The Karate Kid Part II - Movie review by Rouén Robinson
By Rouén Robinson
May 13, 2018 - 8:17:20 AM
The Karate Kid Part II
The gratifying sequel that rightly secured the franchise in the pantheon of successful pop culture franchises.
One more lesson to share. The price of honor. The glory of friendship. And the way you must fight when only the winner survives.
A martial arts student makes an emergency trip with his sensei to his birth country to visit his dying father. While there, the sensei must deal with the relationships he left behind including that of his old flame and also his best friend turned powerful enemy. The student also finds new love that is threatened by their connection with his sensei’s village.
Nariyoshi Miyagi must return to Okinawa to be with his dying father and reconnect with childhood sweetheart Yukie as well as dealing with his successful former friend Sato. Daniel LaRusso is Miyagi’s pupil who is getting over a break up and finds himself enthralled by the new culture he is experiencing and the new things he is learning about his sensei’s past. Kumiko is Yukie’s niece who helps with the children of the village which nurtures her dream of studying dance abroad as she begins a summer romance with Daniel. Chozen is Sato’s nephew and karate student who has a gang of cronies that do his bidding due to his uncle’s status in their community. Sato is an industrialist who learned karate under Miyagi’s father’s tutelage, but blames Miyagi for the unrequited feelings he has has for Yuki who was arranged to marry him and harbors a need to defend his honor in a battle to the death with Miyagi with the village at stake.
The Karate Kid Part II is the film that cemented the franchise as a cultural phenomenon as it sheds light on the tumultuous past of Miyagi and why he immigrated to America. This film is also the one most focused on romantic relationships as it shows Miyagi rekindling a love he thought was lost as well as Daniel discovering that there are other fish in the sea with his new love interest. Noriyuki ‘Pat’ Morita & Ralph Macchio are able to expand on their characters’ farther/son relationship thanks in part to the performances of Nobu McCarthy & Tamlyn Tomita as their romantic leads in a way that gives the film more depth. John G. Avildsen is able direct this motion picture with the same sense of purpose that he had with the first one so it becomes a seamless transition from one to the next. Robert Mark Kamen’s script uses the same beats as his script for the first movie, but mines the richness of the cultural settings of the new surroundings to make this installment a unique experience. Bill Conti gives another great score as he did in the original film, but it is Peter Cetera’s Glory of Love that really drives the ardent love theme of this entry and was rewarded with an Academy Award nomination for Best Song as well as hitting No. 1 on the music charts in the United States. This is a sequel that expands on the original by adding details to the story that compliments the established mythology which illuminates certain motivations behind past events. This is a favorite of mine not only for its exotic locale, but also for some truly dynamic storytelling with established characters. I rate this movie a rating of 4 & 1/2 out of 5.
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The Karate Kid Part II
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