Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, Martin Kove, Yuji Okumoto, Danny Kamekona, Tamlyn Tomita and Nobu McCarthy

John G. Avildsen

Running Time:
113 mins

Out to buy on Blu-Ray 19/07/10

"Drum Technique"

Six months after winning the karate tournament, Mr. Miyagi (Morita) receives a letter telling him that his father is dying. Having left Okinawa in the 1930s, he had never been back but Mr. Miyagi felt compelled to return to the place of his birth to pay his respects to his father. With Daniel (Macchio) at his side, the pair land at Okinawa only to be greeted by the reason Mr. Miyagi left in the first place, his former best friend Sato (Kamekona). Still holding a blood feud after Mr. Miyagi came between him and his arranged marriage to Yukie (McCarthy), Sato will do anything to bring his feud to a conclusion and his pupil Chozen (Okumoto) will push Daniel to do just that.

Making a sequel to an extremely popular first movie is always difficult but can ‘The Karate Kid, Part II’ be more than just a rehash of the original?

After the huge success of the original movie in 1984, it was inevitable that a second movie featuring Mr. Miyagi and Daniel Larusso would hit the big screen. The problem with many sequels is that they tend to be a rehash of the original film and you might have expected the second ‘Karate Kid’ movie just to be Daniel defending his championship win against the Kobra’s but you would be wrong.

Set six months after the original movie, the action switches from Los Angeles to Mr. Miyagi’s home of Okinawa. Here we discover more of the karate teacher’s background, finding out why he came to America and why he could never return home. We also discover that honour is timeless as Sato, Miyagi’s former best friend, still has not forgiven him for falling in love with the woman he was arranged to be married to. When the pair arrives in Okinawa, Daniel instantly makes an enemy of Sato’s pupil Chozen but also catches the eye of Kumiko, the young teacher of the village. With romance, honour and the inevitable final confrontation, this is a movie that is different enough from the original to make it just as watchable.

The key element returns, the relationship between Mr. Miyagi and Daniel. This has moved on from the teacher/student relationship of the first to a father/son and best friend bond. Each of the characters grows throughout the film, with Daniel finding new love and discovering the pressure of honour in Okinawa. It is Mr. Miyagi that follows the biggest emotional journey however. After discovering a little about his past in America, the second film reveals why he had to leave Okinawa and the love he left behind. He also gets to discover this again. The plot allows Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita to really develop their characters, which is very rare in the movie industry. There is some good support from Danny Kamekona as Sato, Yuji Okumoto as Sato’s aggressive pupil Chozen, Nobu McCarthy as Miyagi’s lost love Yukie and Tamlyn Tomita as Daniel new love Kumiko.

‘The Karate Kid, Part II’ moves the story on and develops the characters further, which is rare for a sequel. With all the charm of the original and much less of the 80s fashion and music, this is a sequel that shows real growth and is a joy to watch for all ‘Karate Kid’ fans.

Original Featurette: "The Sequel"
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