The Next Karate Kid (1994)
Average Rating: 3.7/10
Reviews Counted: 26
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 24
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.1/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 0 | Rotten: 8
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 2.6/5
User Ratings: 60,488
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
Aug 28, 2001
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Watch It Now
Noriyuki 'Pat' Morita
Arsenio "Sonny" Trinidad
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.
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!
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.
Only the reasonably-appealing performances of Morita and newcomer Swank keep it all from becoming even more of a loser.
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.
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!
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."
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.
...a weak sequel that boasts few compelling attributes aside from Pat Morita's expectedly stirring turn as Mr. Miyagi.
Overlong and utterly predictable, The Next Karate Kid offers little excitement, even in its culminating fight sequence.
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.
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.
The film does have a few warm moments and is at its best when simply developing the relationship between Miyagi and Julie. But, as you might expect, those moments are few and far between and overshadowed by all the ludicrous plotting.
Audience Reviews for The Next Karate Kid
- Miyagi: Julie-san, fighting not good. But if must fight... win.
- Miyagi: Boys are much easier!
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