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With Jim Sabatini

The Next Karate Kid

The Next Karate Kid
Pat Morita and Hilary Swank

Rated: PG 
Reviewed by: Frank  
Release date: August 12, 1994 Released by: Columbia Pictures

Someone gave up on this film. The ending falls short of tying up all the loose ends and the release date was pushed back into September from August. Even with its problems it has some very pleasant moments to watch.

Miyagi (Pat Morita) is back with another kid who has problems and who is entrusted to his care. This time it's a girl, Julie Pierce (Hilary Swank). Julie has lost her parents and her grandmother is attempting to be a parent and to help Julie purge herself of the anger she feels from the loss of her mother and father. Miyagi sends the grandmother to California and he remains in the Boston area to work on his new challenge. There are stereotype bad guys, some old and some young. The old are for Miyagi to dispose of and the young wise guys are for Julie to practice karate on. Guess who wins the battles. Even with no new ground, Morita remains very pleasing in his Miyagi character. His calmness, patience, and philosophy are enjoyable to watch and always lead to a climactic battle at the end.

In this one, Miyagi teaches young Julie to waltz using karate steps and he teaches a wise guy in a bowling alley how to knock down the pins blindfolded. He also teaches a group of Asian monks how to bowl and beat the seasoned alley cats. Julie's learning lessons of life and karate at the hands of the monks and Miyagi follows the old path that Daniel (Ralph Macchio) learned from in the first Karate Kid.

Morita's performance again is the caliber of his academy award nomination for the first film. Hilary Swank is attractive to watch and she looks as though she could learn karate but her performance is bland and lacks the anger and warmth needed for the part. Everyone else is background except possibly the monks who curiously bring comic relief to the film.

This film is nothing great, nonetheless it contains some scenes which are worth seeing.

  Frank Chris Jim Nina Sam Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
The Next Karate Kid  C+                        C+ 

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