directed by John G. Avildsen
In many ways better than the original, The Karate Kid, Part II boasts all the usual suspects that made the first film a classic. Avildsen is back behind the camera, Kamen penned another stellar script, Macchio and Morita together again in one of the best film partnerships of the past three decades, only this time the duo heads out to Myagi’s hometown to see his dying father. But an old feud threatens to tear apart the entire town as Myagi has to face his old friend and sworn enemy, Sato. Danny runs into problems of his own when the girl he has his eye on (Ali dumped him for a college guy) leads to trouble with Sato’s nephew, culminating in a wicked climax on an island inside a castle where Danny once again has to do it all for the glory of love. There are actually four films in this series (including a disastrous final attempt to crown a young Hilary Swank as The Next Karate Kid), but just walk away from the series after the second film if it’s possible. If you’re like me and you came back for second helpings of trash by watching even the fourth film, then I share in your displeasure. As calamitous as the final pair of films may be, nothing can take away from the mighty power of the first two.