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on November 21, 2008
Karate Kid III has gotten a lot of play time on cable TV, which is where I first saw it. Not nearly as beloved as the previous two installments for a variety of reasons it's generally panned as being cartoonishly acted and using the same basic formula as it's predecessors. Ralph Macchio returns as the getting older but seldom wiser Daniel while Pat Morita resumes the role of the sagely guiding force of Mr. Miyagi.

First off, despite my 3 star rating, I actually *did* enjoy this movie. There are parts in the movie that really shine and then others that are slogged down by what can only be described as the result of over the top acting and in may ways a really weak script. It's a pretty simple plot that can be described in a single paragraph.

Daniel and Mr. Miyagi return from Okinawa (the events of which are barely mentioned) and Daniel is about to go to college. Mr. Miyagi discovers that his previous job, handyman at the apartment/motel of KK1, has essentially ceased to exist, so Daniel uses his college money to buy Mr. Miyagi a bonsai tree shop. The All-Valley Karate Tournament is due to begin again and while initially determined to participate Daniel eventually opts out so that he can help Mr. Miyagi with his shop. Meanwhile John Kreese, the villainous sensei of the Cobra Kai dojo (of the first film) loses his business and opts to move on with his life before being dissuaded by his Vietnam War buddy, Terry Silver, who happens to be some sort of free enterprise mogul with a focus on dumping hazardous waste. The two plot revenge on Daniel (and by extension Mr. Miyagi) by making him enter the tournament and adminstering an excruciating public arsebeating there.

First off, despite what anyone else has said Thomas Ian Griffith really shines as main villain Terry Silver. Despite his malicious intent the man had charisma in spades and I got a real kick out of watching him wheel and deal, and in the end found myself rather liking the guy. Say what you want, he is a man that is loyal to his friends, kind to his employees, and makes things happen, and that says a lot about him. He is able to do a real good job screwing around with Daniel's mind (which isn't that hard, really) and I found myself half pulling for him since the character of Daniel, played by Ralph Macchio, has not really developed or matured, despite this being his 3rd movie. Daniel really deserves his own paragraph, so here goes.

Daniel still flies off the deep end anytime anything happens and I find it extremely annoying that despite his having achieved peace through his karate, not to mention having the coolest sensei this side of the Pacific Ocean, he never really seems to learn. He is impulsive, impudent, immature, and ultimately just a general purpose pain in the (censored). In the Star Wars universe this kid would have turned Sith long ago. You get the idea. He needed a hardcore beatdown in this movie to put his head back in place and I'm glad to see it given, despite it being at the hands of uber-bully Mike Barnes (played by Sean Kanan). It just astounds me that as much time as Daniel spends with Mr. Miyagi he just doesn't seem to absorb any of his wisdom. Not to mention I think Daniel may have been stealing a few Mallomars in this movie as he's substantially more "puffy" than for the previous two incarnations.

When Daniel decides not to participate in the tournament he is hounded (some would say stalked) by Barnes and his henchmen "Snake" (not "Snake Plissken", although that would have made for a much more interesting plot), and some other guy who gets his behind handed to him several times. These three ultimately get Daniel to sign into the tournament through coercion and thus Daniel is forced to find a new trainer when Mr. Miyagi won't train him. That new trainer happens to be Terry Silver, who works his magic by really twisting Daniel's gi in a bunch. His training regimen is pretty sadistic and involves Daniel inflicting some pretty impressive power with the end result being that Daniel becomes something of a bigger jerk than he started. When Daniel has an attack of conscience Silver springs both Barnes and the believed to be deceased John Kreese on him. All this subterfuge (getting a different trainer without Miyagi's knowledge)on Daniel's part hurts the relationship between he and Mr. Miyagi and this element, and the eventual repair of it, makes up much of the movie.

Each movie seems to have it's signature karate "move" and this one is a little different from the previous two. Daniel practices something called "kata" with Mr. Miyagi and this is supposed to bring his fighting actions into focus. While not as catchy as the Crane from KK1 or the mega-dodge technique of KK2, this serves it's purpose for the point of the movie. I was half hoping to see Daniel wail on Barnes in the last round with some outrageous Pele bicycle kick style assault, or what not, but that's not to be found here.

KK3 isn't a bad movie. It is fun to watch and doesn't require too much thinking and that makes it a perfect popcorn cruncher for a weeknight. Thomas Ian Griffith was great to watch and I think that if you can get past his Snidely Whiplash laughter you'll find the guy is actually, for lack of a better phrase, kind of cool. Not as bad as many would have you believe, but not anywhere near a 5-star movie like others say too.
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on November 8, 2000
KKIII is a modern-day Greek tragedy. The universal themes of love, betrayal and quicksilver are thoroughly explored in this stunning classic. I have not seen writing like this since Aristophanes.
In Terry Silver, billionaire toxic waste peddler, we have the perfect foil. This morality play begins to unfold when Danny-boy is forced to sign the entry form to defend his All-Valley championship. "I think a champion should defend his title," observes Silver in one of the most gripping and compelling scenes imaginable.
Mike Barnes and Snake (and, to a lesser extent, Dennis) provide the fuel for Danny-boy's moral fire. The scene in the bonsai shop that ends in the mustang convertable being nearly smashed by a speeding locomotive is reminiscent of early Kafka.
Constantly challenging and never boring, KKIII forces each of us to look in the mirror. For indeed, who can really know when our real, actual John Kreise will jump from behind the cardboard imitation?
In closing, keep in mind Myagi's admonition: "Karate fought for plastic metal trophy no mean nothing." Indeed. I couldn't sum it up any better than that.
A definite 5-star classic.
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on May 17, 2010
Daniel Larusso is painful in this 3rd installment of the same old story that has been present since the the first movie. Daniel never shuts up in this movie, and constantly rambles on and on in just about every conversation. At times I would even say out loud, "For God's sake, shut the hell up!" Trying to pass this guy off as a "kid" once again failed miserably as Daniel not only looked older, but gained about 300 pounds since the second movie. As brilliant as Pat Morita's acting is, it seemed as if he was just trying to get through this film to say, "Just give me my money and let's get it over with." The over the top acting by the Terry Silver character was horrible, and the only thing that vaguely caused a snicker out of me was Miagi's "Whoa... whoa" mocking of Silver's pitiful Bruce Lee impression.
It's too bad that the producers didn't retire the franchise after his abortion, but continued on with some nauseating attempt at one more try with "The Next Karate Kid," which I sometimes wonder if it ever even showed up in movie theaters. Perhaps this movie will end up in the movie making texts under the chapter of "Don't let this happen to you."
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on April 3, 2004
a lot of hate with this one, some of it justified, but who cares! this is simply one awesome movie, and it's a MOVIE. that means it doesn't have to be 100% accurate all the time!
Sensei Kresse wants to avenge his humiliation at the end of Part 2, by teaming up with his vietnam partner Terry Silver, what an evil duo! and then, they recruit Mike Barnes, Snake, and Dennis to cause havoc on Daniel and Mr Miyagi, but no way! in the end, against all odds, Daniel and Mr Miyagi overthrow the evil and win. ahh i still remember when i saw this movie in the theatre, and the scene in the dojo where Barnes is beating Daniel into a pulp in front of Kresse and Silver, ('You want to see more?'asks Silver - 'I want to see a LOT more!' shouts Kresse) - but then when Mr Miyagi throws Barnes through the dojo doors to help his student, the entire theatre hall exploded into cheers and screams! that is the power of this movie. tremendous performances from everybody involved, i really can't fault it one bit. A must buy.
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on March 5, 2016
Karate Kid 3 is strangely disliked. I never really understood it personally. I think it comes very close to the greatness of the first 2. The only reason I dont give it a 5 is because the end fight isnt very good. It portrays Daniel as not very good at Karate and isnt able to handle his opponent which doesn`t make sense considering how well he did in the fight at the end of part 2 with an opponent who was even more vicious. Other than that I think its a solid conclusion to one of the greatest on screen friendships in movie history. Thomas Ian Griffith is great and steals every scene he`s in as the head villain of the movie as well.
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on November 30, 2004
Now this 3rd (and should have been last installment of this franchise...instead they came with "The NEXT karate kid with Hillary Swank)

Was just not acceptable!

First of all the editing sucked, some scenes Daniel (Ralph Macchio) looked fat and other scenes he looked slim, and other scenes there after he looked like he was GETTING fat. His jeans were ridiculously tight in some scenes.

So you didn't know which was before or after.They were then merged together to confuse us...the overall result was "fat".

How and why would they get the girl from "Teen Witch" (Robyn lively) to play a love interest that was doomed before the movie even reached 30 minutes with the "I already have a boyfriend" speech...so why are you taking up space in this movie...you weren't all that pretty!!

Pat Morita is great as always but even his mentality was on "Speed yawn" for this movie...he was just going through the contract.

Apparently alot of reviewers giving 5 stars saw Karate kid 3 first and saw the Karate kid 1 afterwards (same story). This would I guess be perfectly normal because they showed part 3 ALOT in the late 80s and early 90s on cable and I can't remember seing part 1 in almost 10 years even on regular TV.

Tons and tons of unnecessary over-acting in this one by Thomas Ian Griffin (laughing uncontrallably..almost comically..something out of a cartoon almost)and the "Johnny" looka-like dude.

Was it me or did the bad guys who wanted Daniel to sign the Tournament contract to fight against him seem to not have lives and show up where ever he was at? He's in the middle of a Bonzai hunting expedition with Mr. Miyagi and then they show up?All Daniel had to do was sign the contract and the movie would've been 15 minutes...what a story they had for this one!

The music Score for this one was meaningless and no hits surfaced from the soundtrack...I don't think anyone cares to buy this soundtrack anyways.

In the last part with the tournament..almost the SAME EXACT scene as in part one...except Daniel was busting out of his Karate outfit due to him gaining more weight through out the film.

Maybe they can come with a Karate kid Reunion movie and use Ray Ramano to play Daniel?
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on April 13, 2004
The original Karate Kid is a masterpiece; a cinematic work of art jam-packed with universal moral lessons, outstanding acting, and jaw-dropping cinematography.
The sequel, while not nearly as original as the first, maintains the intense charm, beautiful imagery, philosophical depth, and heart warming music made famous by the first.
Then theres part III...
I am at a loss for words in attempting to accurately describe the horror that is this movie. The acting is atrocious. The plot is paper thin. The "philosophy", if it can be called that, is total re-hash. The reccuring theme of Daniel having a "secret move" with which he is able to thrash the last boss (sound like any videogames you know of??)is intriguing in the first film, acceptable in the second, and totally inexcuseable in the third. What's worse, the secret move is a kata (Cringe..). I'm not sure how many reading this have ever formally practiced a martial art, but for those of you who have not, katas are not magical spells which confound enemies leaving them bewildered and vunerable to being tossed. Remember that if you are ever mugged.
What else is wrong with this movie, lets see...Well, Daniel talks to bonsai trees. Sure, some people enjoy talking to plants, some even says it helps with their growth. Such "plant-talkers" also may be found watering their living-room carpet or baking the cat for 3 hours at 350 degrees. All perfectly healthy behavior, yes, but a bit out of place in a karate kid movie.
I could go on about the absurdities scattered about this waste of a film: the karate instructors with personality disorders obsessed with Daniel, who spend the majority of their days threatening Daniel's life (which strangely enough is a crime in some states), the fact that Daniel's beloved mentor and father figure, who has saved his lfe, built him a very nifty shower curtain halloween costume, taught him self-confidence, self-defense, tolerence and discipline, given him a beautifully restored classic car, taken him to Okinawa, and remained one of the only positive influences in his life since his move from New Jersey to California...is abandoned and shunned for Daniel's pride.
But then I would be typing all day.
This film is an insult to the first two films. Literally, an insult. It is an insult to me, personally, and to everyone who knows and loves the characters of Daniel and Miyagi. It was most likely made in the spirit of Rocky V; a last ditch attempt by hollywood high-ups to squeeze the last drops of money-making potential out of a series that had already peaked, done at the expense of the series' reputation for quality. Shame on you, karate kid 3, shame!
(The one star rating is based on the fact that it does contain SOME nice scenic shots and DESCENT music. Other than those two barely redeeming features, the movie is a waste of space. It is unnerving to even imagine that such a piece of complete trash could be released by a major hollywood studio. This may sound harsh, but if you havent seen it, judge for yourself. Rent it. If nothing else it is a great "invite your friends over and die laughing at the horrible images on the tv screen" movie.)
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on September 21, 2003
Right up there with the most inspirational films of our time, Karate Kid III is a testament to the human spirit. In this installment our favorite karate instructor, Sensei Kreese is torn by his demise at the hands of Daniel and Miyagi in the first film. Afterall, Daniel defeated Johnny at the All Valley Tournament. Where is there left to go for Kreese. You would think his life is over, but no. He turns to his rich friend Terry Silver for the answer. Mr. Silver is strangely obsessed over getting back at Miyagi and Daniel. I think he wanted it more than Kreese even for some reason. So he makes himself appear as a nobody, he even drives a little truck with no roof on it. Then he finds karate's bad boy, Mike Barnes...a performance that outshines perhaps any yet in the Karate Kid series. Barnes, and his two new friends, Snake and Dennis, eventually bully poor Daniel into signing up for the tourney. Silver finds a way to become friends with Daniel and basically makes him his puppet. He wills Daniel to fight without mercy and to go against all Daniel stands for by trying to convince him to fight dirty. Daniel doesn't really like it but he keeps studying under Silver for a while until he realizes the error of his way. At one point he asks Miyagi to teach him to sweep, in which Miyagi comes back with a broom and begins sweeping the steps. Brilliant. It all comes to an end at the tournament where Daniel must face his fear, and take on Mike Barnes. Daniel pulls no punches and unleashes his fury upon Barnes. Perhaps one of the greatest martial arts displays ever on film.
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on November 13, 2001
Director John G. Avildsen has managed to resurect the ever popular Karate Kid series one last time with star Ralph Macchio. And what the critics snubbed as being 'dumb and useless' is really one of the greatest films of the year.
For those that dont know, John G. Avildsen won best director for his film Rocky. This movie is close to, if not better than Rocky.
Ralph Macchio, now 37 years old, plays 18 year old Daniel-San. This dramatic choice for Ralph should have earned him an Oscar for Best Actor. The overweight, out of breath alcohlic actor convinces everyone he can still play and immature boob and pull it off with nary the bat of an eye.
Noriyuki "Pat" Morita returns as Miyagi and seems to be the mix of a (...) lazy old (man) that has (wet) his pants and no longer walks straight.
The fight scenes are breathtaking. In one scene, a veteran actor of the stage and screen playing 'Dennis' rips a paper screen in half with his bare hands. HIS BEAR HANDS!!! It's a thrilling display of emotion and anger that defines the crux of the films premise - anger is too much for one boy to handle, it will get the best of you and eventually force you to fight, as Daniel San does in the end.
Fans of the KK series will not be dissapointed.
Fans of cinema, students and teachers alike will be blown away by this golden gem, a timeless treasure burried away in the annals of film folklore and history.
It's also available in wide screen version.
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on November 4, 2005
And here's where the wheels started to come off. Macchio was in his late twenties when Part 3 went into production, and that's only the most obvious evidence that this unnecessary sequel was a low-rent money-grab of the flimsiest order. What's most noteworthy about Part 3 (indeed, it could be the only noteworthy aspect) is the hilarious cartoonishness of its villains. (I doubt that "cartoonishness" is an actual word, but I bet you understand its meaning. So that makes it a word.) Back from Part 1 (and the prologue of Part 2) is Karate Master Kreese, but if you thought HE was the pinnacle of prickitude, well you haven't seen anything yet. We also get Kreese's old army buddy, Terry Silver, who is A) an evil black-belt Karate Master, B) a cackling and self-admitted dumper of toxic waste (!), and C) played by Thomas Ian Griffith. PLUS there's a brutal new upstart in the world of tournament karate, so you just know that this kid's gonna get involved. AND we have sniveling henchman Snake...as played by the director's own son! Now that's one spooky legion of doom for anyone to face, let alone an elderly Asian man and the world's oldest teenager.

The best thing I can say about Part 3 is that it's a clear indication that SOME time and effort when into Part 2. Whereas the first sequel was just too quaint and familiar, Part 3 approaches the Karate Kid formula as if it's the world's last home-cooked meatloaf. There are only so many times we can see Daniel whimpering at the mistakes he's made while Miyagi stands around tossing out vague platitudes and wizened smiles. Part 3 trots out the same training montages, the same tournament finale, the same chaste little romance, the same 1980s cheeseball tunes, the same old song and dance. But this time it all feels cynical and hollow...which is NOT the vibe we still get from Part 1.
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