The Karate Kid, Part III

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
The Karate Kid, Part III Movie Poster Image
Disappointing, often violent sequel is for series fans only.
  • PG
  • 1989
  • 112 minutes

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 5 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Mr. Miyagi continues his education of The Karate Kid: "You must not lose to fear, only to your opponents."  Brute strength and revenge lose out to hard work, inspiration, and firm belief in yourself.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The wisdom and quiet integrity of Mr. Miyagi continues to provide guidance to The Karate Kid.  He lives what he preaches. Daniel learns another valuable lesson from his mentor and once again proves to be worthy and rewarded.

Violence

Lots of karate, some with the authentic moves, poses, etc. In other instances, participants are more vicious and cheat, purposely trying to hurt opponents. A fight scene includes breaking car windows and bloody fists. Bad guys vandalize a shop, and fight with those who try to protect it. The hero and a friend are threatened as they climb down a steep mountain.

Sex
Language

Mild cursing throughout: "ass," "s--t," "screw you," "damn," "Christ," etc. Two racial slurs: "slope," referring to an Asian.

Consumerism

TWA, Amtrak, Century 21.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Villain is seen smoking a cigar and drinking champagne.

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.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 13-year-old Written bycolten97 October 10, 2012

Hilarious. I think my stomach is still sore.

One of the worst movie ever made in my opinion, also the funniest. This isn't terrible like "Face Off" or "Con Air" or even "Airbo... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byJoshSinger143 March 20, 2018

Very disappointing.

The Karate Kid: Part III was very disappointing. It wasn't a good movie at all.
Ralph Macchio, Sean Kanan, and "Pat" Morita did a great job actin... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old June 7, 2015
Thought this would be good although it was the same idea and the same plot and Karate kid 1 and 2.
The different storyline was meant to make this the different... Continue reading

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?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love sports

Themes & Topics

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