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The Next Karate Kid (1994)



Average Rating: 3.7/10
Reviews Counted: 27
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 25

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.


Average Rating: 3.2/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 0 | Rotten: 8

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.



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Average Rating: 2.6/5
User Ratings: 60,755

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Movie Info

Karate Kid, Part 4 is better known by its release title, The Next Karate Kid. The sole holdover from the first three KK flicks is Noriyuki "Pat" Morita, once more cast as janitor/martial arts maven Miyagi Yakuga. This time, his pupil is orphaned 17-year-old Hilary Swank, the granddaughter of Miyagi's war buddy. Relentlessly bullied by her male classmates and feeling responsible for her parents' fatal accident, Swank is taught self-worth through the tough-but-gentle guidance of Miyagi. While The


Action & Adventure, Kids & Family

Aug 28, 2001

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Watch It Now


Latest News on The Next Karate Kid

November 26, 2005:
Sayonara, Miyagi-San
For over two decades he endeared himself to young moviegoers as the sage, kind mentor Mr. Miyagi;...
August 11, 2005:
Voight and Davidovich Sign on for Cain's "Dawn"
Jon Voight and Lolita Davidovich will star in Christopher Cain's "September Dawn," says...


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All Critics (27) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (2) | Rotten (25) | DVD (5)

The Next Karate Kid is harmless as children's entertainment, but for 104 very long minutes, there isn't a recognizable human being in sight.

June 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The overt message of any Karate Kid movie: Don't fight unless you absolutely have to. The implicit message: You'll always have to. Let the smitings begin!

May 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

While the message that a girl can defend herself against the boys threatening her is a good one, it's lost in a movie where the bullies look like Mussolini's bodyguards and where Julie waits for her boyfriend and Miyagi to come to her defense.

May 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Only the reasonably-appealing performances of Morita and newcomer Swank keep it all from becoming even more of a loser.

May 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Not that girls will go see this or boys will care.

September 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The franchise is still kicking -- but not very high.

March 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An irrelevant foot note in the "Karate Kid" series that can be overlooked if only for being so vanilla.

August 7, 2014 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

A few pre-prom dance lessons are the only significant departure from the tried and tested chop-socky formula, although Michael Ironside is good value as Swank's sinister gym teacher.

June 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

Amid its familiar banalities and formula twists, The Next Karate Kid comes up with one new idea for dealing with difficult American teen-agers: ship 'em off to a Buddhist monastery for two weeks!

June 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore Sun

This desperate attempt to keep the franchise alive and kicking resorts to a backhanded kind of political correctness: introducing a surly teenage girl karate expert who goes around talking about "kicking butt."

June 14, 2013 Full Review Source: People Magazine
People Magazine

Swank and Morita make a personable pair, enough so that we don't miss Macchio. The monks exude a benevolent presence in a film less trivial than it could have been.

May 22, 2013 Full Review Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Violent sequel doesn't benefit from gender change.

December 15, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

...a weak sequel that boasts few compelling attributes aside from Pat Morita's expectedly stirring turn as Mr. Miyagi.

June 25, 2010 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Almost a guilty pleasure. But not quite.

March 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Overlong and utterly predictable, The Next Karate Kid offers little excitement, even in its culminating fight sequence.

March 12, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Desperately trying to infuse new blood into the 1980s franchise, the fourth installment is a hodgepodge that fashions recycled ideas and characters; the rebllious girl is played Hilary Swank, who would go to Oscar glory.

September 12, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Swank, here demonstrating that for as wooden and exasperating as her performance is in this picture, it's the only performance she's ever contributed to any film.

November 27, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

Formula still grabs, even with Swank as "Kid"

July 13, 2005 | Comments (2)

One time to the well too many.

January 8, 2005
Nolan's Pop Culture Review

Audience Reviews for The Next Karate Kid

Fourth and final entry in the series is a mess from start to finish, one that never should have been made. I never got the fact why they kept making films to the original; they constantly recycled ideas with every sequel, and never did anything new with the formula. With this final entry, we get a change of a lead character, who is a girl played by Hilary Swank. Swank would go on to star in far better films, and this among her worst. At least it was during her time when she was honing her skills as an actress and was still a rising talent. Luckily she would become one of Hollywood's greatest actresses. The franchise by now has clearly run out of ideas, and this final entry has nothing to show for it. I think that The Karate Kid should have been a standalone film, and each sequel simply didn't offer anything good or original. I think the filmmakers overplayed the themes of previous films far too much and it lost its meaning and made it uninteresting to watch. Hilary Swank is a great actress, however this is a film where she doesn't deliver, and you see how she's struggling with the bad, predictable and recycled material. Stick with the first film, and avoid all these bad sequels. Luckily, The Next Karate Kid was the final entry in the series and with good reason. The remake would be much better, and offer something that was missing since the original, which was a compelling, truly inspiring story. The New Karate Kid is a film that should be forgotten after you've had the misfortune of seeing it.
November 22, 2012
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Funny and i found it much more entertaining than the other 3 movies, mainly because miyagi has much more screen time and is much funnier
May 1, 2011
michael e.
Michael Edwards

Super Reviewer

The same kinda story but with a new apprentice, enter a girl who needs Miyagi's help with the usual bully problems. Yes its the same but it still works well, Morita makes it really but Swank is very good and looks like she can do the moves. It is one story too far really but it just gets by, the plot involving Morita's background and Swanks father being old war buddies does actually work, in the end its a kids film but much much more and soo much better than most. Better than you would expect.
June 19, 2010

Super Reviewer

I don't really know why anyone felt the need to make the female version of The Karate Kid, but this was about as good as you could expect. The acting from Hilary Swank is fine as well as Pat Morita, it's just nowhere close to the original series in terms of overall quality and originality. This is a little bit more corny and less powerful. Again, it's better than you might expect but certainly not good.
June 11, 2010

Super Reviewer

    1. Miyagi: Julie-san, fighting not good. But if must fight... win.
    – Submitted by Finn M (2 years ago)
    1. Miyagi: Boys are much easier!
    – Submitted by Finn M (2 years ago)
View all quotes (2)

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