New Reviews
Django Unchained
Captain Corelli's Mandolin
Les Misérables
Chernobyl Diaries
The Cabin in the Woods

The Karate Kid Part III (1989)

Daniel risks losing it all when he puts pride before principles

Rating: 4/10

Running Time: 108 minutes

UK Certificate: PG


Ralph Macchio returns for a final outing as Daniel LaRusso, in this third film in the series. It picks up immediately after the last one ends, with Daniel's return from Okinawa with Mr Miyagi (Pat Morita). They find that things have changed while they were away, with their homes due to be torn down, leaving Mr Miyagi without a job and Daniel having to move house. In the meantime, the villainous karate teacher from the first film John Kreese (Martin Kove) is back for revenge – since the defeat by Daniel and Miyagi, he has lost his students. He plots with Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith), an old Vietnam War buddy, to undermine the relationship between Daniel and Miyagi, and recruits a vicious karate fighter called Mike Barnes (Sean Kanan) to take on Daniel in a tournament.

Daniel suggests that Mr Miyagi open a shop selling bonsai trees. At the shop, he makes friends with Jessica (Robyn Lively) who is also interested in the trees. Barnes' gang keep coming to the shop and trying to persuade him to participate in the tournament, although he is not keen. When he refuses, the gang wreck the shop and steal the trees making Daniel feel he must accept the challenge. As Mr Miyagi will not train Daniel for the tournament, Terry offers to train him at Kreese's school. What Terry is teaching is too violent and will not be acceptable at the tournament, so Daniel decides to quit, but he has no idea of the extent of the plot and there is still a tournament to fight.

This third film in the 'Karate Kid' series is very much a let-down after the previous two. The difficulty was always going to be in providing Daniel with a foe that posed a greater threat than in the second episode, and the film fails to rise to the challenge – Kreese we've seen before, and no matter how tough the kids at the tournament might be we already know that Daniel has faced worse. The only exciting villain is Thomas Ian Griffith as Terry Silver – he is a stylish and clever foe, which does add some interest to the conflict. One never gets the impression that either of the main characters has developed any further since the end of the last film, and although both actors do a workmanlike job it is clear that there is only so much they can do with the script they've been given.

It's Got: A great villain in Terry Silver.

It Needs: More pace and a different ending – we’ve seen tournaments before in this series.

DVD Extras Not as much of an effort made on extras as with the first two films. Extras: Filmographies. DVD-ROM: Multi-level interactive games. DVD Extras Rating: 4/10


This is a largely worthless third part to the film series – it doesn’t really cover any ground that wasn’t handled better in the first two films. Worth seeing only for the sake of completing the set, and for Mr Miyagi’s fight scenes and one-liners.