The Next Karate Kid

1994

The Next Karate Kid (1994)

TOMATOMETER

Critic Consensus: 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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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 Next Karate Kid may come off as too "PC" for the tastes of some fans, it is heaps better than the appalling Karate Kid, Part 3. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for The Next Karate Kid

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (8)

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.

Jun 14, 2013 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

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…

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 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

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

May 22, 2013 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

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

Sep 7, 2011 | Rating: C- | Full Review…

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

Mar 26, 2009 | Full Review…
Variety
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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.

Alex roy
Alex roy

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

Michael Edwards
Michael Edwards

Super Reviewer

½

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.

Phil Hubbs
Phil Hubbs

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.

Conner Rainwater
Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

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