The Karate Kid Part 3 / The Next Karate Kid Blu Ray Review (Mill Creek Entertainment)
The Karate Kid Part 3 is a 1989 American martial arts drama film edited and directed by John G. Avildsen (Rocky/V, The Karate Kid 1/2, Joe, and Neighbors). It was a direct sequel to The Karate Kid and The Karate Kid Part II. It was written by Robert Mark Kamen (The Karate Kid franchise, Taps, Lethal Weapon 3, The Fifth Element, The Transporter franchise, and the Taken franchise). It was produced by Jerry Weintraub (The Karate Kid franchise, Westworld, Ocean’s trilogy, The Specialist, and Vegas Vacation). It was originally developed as a prequel but it got changed to a sequel after the production went through some changes. The budget was $12.5 million and it grossed $38.9 million at the box office worldwide.John Kreese (played by: Martin Kove from The Karate Kid franchise, Cobra Kai, The Last House on the Left, and Rambo: First Blood Part II) is now broke and destitute after the loss of his students. He visits his Vietnam War comrade Terry Silver (played by: Thomas Ian Griffith from Vampires, xXx, Excessive Force, and Another World), a wealthy businessman who founded Cobra Kai. Silver vows to personally help him get revenge on Daniel (played by: Ralph Macchio from The Karate Kid franchise, Cobra Kai, The Outsiders, and Crossroads) and Mr. Miyagi (played by: Pat Morita from The Karate Kid franchise, Bloodsport 2/3, Do or Die, and American Ninja 5). He wants to re-establish Cobra Kai. Upon returning to Los Angeles from Okinawa, Daniel and Miyagi discover that the South Seas apartment complex is being renovated leaving Miyagi unemployed plus Daniel homeless. Miyagi invites Daniel to stay at his house and Daniel uses his college funds to help finance Miyagi’s dream of opening a bonsai shop. When at a pottery store across the street, Daniel meets Jessica Andrews (played by: Robyn Lively from The Best of Times, Teen Witch, Wildcats, and Simon Says).
Silver hires Mike Barnes (played by: Sean Kanan from Hide and Go Shriek, Hack!, The Outsiders, and The Bold and the Beautiful) that’s known as “Karate’s Badboy” to challenge Daniel at the upcoming All-Valley Karate Tournament. Barnes with his henchmen Snake (played by: Jonathan Avildsen from Inferno, Rock V. and White Boy) and Dennis (played by: William Christopher Ford from Pocket Ninjas and Crime Killer) harass Daniel in an attempt to force him to enter the tournament but Daniel still refuses. Silver interrupts Daniel’s training and tells them John Kreese died from a fatal heart attack after losing his students. He begs forgiveness for Kreese’s behavior. After their business being attacked and almost ruined, Daniel no choice but to sign up for the tournament. Miyagi refuses to train him for the tournament. Silver offers to “train” Daniel for the tournament at the Cobra Kai dojo with a series of brutal, violent, and offensive techniques different from what he was trained before. Throughout his training, Daniel’s frustration alienates him from Miyagi and they are no longer close. Silver bribes a random man into provoking a fight with Daniel who ends up losing his temper and breaking the stranger’s nose. He doesn’t recognize himself anymore. When he tries to leave Silver’s class he finds out that it was all a set up. He is determined to fight Barnes at the tournament now. Will Miyagi return? and What else does the evil Terry Silver have up his sleeve for Danielson?
The Next Karate Kid (aKa The Karate Kid Part IV) is a 1994 martial arts drama film directed by Christopher Cain (Young Guns, The Magnificent Seven TV Series, Gone Fishin’, and Wheels of Terror). It follows The Karate Kid, The Karate Kid Part II, and The Karate Kid and The Karate Kid Part 3 with the Miyagi character only returning. It was written by Mark Lee (Hostage Negotiator and Fortunes of War). It was produced by Jerry Weintraub (The Karate Kid franchise, Westworld, Ocean’s trilogy, The Specialist, and Vegas Vacation). The budget was $12 million and it grossed $15.8 million at the box office worldwide.
Mr. Miyagi (played by: Pat Morita from The Karate Kid franchise, Bloodsport 2/3, Do or Die, and American Ninja 5) travels to Boston, Massachusetts to attend a commendation for Japanese-American soldiers who fought in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team during World War II. He meets Louisa Pierce (played by: Constance Towers from The Relic and A Perfect Murder), the widow of his commanding officer and a lieutenant named Jack. Miyagi is introduced to Pierce’s granddaughter Julie (played by: Hilary Swank from Millon Dollar Baby, Boys Don’t Cry, The Hunt, and The Gift), a high school teen struggling with anger issues due to her parents’ death in a car accident. Miyagi offers to care of Julie for awhile. At school, Julie meets andbefriends Eric McGowen (played by: Chris Conrad from Clear and Present Danger, Young Hercules, and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation).
He’s a pledge for a shady school security fraternity known as the Alpha Elite. They taught by the ruthless colonel Paul Dugan (played by: Michael Ironside from Scanners, Top Gun, Starship Troopers, and Total Recall). His toughest student is the short-fused Ned Randall (played by: Michael Cavalieri from Showdown, Last Man Standing, and The Sopranos), he sexual harasses Julie after being rejected. She tells Miyagi that she was taught karate by her father who learned from her grandfather that was a former student of Miyagi. Julie keeps having problems with the Alpha Elite which includes Charlie (played by: Walton Goggins from The Shield, The Hateful Eight, Justified, and Major League: Back to the Minors) so she goes to Miyagi to re-learn her Karate training and manage her anger problems through it. She gets close to Eric but he’s a member of the same group that has been making her life hell. Can she teach them a lesson without going too far?
I personally think The Karate Kid Part 3 is misunderstood and highly under-rated when it comes to the sequels. It tries something completely different unlike most of the other sequels from the series. It kind of turns Daniel and Mr. Miyagi against each other which I always found very interesting about this sequel because their bond so strong in the other movies. Their relationship was what carried everything and it was the foundation of everything. I personally Daniel was kind of a bully in the other films at certain points. He was never perfect like most people think and he become what was building up inside him in this. He was very angry and dangerous, Terry Silver brought that out of him. It’s kinda weird to think that he actually joined Cobra Kai for a little bit in this one. The Karate Kid Part 3 was the darkest entry of The Karate Kid universe until the television show Cobra Kai was born. That’s what I really like about this one. It shows a much different side to Daniel. Miyagi kind of gives up on everything and tries to live a normal life. Kreese has a smaller role in this one but he is always a great villain but Thomas Ian Griffith steals the show as the evil Terry Silver. I think he is the worst one out of all the baddies from The Karate Kid.
He uses his power and money to ruin lives without any hesitation. He barely goes undercover to corrupt and change Daniel to what he’s been defending himself from his whole life. He tortures and pushes him to extreme training just to see him in pain. It does make him a better fighter but he goes through hell for it. I always liked Robyn Lively and she had great chemistry with Ralph Macchio in this. Sean Kanan was solid as Mike Barnes and he could fight but he was no Johnny Lawerence plus his henchmen were pretty bad in this. This one doesn’t get the credit it deserves, I think it’s much better than 4 and the remake. 2 is still the best sequel but honestly 3 is not far behind IMO. The Next Karate Kid is my least favorite from the original series. Pat Morita is amazing as Mr. Miyagi in this, he tries his best to strike lightning twice with damn near remake/reboot for girls. It has similar moments compared to the original, it really tried to take The Karate Kid world with one recurring character expanding to other people and locations but it just didn’t work without Daniel. Don’t get me wrong, Oscar winner Hilary Swank was really good as Julie and she tried to do something different as the lead. You really didn’t care or connect with any of the other characters in this new set up. Michael Ironside is a top notch villain and he’s definitely one of the highlights here but it wasn’t enough. The Next Karate Kid felt more like a rip off than an actual sequel to be honest. It was cool to see actor Walton Goggins in a earlier role as one as one of the bad kids. Speaking of the bad kids, besides who I just mentioned they were horrible in this. You didn’t really hate them enough to care, they were very generic. Part IV was just okay, it wasn’t horrible but it’s definitely weakest one from the originals. Luckily, Part 3 is here so it helps with the replay value, RECOMMENDED!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentations from Mill Creek Entertainment! These 1080p (1.85:1) transfers are both upgrades compared to their older VHS and DVD releases from back in the day. They are the same exact transfers as the previously released Blu Rays from the Sony Choice collection except for the fact that this release is actually pro pressed and not burned made on demand like the other ones. The Karate Kid: Part 3 has the exact same English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track as the previous home video release. It’s much better than the past releases. The dialogue is very clean, the action has a nice boost to it, and the music is elevated. The Next Karate Kid was actually downgraded to a English: Dolby Digital 2.0 track. It’s not bad and it does the job but don’t expect reference quality with that sequel. The audio, the action, and the music are solid here. I remember both The Karate Kid: Part 3 and The Next Karate Kid both got their own blu ray releases from the Sony Choice collection but they were always expensive. This double feature from Mill Creek is at a much better price, both films share a disc but they are fine together especially for the price. These two might be the black sheep of The Karate Kid franchise but they are still worth owning and should be there to complete your collection. There’s no extras on this disc, just the movies. Cobra Kai and Netflix has resurrected The Karate Kid to a brand new level now. Season 3 just finished and it hinted at Part 3 more than a few times. Characters from the original and two have shown up so far on the brand new series but it looks it’s three’s turn with the hopeful return of the evil Terry Silver to help out his friend Kreese again for some brutal revenge. That alone should get your interest to buy this set and be caught up before Season 4 comes out. It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!