Daniel learns that the price of honour can be life itself
John G Avildsen
Running Time: 109 minutes
UK Certificate: PG
Country: United States
Ralph Macchio once more stars as Daniel LaRusso, the lad who found his self-confidence through karate in the first “Karate Kid” film. Part II continues from the point where the first film finishes, with a triumphant Daniel leaving the karate contest. However, life doesn't settle down for him, as he breaks up with Ali after several months and tries to move on. In the meantime, Mr Miyagi (Pat Morita) receives a letter from Okinawa telling him that his father is very ill so he makes plans to return home. Daniel, keen to do something different for the summer, decides to accompany him to Japan.
On their arrival, they are met by Miyagi's once best friend Sato (Danny Kamekona). Miyagi and Sato fell out many years earlier over a matter of honour, and Sato still wants to fight Miyagi in order to settle the conflict. Daniel too finds himself facing a fight Sato's nephew Chozen (Yuji Okumoto) is a bully who takes a dislike to him. Daniel also makes friends with a girl from the village called Kumiko (Tamlyn Tomita), who advises him on Japanese culture and tries to keep the peace. When Sato threatens to destroy Miyagi's old village, Miyagi finally accepts the challenge to fight him. In time, Chozen will also challenge Daniel to a fight, and this time it is not just his honour at stake but his life.
Sequels are often a disappointment, however this one is in many ways as good as the original and occasionally surpasses it. The basic California setting of the first film is replaced with exotic Japan, and the scenery and locations are used to great advantage to add atmosphere to the film. The story is a successful follow-on from the first one, with greater threats for Daniel and Miyagi to face and the development of much tension. The character of Miyagi, popular since the first film, is developed to great depth with Pat Morita successfully portraying the emotion Miyagi feels at the turn of events in his home village and his fondness for the people there. Daniel is convincingly out of place, but could use more exploration of his character this time round. However, all in all this is a touching and atmospheric film that rarely fails to please.
It's Got: Beautiful use of the Japanese locations.
It Needs: More continued development of Daniels character.
DVD Extras Includes the same DVD-ROM games as were provided with the first film, but adds a featurette. Extras: Featurette, Filmographies. DVD-ROM: Multi-level interactive games. DVD Extras Rating: 6/10
Alternatives:First Kid., Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, The Karate Kid - Part III
Worthy follow-up to the first 'Karate Kid film, with added interest provided by its exotic locations and characters.