The Karate Kid, Part III (1989)
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The first two movies were great and showed the progress of the lead character and gave a very satisfying conclusion in the second movie.
This one ruined everything that was good about the series, unfortunately. Daniel is whiney, weak, chubbier and is downright dislikable.
It's annoying how this doesn't live up to the others, and like some of my other favourite series', I ignore the third movie completely.
I thought it was OK. Certainly a step down from the first one, and the overall quality is lower than the second. That being said, I kind of appreciated it on the same level as the second movie in terms of entertainment value, which, too me, watching these kind of movies is all about. The third installment in the series have a decent story. There is a revenge motif for the villains, there is deception and trickery involved and I thought it was nice to see Mr. Miyagi and Daniel starting a business together, but the real thing that made this movie satisfying for me was the ridiculus, over the top acting by Thomas Ian Griffith as the villain, Terry Silver. It's not a subtle performance, but a very entertaining one, if you don't take the movie too seriously. I understand Oneironaut's comment about Daniel being whiney, weak and dislikable (didn't think chubby, though), but I think there is enough regret and redemption in his performance to forgive him his faults. I give this movie a pass, and recommend it to anyone who liked the two first movies and that doesn't mind this being a bit high on the cheese factor.
The first four come in a boxed set, starting, of course, with the classic original. And it IS a classic, iconic even. I'm not even sure what to say about it because everyone reading this is likely to have seen it. It still works. Part 2 isn't quite as good. I respect the idea of returning to Okinawa and exploring Mr. Miyagi's origins, but the character's resistance to fighting translates into a film without a lot of karate. The kinds of lessons Miyagi was teaching in Part 1 are there, but don't pay off as well. Part 2 also starts the franchise's tradition of writing out unneeded characters in an off-hand way, and of course, shows there are bullies everywhere you go. Increasingly motiveless bullies. Part 3 returns to California and takes it to ridiculous extremes. The villain comes out of nowhere to revenge Part 1's baddie, and is over-the-top evil. Why is this karate-chopping millionaire taking time out of his toxic-spilling schedule to ruin the life of a 17-year-old? By this point - and this may be the effect of watching them in one go - Daniel-San's tics have become annoying. He's always been prone to talking to himself and rambling, but what was once naturalism is now exposition-filled, incessant monologuing. So is Part 3 the least of the series? It may be. It's certainly the least memorable. The Next Karate Kid could also make a claim to that title. Daniel himself is written out as Mr. Miyagi does some babysitting for a friend in Boston, teaching her orphaned delinquent relative to face her problems head on. Hilary Swank is actually effective in the role and a much better fighter than Macchio ever was. There's also some sitcommy fun in seeing Miyagi try to raise a difficult teenage girl. Unfortunately, the plot is ABSURD! And in a way, it's why I'm giving this one a better review than Part 3. At one point, the absurdity got too much and I was in stitches! Examples: A Buddhist monastery in the Boston foot hills, zen Bouddhist bowling, bungee bombing the prom (that's the one that got me), and the whole karate security force in the school (where NO ONE looks like a high school student) run by a motivelessly evil Michael Ironside. It isn't a good film, but taken as a spoof, it's actually fun.
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