Nathan Blumenfeld | Wilmington, DE United States | 01/23/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"There, I've said it. This one is the best, and the last, sequel. Considering its competition, though, that's not saying a whole lot. In fact, I wasn't planning on seeing this one, but my sister was watching it on Disney Channel, so I just sat down with her.Pat Morita is great as usual as Mr. Miyagi, but the whole monk thing was kind of disturbingly stupid, as was that Colonal Dugan club thing. The fight sequences were not very well choreographed, and the music was basically lifted directly from the first film.This is, however, a refreshing movie. Hilary Swank is very good as the "Next Karate Kid," an angry orphaned teenager who Mr. Miyagi takes under his wing. She is a convincing actress, and conveyed her emotions pretty well. The movie is worth watching for her alone. Unfortunately, most of the other acting falls on its face.The first half of the film plays off very well against the first karate kid, and it doesn't bore us with same old, same old in terms of karate instruction (most of the time). It skips over wax the car, etc... in just a few minutes. However, there still isn't that much thats new. Mr. Miyagi is still a veritable fountain of sayings and aphorisms, the kid excels against unbeatable odds against schoolkids, etc...Still, an enjoyable movie."
The Next Karate Kid- Less of the Karate, More of the Kid!
Lee Neville | London, ENGLAND | 03/26/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The Next Karate Kid" is the fourth and as it stands final Karate Kid movie. Released in 1994, a few years after "The Karate Kid Part III", this movie no longer focuses on the Karate Kid Daniel and his relationship with his Karate teacher Mr Miyagi. It is unexplained but suffice it to say the original karate kid has grown up. In "The Next Karate Kid" we follow Mr Miyagi's relationship with a teenage girl named Julie and watch as she becomes the next karate kid.Julie (played by Hilary Swank who went on to win an Oscar for "Boys Don't Cry") is being bullied by boys at school who are following the violent teachings of their coach. Mr Miyagi (played by Pat Morita from the original Karate Kid movies) comes into her life and helps Julie learn courage and self respect through the use of karate and belief in oneself.In comparison to the other three Karate Kid movies, "The Next Karate Kid" is a lot less violent. The Karate Kid has been increasing the violence with each movie, but has gone the other way with this one, and is all the better for it. There is a lot less of the karate and a lot more of the kid! No longer does the karate kid become about the next fight scene or the major karate move taught by Mr Miyagi. In "The Karate Kid" Danny learnt the crane, in "The Karate Kid Part II" Danny learnt the driver punch and in "The Karate Kid Part III" Danny learnt the Miyagi family kata. These special moves were used at the end of each movie. In contrast, with "The Next Karate Kid" Mr Miyagi teaches Julie the tiger kick, but she doesn't need to use it in the final fight. In fact in this movie Mr Miyagi has the final fight. No longer is fighting the driving force of the movie, and I'm sure that's something Mr Miyagi would agree with since he hates fighting anyway.Here in "The Next Karate Kid" we are able to focus on the characters. And from that we can really feel for them when the fight scene does come. So if you are looking for a real karate action movie I suggest another movie. The fight choreography itself is sometimes a little poor, but it is all done by the same choreographer as the original Karate Kid movies so maybe he was just having a bad day. Mr Miyagi also appears to be having a bad day, because although he wins his fights fairly easily, he does look very old when fighting. I'm sure he used to kick higher and not lose his balance in the previous movies. Hilary Swank is truly fantastic as Julie. Hilary Swank makes you believe in Julie and her actions are perfectly credible through Hilary Swank's performance. Mr Miyagi is almost as much Mr Miyagi as he always was. I say this because some of what Mr Miyagi says is questionable. He says lines like "If must fight, win!" Not entirely sure Mr Miyagi would say that. Anyway this is down to the writing and not the wonderful performance from Pat Morita.For me, the movie did end kind of suddenly since I was expecting a bigger fight at the end. However this is based on my experience of the other karate kid movies. This fourth installment is very understated so be prepared for that.In conclusion, "The Next Karate Kid" is great and I'm glad it's on DVD."
?Fighting no good, but if must fight, win!?
Gary Selikow | Great Kush | 11/16/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Next Karate Kid
Miyagi Yakuga (Noriyuki "Pat" Morita) is called on for help, by the widow of an old war buddy. She doesn't know what to do with her pretty but rebellious teenage granddaughter, after the recently orphaned girl was put in her care. Meanwhile the girl, Julie, has her own troubles with a gang of local thugs at her school, led by a sadistic sports coach, while keeping her pet, a lame hawk hidden in the school grounds. Her own love interest, a boy named Eric, is involved in the same battle with the gang called the Alpha elite. Mr Miyagi knows just what to do, and the first thing is to teach Judy some self-discipline and inner calm. The best line in the movie comes from Mr Miyagi, and isn't it the truth?
`Fighting no good, but if must fight, win!'"
The Return of Mr. Miyagi.
tvtv3 | Sorento, IL United States | 03/28/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Though this film isn't as good as the first two KARATE KID movies, it is just as good if not better than KARATE KID III. In this film, Mr. Miyagi takes a trip out East to receive a special commendation from the President for his unit's extraordinay achievements during WWII. He stays over at the home of the widow of his former best friend. The woman is having a difficult time raising her granddaughter, Julie, who was orphaned after her parents were killed in a car accident. Mr. Miyagi suggests she take a trip to California and stay at his place on a vacation while he stays and takes care of her home and her granddaughter. Other than being fiercely angry at life, Julie is also having problems at school and is being harassed by the school's administratively supported bullies, the Alph Elite. Through the tutoring of Mr. Miyagi, Julie is able to control her anger and find focus in her life.Hillary Swank pulls off a believable and emotionally-deep performance as Julie Pierce. The role needn't required so much depth, but her character reminds one of the girl next door.However, as good as Swank is, the real reason to see this film is Pat Morita. It's great to see Mr. Miyagi again. His character reminds me of a real life Yoda. As long as the story is decent, one can't get enough of a great character like him. There are also some great quotes in the movie. My personal favorite is "Never trust a spiritual leader who can't dance." A fun movie that is surprisingly enjoyable."
I Wish I had Courage Like You!
Der Duke | Berlin, The Fatherland | 11/04/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Can anyone who has seen The Next Karate Kid please explain to me the nature of the film's villains? The look like a professional security force, they act like a WWF tag-team, they tromp around school like they've got full diplomatic immunity...they even have a drill sergeant. In high school. I just don't get it.
Anyway, these guys don't like young Julie Pierce, so they terrorize her repeatedly - and they even come dangerously close to what we, nowadays, would call "rape." All Julie wants is to be left alone with her beloved crippled hawk (Kes?), godammit! Julie's well-intentioned grandmother is at the end of her granny-rope, so she enlists the aid of old family friend Mr. Miyagi. Given that this is now the fourth time we've met Mr. Miyagi, and we've never once seen him interact with a teenage girl, the viewer is left to wonder if this arrangement is such a grand idea. But wouldn't you know it? The brusque and bouncy Julie slowly warms up to the adorable Mr. Miyagi, and yadda yadda, etc.
To quote one of the wise sages who comment at the IMDb, The Next Karate Kid is "the pits." Hilary Swank must cringe whenever she sees the flick pop up on cable; indeed, she's the one thing that makes The Next Karate Kid worth seeing. Not because she gives a particularly excellent performance (although she's better than the material deserves), but because this is such a GOOFY movie. For no good reason the flick takes a 20-minute detour into a freakin' monastery, for cryin' out loud! Plus this is a film in which Mr. Miyagi goes shopping for a PROM DRESS! Gee, anyone think we're just blatantly pandering to the "other" demographic at this point? Then just wait till the Hi - larious scene in which Mr. Miyagi walks in on Julie while she's changing...and he almost sees her boobies! Never thought I'd say it but...where's Daniel-san these days? Surely he could still be in need of some wise advice.
Anyway, Julie gets a date, grows some confidence, and kicks the ass of head bully #1. Also there's Michael Ironside as an evil high school sergeant who is apparently invisible to cops. Miyagi helps kick his butt at the end. "