The Next Karate Kid (1994) – Pat Morita and Hilary Swank

6/10 — By the time this movie came round, Ralph Macchio was in his early 30s and deemed too old to continue to role of Daniel-san, the naive student of Mr Miyaji. Enter Julie-san, played by Hilary Swank. I guess she did her best, but it didn’t appeal much to my taste. Hilary Swank looks like a cross between Denise Richards and Arnold Schwarzenegger. And her character’s attitude (although it improved towards the end) was purposely the opposite of a respectable, cautious, conservative young lady, and this unfortunate feature co-incides with other sacrilegious vibes throughout, such as disciplined monks dancing to pop music and drooling at the idea of prancing around town.

Pat Morita did alright, reprising his role as Mr Miyagi, although the script seems incredibly lacking – he didn’t have much to work with.

This movie seems like it may have been made on a shoestring budget because it honestly seems like a mockery of those that came before it. But it actually cost only slightly less than the one before it, so I would have to say the leadership team is to blame, specifically the writer Mark Lee and the director Christopher Cain – they did an absolutely abysmal job compared to the team behind the first three movies: writer Robert Mark Kamen and director John G. Avildsen.

Chris Conrad almost stole the show – he did a great job as Julie’s boyfriend.

Michael Ironside and Michael Cavalieri also gave strong performances as the chief bullies in this movie.

It’s an inferior movie to Karate Kid 2, so I can’t give it the same 7/10 rating. It’s about equal to the others rated 6/10 so that’s the score I’ve given it for now.