A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that revenge and bad intentions move the plot here. Some of the karate is vicious, and the trouble-making participants do not adhere to the principles of the martial arts. There are a few bloody fights. One sequence that might be frightening to young viewers finds tough guys threatening and endangering two heroes on a steep cliff. Mild coarse language is heard occasionally. Mr. Miyagi, wise mentor to The Karate Kid, is referred to as a "slope," an Asian slur. One character smokes cigars and drinks champagne.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Shortly after a major defeat to Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio), his vanquished opponent John Krees (Martin Kove) plots revenge on him and his beloved coach, Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita). Krees enlists the support of an unscrupulous businessman and the two set out to force Daniel to defend his title against a devious, unethical challenger, and to destroy Mr. Miyagi's lifelong dream, a fledgling bonsai shop. Daniel gets caught up in the corrupting atmosphere of revenge, and it's up to Mr. Miyagi to show him the way back to integrity and self-respect.
Is it any good?
A flimsy, predictable plot, ridiculous mustache-twirling villains, and some really bad acting make for a disappointing third outing in this successful 1980s franchise. With the exception of some nice visuals of Miyagi and Daniel in training and bonsai in a natural mountain setting, there's not much to recommend. Though the original's writer and director are on board again, it seems a feeble effort to capitalize on the built-in fan base. Even the karate bouts are shot with little flair or originality. It's harmless, mindless, and mostly charmless.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Mr. Miyagi teaches Daniel much more than karate moves. What life lessons does Daniel learn? What other films have you seen that do a good job of portraying such a strong mentor-student relationship?
The filmmakers made the villains in this movie very cartoonish: sneering most of the time, laughing at the heroes, and fighting very unfairly. Were they believable villains? Memorable?
Daniel's spirit is compared to a bonsai tree. How does Daniel "choose how he grows" like the magical tree on the mountain side?
If you've seen The Karate Kid and/or The Karate Kid, Part II, did this sequel meet your expectations? Why or why not? What sequels have you seen that you liked as much as or even more than the original?
- In theaters: June 30, 1989
- On DVD or streaming: February 1, 2005
- Cast: Pat Morita, Ralph Macchio
- Director: John G. Avildsen
- Studio: Columbia Pictures
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs
- Run time: 112 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- Last updated: September 21, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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