Eesh. Alright, Karate Kid 3...here we go.
There's things I like here, but simultaneously there's many things I don't like and find bizarre. First, there's Macchio's performance. It's so bipolar it's not even funny. One scene he's as hyper and upbeat as a coke addict, next scene he's highly irritated and arguing with Mr. Miyagi. There's few scenes here where he's the level headed Daniel who shares that warm best friend dynamic with Miyagi that we as the audience loved in the first 2 movies. Also, his character is a bigger crybaby wuss here than he was in the first installment. Where's the character development? Why isn't he at least halfway decent at karate here after winning a no-rules death match at the end of part 2? He's struggling against Mike Barnes, who isn't as deadly as Chozen...
Thomas Ian Griffith as Terry Silver? Gotta say, as over-the-top and cartoonishly maniacal his performance and character is, that's part of what makes him one of the best antagonists in this trilogy, that just so happens to be in the weakest installment. Yet, his motivations are completely ludicrous. I understand this is just a movie, but storyline wise, you wonder why in blue hell would a filthy rich, toxic-dump wasting, grown man waste his time cooking up an elaborate plan to ruin the life of a TEENAGER just because he won a measly karate tournament? Oh, his best friend lost his dojo and dignity because of it. So we're also to believe that John Kreese, another grown man, has had his life shattered to pieces because an adolescent beat his adolescents in said tournament? Ugh.
Why is so much of the film fixated on the well-being of the Bonsai trees? Those were a nice touch when their purpose was to simply be objects that Miyagi used to compare their strength to human strength and spirit, not objects that have long winded scenes where Daniel and Jessica almost die climbing down a mountain to retrieve them.
Then there's the final tournament duel between Larusso and Barnes. Considering the movie could've been over in 5 minutes had Silver just purchased and built numerous Cobra Kai dojos with his money, instead he goes through the whole story finally to the end, and has Barnes dick around with Larusso by scoring a point, then deliberately losing a point via cheap shot until it's sudden death, so that Mike can get a 1-0 victory. If Barnes is so great, and Daniel is no match for him, why not just have him beat Daniel 3-0 like nothing, call it a day, then there you go. Cobra Kai is back.
There's no love interest for Larusso here either. Kumiko from KK2 is written off just like Ally was, and in this film, Jessica, who initially is a potential love interest, ends up friend zoning Daniel because she's gonna give her ex boyfriend a second chance. Her final scene in the film comes 20+ minutes before it ends.
I like the Silver character, and Barnes too. The mountain climbing sequences, though tonally out of place in this trilogy, are shot nicely. For all the scenes of Daniel being an angsty baby, there's still moments sprinkled around where he and Miyagi bring their chemistry to the screen again.
Overall, this is just another 3rd installment that poops the bed. It could've been mildly better with some tweaks to the script, characters and character motivations, dialogue and plot, but what you have here is what you get. A would-be promising, but ultimately disappointing and messy conclusion.