chozen, returned to California, opened a banzai store, wooed Jessica (Robyn Lively), lost Jessica, and defeated Barnes. Ok, it was a busy year, and Daniel has to wonder why his life is so repetitive. Mr. Miyagi also has to question how he can continue to defeat everyone he encounters without even breaking a sweat…I wish someone at least made contact with him in one of the fights.

Though all of The Karate Kid films have faults I think this may be the worst film of the series (even when compared to the disastrous fourth film The Next Karate Kid). The film does stick its toe in the “so-bad-it’s-good”style of film, and you have to watch the movie and question what the people involved were thinking. The Karate Kid, Part III was followed by the attempted relaunch The Next Karate Kid in 1994.

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Related Links:

The Karate Kid (1984)

The Karate Kid, Part II (1986)

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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