The Karate Kid Part II (Blu-Ray)
July 22, 2010
The Karate Kid part II follows straight on from where the Karate Kid left off, at least it does after a rather lengthy montage of scenes from the first film designed to get you up to speed on past events. Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) has just won the All Valley Karate Tournament with his crane kick, and he and Mr Miyagi (Morita) are leaving the arena to join up with Daniel’s mother (Randee Heller) and girlfriend Ali, with an ‘i’ (Elisabeth Shue). Of course, they never actually meet up with them because Randee Heller and Elisabeth Shue havn’t been contracted to this film, and Ali’s character is even written out with a throw away line about her falling for some football player.
Anyhow, Daniel and Miyagi are on their way when the owner and trainer of the Cobra Kai, John Kreese (Martin Kove) is beating up on his losing student. This prompts Miyagi to intervene and ‘make his knuckles bleed’ without even touching him. You need to remember this for Karate Kid part III (actually you don’t, you’ll be reminded with flashbacks again).
Once the initial euphoria of Daniel’s victory has settled down we can get on with the storyline. Miyagi must return to Okinawa because his father is dying, but in doing so he will have to fight his old friend Sato (Danny Kamekona) to the death for stealing his betrothed some 40 years earlier, before escaping to America.
There, that’s the storyline.
As with the first Karate Kid, you can pretty much guess the rest. Daniel will fall for some pretty young Okinawa beauty, some local hoodlums with trash some plants attempting to act tough, Miyagi and Sato will eventually put things behind them and Daniel will have a one-on-one fight in the end, which he no doubt wins with the use of some new move that he learns throughout the course of the film.
All goes without saying.
In truth, and not a lot of people would say this, Karate Kid part II is actually a better film than the original, if perhaps not quite as enjoyable. Daniel’s character is far more likeable and with much of the drama centring on Miyagi (who is a far better actor than many give him credit for) the film stands up much better than the first.
However, nothing can quite top the impact and sheer enjoyment of the first film, with that memorable scene where Daniel realises that he has been learning karate for three whole days without even knowing it.
Just like the first film however, this Blu-Ray release is completely devoid of special features (save for the original featurette), and doesn’t even contain the original trailer.
Also – the original Karate Kid films are a trilogy, so where’s the third film on Blu-Ray?
All of that side, The Karate Kid part II is another classic of 80s cinema and a worthy follow up to the original. It’s a shame more effort hasn’t been put into the Blu-Ray release, as the original trilogy DVD was crafted with real love and attention. Owners of the DVD trilogy need not bother with this, but if for some strange reason The Karate Kid Trilogy isn’t in your collection, you could do a lot worse than these very affordable Blu-Rays.