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The Karate Kid, Part III (1989)

PG  |   |  Action, Drama, Family  |  15 April 1989 (USA)
4.9
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Ratings: 4.9/10 from 30,002 users  
Reviews: 109 user | 37 critic

Ostracised villain John Kreese attempts to gain revenge on Daniel and Miyagi, with the help of a Vietman War comrade, the wealthy owner of a toxic waste disposal business.

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Title: The Karate Kid, Part III (1989)

The Karate Kid, Part III (1989) on IMDb 4.9/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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Mr. Miyagi (as Noriyuki 'Pat' Morita)
...
...
...
...
Jonathan Avildsen ...
...
...
Dennis (as Christopher Paul Ford)
Pat E. Johnson ...
...
Announcer
...
Mrs. Milo
Joseph V. Perry ...
Uncle Louie
Jan Tríska ...
Milos
Diana Webster ...
Margaret
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Storyline

John Kreese, his life in tatters after his karate school was defeated by Daniel and Miyagi, visits Terry Silver, a Vietnam War comrade. Terry is a ruthless businessman and martial arts expert, and he vows to help Kreese gain revenge on Daniel and Miyagi, and reestablish Cobra Kai. Upon returning from Okinawa, Daniel and Miyagi discover that their apartment building has been demolished, which brings Miyagi out of work. Going against Miyagi's wishes, Daniel uses his college funds to realize Miyagi's dream of opening a bonsai tree shop, and becomes a partner in the bonsai business. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

First it was teacher to student. Then it was father to son. Now, it's man to man.

Genres:

Action | Drama | Family | Sport

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 April 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Karate Kid 3  »

Box Office

Gross:

$38,956,288 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After answering an open casting call for The Karate Kid Part III, Sean Kanan was called back for a screen test with Ralph Macchio. "I wanted them to remember me," said Kanan. "So I backed Macchio into a corner and wouldn't let up." See more »

Goofs

If the movie is supposed to be based 1 year after the original The Karate Kid, that would make it 1985. The body style Mustang GT driven by Barnes and his friends wasn't produced until 1987. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Kesuke Miyagi: If karate used defend honor, defend life, karate mean something. If karate used defend plastic metal trophy, karate no mean nothing.
See more »

Connections

Follows The Karate Kid (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

In a Trance
Written by Sverre Wiik and Harald Wiik
Performed by Money Talks
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Unintentionally hilarious – does it deserve a 1, or a 10?
27 July 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I don't know how many stars to give this movie, because a 1 tells you not to see it, and a 10 tells you that it is an excellent movie. Truth be told, this is one of the worst movies ever made, and that is why you absolutely must see it. It is more unintentionally funny than most actual comedies, and it provides as much entertainment value by accident as lots of movies do on purpose. It is like a train wreck, but with this wreck, the passengers are all slipping on banana peels as they exit the train.

Here is what I think happened – the producers decided that they wanted to cash in on the franchise one more time, so they decided to bring back Mr. Miyagi and Daniel for one last hurrah. The script writers cooked up another story about Daniel fighting the Cobra Kais, getting beaten up, competing in the karate tournament once again, and then winning in the end. Then Ralph Macchio showed up for day 1 pudgy and out of shape, and panic erupted. Quickly, the script was rewritten with all of Daniel's fight scenes taken out, and the tournament rules changed so that all Daniel had to do to defend his title was show up for the last fight. I find it next to impossible that anyone associated with this movie honestly expected the audience to buy this, but they were far enough into the project that they had no choice but to finish it.

So what do we get? We get an hour and a half of poor Danny getting abused over and over again. He's chubby. He's pushing 30, but he is still 17 in the movie and he sounds like he is about 13. He gets punched. He gets taunted. He gets kicked in the balls. His, uh, "girlfriend" gets harassed and almost assaulted as some bullies trash Mr. Miyagi's shop, but Mr. Miyagi does absolutely nothing but push the bullies out the door. At no point, does it cross anyone's mind to call the cops. At some point, we start sympathizing more with the bullies than Daniel. He is such a wimp with no defensive instincts, and at this point, Mr. Miyagi seems like an insensitive dope because he makes Daniel get beaten to a pulp multiple times before he will finally agree to train him.

You can tell that just about everybody acting in this movie knows that it's a stinker, so why bother trying? Ralph Macchio totally phones in his performance, and so does Pat Morita (Miyagi). The minor actors in the movie, like Thomas Ian Griffith (the evil pony tail guy) and Martin Kove (the big evil trainer from the first movie) seem to get the joke here. They play over the top, exaggerated cartoon villains, whose only function is to be pointlessly mean. They are grown men, but their lives revolve around torturing a 17 year old boy as revenge for winning a karate tournament. At the end, Daniel finally faces down the big bully. Only this time, he doesn't try to throw any punches or block anything. He just stands there like a doughboy punching bag, yelping out in pain with his girly voice. I have always thought that the greatest achievement of the first two movies was that they made Daniel's triumphs believable and convincing. Since Mr. Miyagi focused on defense and maintaining a positive attitude, Daniel could survive a fight against a privileged bully and a brutal Okinawan street fighter who did not have this kind of positive influence. But in this one, it's just a massive beating. It is just so hard to take seriously that you get a sadistic pleasure out of it, kind of like watching somebody get hammered with a 2X4 in a Bugs Bunny cartoon.

Maybe the worst thing about this movie is that deep down, somewhere buried underneath the terrible acting and the awful script, there were some good ideas here. A Vietnam vet befriending Daniel and teaching him the darker side of martial arts – sounds like a story with a lot of potential. Maybe the world isn't inherently a good place. Maybe life has predators and prey, and maybe a Vietnam vet is an appropriate guy to teach that to Daniel, who up to this point is still pretty naïve. Maybe a movie that questioned the idealism of the first two and dug into some gray areas could have been really good. But, nope! We just got a tired rehash of the lessons from the first two movies, but they don't even seem to make sense here. Our Vietnam vet is actually just a villain – so cartoony that he even goes around a corner for a sneaky evil laugh while he listens to Daniel punch a piece of wood. Ouch! This one shows up on cable somewhere every once in a while, and if you can catch it, I highly recommend it. Invite some friends over, have a few beers, and have a few laughs at the expense of this tire fire.


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