Karate Kid Part III

What a pile of shit this movie is, so of course I’ve watched it more than any other Karate Kid movie. I’ve never even seen Part 2. Only the first one and this one.

The karate tournament in the first movie was apparently the most monumental event in Southern California karate history. The Cobra Kai teacher lost his dojo and all his students, just because one of his students came in 2nd place. Or maybe because everyone watched Mr. Miyagi beat him up in the parking lot after the tournament. The first like 10 minutes of this movie is just a recap of part one, like yea, we remember, it’s not a super nuianced story or anything.

Anyway the Cobra Kai guy is down on his luck, so he goes to see one of his old buddies from ‘Nam who is a super successful evil business man. He lives in a Frank Lloyd Wright house! He’s like a super-villain, when they introduce him his butler needs him to sign some forms or something to illegally dispose of nuclear waste. Probably burying it in the playground of an orphanage or something. So this guy, this successful evil business man, who is waaaay too young to have been in ‘Nam, decides to clear his schedule and spent all of his time helping Cobra Kai guy get revenge on a teenage Daniel-san for having the gall to win a karate tournament. Cobra Kai guy did ‘save his ass in Nam’ numerous times apparently. Was the guy a baby that got caught in the crossfire?

It’s the most ridiculous set up ever and the kind of thing a cartoonish super-villain in a movie would do. Their scheme is so complicated, but it boils down to that when Daniel-san defends his title in the next karate tournament they’re going to, get this, defeat him. But there’s a big wrench in their plan for revenge: Daniel-san doesn’t want to defend his title. He wants to move on with his life, so they chase him around and try to influence him to sign up for the tournament. I’d like to envision that they just rolled cameras while they chased Ralph Macchio around to try to get him to sign on to do this movie. Ralph probably wanted to move on with his life and do something else, much like Daniel-san.

Anyway something happens to inspire him to sign up and he signs up and it looks like he’s going to lose but then he wins. The End.

There’s no crane kick or anything inspiring or cool like in the first movie. He just wins. The evil plan to embarrass him by having him lose his title at a karate tournament fails. That’s seriously their plan, they just want to embarass him in front of the ’thousands’ of people at the karate tournament. How uncreative are these people? You know what happens at karate tournaments? People lose. People are guaranteed to lose. It’s ok to lose. The rich evil guy couldn’t like take a full page ad in the newspaper and just print a bunch of lies about Daniel-san and Mr. Miyagi, or expose them to some of that nuclear waste? That’s what I’d do if I was a rich evil guy in this cinematic universe.

From the Wikipedia page:

Robert Mark Kamen had originally wanted The Karate Kid Part III to be a prequel with the two main leads still involved. The original plot would have involved Daniel and Mr. Miyagi traveling to 16th century China in a dream and meeting Miyagi’s ancestors. Kamen envisioned the sequel to resemble a Hong Kong-style Wuxia film, and would also have a female protagonist. However, the producers balked at the idea and Kamen was reluctant on rehashing “the same story all over again”; he only returned after the studio agreed to pay him substantially more.

So there you have it. No one wanted to do this shit, but you know, money. I’d much prefer the time travelling dream movie.

After Robyn Lively was cast as Jessica Andrews in The Karate Kid Part III in 1988, producers were forced to modify her role of protagonist Daniel LaRusso’s new love interest because Lively was only 16 at the time of filming and still a minor, while Ralph Macchio was 27 (although his character Daniel is 18). This situation caused romantic scenes between Jessica and Daniel to be rewritten so that the pair only developed a close friendship.

I can just imagine the edits to the script now, instead of “he leans in for a kiss” they scratched that out and wrote “he playfully punches her on the shoulder because he doesn’t want to go to jail.”

Overall, 1 out of 5 crane kicks as a “film” but fun to watch for how bad it is.