The Next Karate Kid (1994)

Action, Drama, Family
Pat Morita, Hilary Swank, Michael Ironside, Constance Towers
Mr. Miyagi is back and he takes a new pupil under his wing; a troubled adolescent girl.
The Next Karate Kid is noteworthy for giving audiences the chance to see a pre-Oscars Hilary Swank, but other than a typically solid performance from Pat Morita, this unnecessary fourth installment in the franchise has very little to offer.
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Company:
  • PG Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 12 Aug 1994 Released:
  • 28 Aug 2001 DVD Release:
  • N/A Box office:
  • Robert Mark Kamen (characters), Mark Lee Writer:
  • Christopher Cain Director:
  • N/A Website:

Trailer:

Could have been better5/10

While I totally objected to this chapter ever being made, at least it had a young Hilary Swank (I seem to be her only male fan). While this film was kind of hokie and predictable, at least it accurately portrayed the horrors of men trying to shop for women. Pat Morita's performance in that scene alone was priceless. While this proved to be nothing more than a spin-off grasping at straws, at least no one completely embarrassed themselves. Also, where the heck was Ralph Macchio! Couldn't he have made a guest appearance. It's not like he had anything to do at the time.
Harmless fun6/10

This is one of those harmless sequels that seems to draw unnecessary ire. This is a "rip-off" sequel, but the cast plays it well, and it's true to its formula. Michael Ironside is a fine villain. And Hillary Swank, who went on to win a Best Actress Oscar, shows sparkle and potential in the lead. There are many worse movies to rent to watch with your niece. My score -- 6/10.
This fourth part is a remake with a sensational actress , Hilary Swank and the usual, Pat Morita6/10
Here is introduced a new kid , girl, with the subsequently two times Oscarized Hilary Swank . This is an entertaining martial arts movie with the intimate Pat Morita , and , as always , the show belongs to Noriyuki-Miyagi . The story deals with a troublesome teenager named Julie ( a newcomer Hilary Swank ) , thanks to Miyagi she aware that Karate is his salvation , as she battles an evil nemesis , facing off a violent young group trained by an expert fighter ( Michael Ironside) . The Japanese Miyagi ( Noriyuki, Pat Morita ) born in Okinawa teaches her martial arts and combat at a Zen temple along with some sympathetic monks . Meanwhile , Julie falls in love with a youngster (Chris Conrad) .

This enjoyable movie , a sort of junior version of 'Rocky' , develops a sincere and deep friendship among two protagonists , the rockie young girl and the wise old man . Using more than his fists , Julie learns about herself and the sense of life . Agreeable and likable acting by main actors : Pat Morita and Hilary Swank . Furthermore , appears as secondaries , the ordinary baddie , Michael Ironside , and the veteran Constance Towers who worked in various films directed by John Ford . The picture contains adequate cinematography by Laszlo Kovacs and long-standing musical score , though with some disco-music , by Bill Conti, trilogy's usual . This feel-good message picture is professionally directed by Christopher Cain . The three previous films , all of them produced by Jerry Weintraub and directed by John G Avildsen , are the following : original Karate Kid I (1984) in which are presented the classic characters , Karate Kid II (1986) where the protagonists travel to Okinawa and Part III(1989) where Daniel again battling nasties enemies . Rating : Acceptable and passable following , worthwhile seeing . This heartwarming will appeal to Karate Kid trilogy fans .
Better than its reputation, but it could have been better as well6/10
I really didn't think The Next Karate Kid was THAT bad. Flawed yes, but it is not terrible I don't think.

As I have said, the film does have its flaws. The story is quite predictable and formulaic, though in its defence, the story wasn't necessarily a strong point in the previous three either. Second, the script has its weak spots, it did have its moments such as with Miyagi's humour. Third, there are some unrealistic moments here, the ending especially. Fourth, it isn't as efficiently paced as the first or third films.

However, it is nicely filmed, the cinematography is good and the scenery is very nice. The soundtrack is pleasant, and the karate is good. The direction is good enough, and the characters are still at least engaging. The acting is decent, Hilary Swank is a worthy replacement for Ralph Macchio, while Pat Morita elevates this movie to a better level acting who is arguably the best character of the film and giving a strong performance in the process.

Overall, it was pretty decent, and better than its reputation. It could have been better, but I have seen much worse movies. 6/10 Bethany Cox
It doesn't completely suck4/10
I thought this movie was going to be a disgrace to the series. After all, part 3 didn't measure up to part 2, and this one doesn't have Daniel Sawn. Miyagi's humour wasn't quite as witty in this one as in part 3, but it was funny enough to make the movie worth watching.

The girl's part was pretty good. She's a lost teenager who needs direction. I find the plot a little hard to believe. That the aunt would simply agree to leave her home and her niece under the care of Mr. Miyagi, a man she just met. Of course, he was a friend of her brother.

I did appreciate the monastery. One might think from some of my other reviews that I wouldn't have liked the dancing monks, but I thought it was amusing. It showed that they know how to have some fun. Now if these were monks in ancient China dancing to pop-music, that would have been another matter.

Probably the most intelligent part of the movie was when the girl thought it was stupid that the monks wouldn't kill a bug. Miyagi told her that street gangs killing each other is stupid, nations trying to destroy each other is stupid, but having respect for all life is not stupid. Miyagi has expressed such wisdom in the other films as well.

I give this movie a 4 out of 10. Sure, there were some things I liked about it. It wasn't as funny as part three, and no character could ever live up to Sato in part 2. This movie has no re-watch value. I can't imagine watching it again, but it is worth seeing once.