Parents' Guide to

The Next Karate Kid

By Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Violent '90s sequel doesn't measure up to original.

Movie PG 1994 107 minutes
The Next Karate Kid Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 9+

Best of the Mr. Miyagi movies!

I loved the original Karate Kid movies when I was a teenager but even though I didn't see this one with Hilary Swank until I was an adult, it is hands-down my favorite. Obviously there's some fighting and violence in this karate movie, but none of it lasts very long. There are maybe 10 swear words in the whole film (6-7 "hell" and maybe 3 "damn") - not my favorite, but better than most movies out today! Mr. Miyagi is still as amazing as ever and his calm, wise manner is a perfect foil to Hilary's depiction of Julie, an angry teenage girl who has lost her parents. The movie is filled with sweet moments like an injured hawk learning to fly, Julie learning about life in a Buddhist monastery, and Mr. Miyagi teaching her how to waltz. But there are also great pieces of life wisdom from Miyagi such as "Grief trapped in the heart becomes big anger," "True strength comes from within," and my favorite line in the whole movie: "Never trust a spiritual leader who cannot dance!" The bullies in this movie look way older than high schoolers and this movie is never going to win any acting awards, but it always makes me tear up when I watch it and leaves me with a big smile on my face.
age 13+
The entertaining movie got slow in the middle great messages but violent at times.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5):
Kids say (4):

It's eager to please, but this sequel offers an unsuccessful mix of warm relationships, stark brutality, and hit 1990s rock songs. A couple of charming moments, like the dance-teaching scene, are undermined by a predictable, violence-ridden story. "I don't think you know anything about girls!" bleats a reckless female teenager, being straightened out by the martial-arts wisdom of a kindly old Japanese karate master. Folks behind this movie don't seem to know much about girls. Or boys. Or grown-ups. But they sure know how to stage a fight.

The gender change does this Karate Kid sequel little good. In fact, it adds a disturbing sexual threat when the slavering jocks chase Julie through the deserted high school at night. Newcomer Hilary Swank and most of her fellow high schoolers all look to be in their mid-20s. The gentle, cross-cultural, cross-generational friendship between Miyagi and his new student is undercut by inevitable brawls. Whether with creeps in the classroom or drunks at a gas station, fisticuffs are never far off.

Movie Details

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