The Karate Kid Part III (1989) – Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita

7.5/10 — This movie has plenty of the same creativity that made the previous two a success. Pat Morita does an outstanding job as Mr Miyagi, and Ralph Macchio does a decent job as Daniel-san too. This time the movie is set back in the States, but new rivals emerge in the form of an old student (Terry Silver) of the nasty Cobra Kai sensei (John Kreese), plus a new recruit (Mike Barnes) hired specifically to beat Daniel in the tournament and beat him up in the process.

Thomas Ian Griffith almost steals the show – he does an outstanding job as Terry Silver who makes it his mission to deceive and torment Daniel-san and Mr Miyagi. Sean Kanan does a decent job as Mike Barnes who bullies Daniel-san throughout the movie (as he’s hired to do by Terry Silver), and Martin Kove does a decent job reprising his role as John Kreese too.

Other cast members include Daniel’s new girlfriend Jessica Andrews, the lady from the pottery store across the road (played by Robyn Lively, who does a fair job), and Snake, a student of Terry Silver who is tasked with organising & assisting the bullying (played by Jonathan Avildsen, who does an excellent job, he is very convincing, albeit in a relatively minor role).

Due to creativity maintained, as set by prior movies in this saga, and considering the introduction of great new cast members, plus a strong ending as per usual, this movie deserves a 7.5/10 in my view.

This movie did well to develop the characters the way it did; but if it had a bit less bonsai tree drama, a bit more interesting action, a bit more meaningful philosophy, and a stronger leader female, plus dare I say a stronger lead male playing Daniel-san, this could be a more exciting movie worthy of an 8 or higher. It’s got so many strong ingredients that other movies don’t have. It’s fun to watch the whole series of Karate Kid movies back to back every few years, and these days we have the luxury of topping that off with the new Cobra Kai show which has six seasons out already and is still going strong. I recommend you finish every season of this show before moving on to Jackie Chan’s 2010 remake of The Karate Kid which has none of the same actors and is all about Chinese kung fu really, not Japanese karate.

Cobra Kai, the new TV show

The new Cobra Kai show sees many of the old Karate Kid actors return after several decades away, including: Ralph Macchio who plays a middle aged Daniel-san; William Zabka who plays a middle-aged Johnny Lawrence, Daniel’s nemesis from the original movie; and elderly versions of John Kreese (played by Martin Kove) and Terry Silver (played by Thomas Ian Griffith).

But that’s more for nostalgia than anything. The best thing about this series is the introduction of a new generation of outstanding cast members including Xolo MaridueƱa (from Blue Beetle) and Tanner Buchanan.

Note though, this show is a bit satirical, not so serious as the movies were. That doesn’t mean the acting is bad, it’s just a different vibe, a different genre now.