Movie Plot – The Karate Kid Part II: Daniel accompanies Mr. Miyagi, to Miyagi’s childhood home in Okinawa. Miyagi visits his dying father and confronts his old rival, while Daniel falls in love and accidentally makes a new rival.
Director: John G. Avildsen
Writer: Robert Mark Kamen
Cast: Pat Morita, Ralph Macchio, Pat E. Johnson, Tamlyn Tomita, Danny Kamekona, Yuji Okumoto
Daniel (Ralph Macchio) travels with his teacher Miyagi (Pat Morita) to Okinawa to visit Miyagi’s dying father. During his stay in his homeland, Miyagi is once again confronted by his arch-nemesis Sato (Danny Kamekona) and the ongoing feud between them. Daniel learns a lot about the old Japanese traditions and codes of honor when he too becomes embroiled in this vendetta, with the trickster Chozen (Yuji Okumoto). And this while he is hooking up with the beautiful Kumiko (Tamlyn Tomita).
It’s not surprising, but there’s quite a history behind Mr. Miyagi’s self-assurance. He once left Okinawa, where he grew up and was trained as a sensei by his father, when he was not allowed to marry the girl of his dreams. She was married off to his best friend, Sato. After Mr. Miyagi’s refusal to decide in a life and death duel who could marry Yukie, he turned his back on his homeland. Although it has been some forty years, Sato does not appear to have forgotten what happened, let alone forgiven Mr. Miyagi. Mr. Miyagi, however, sticks to his principles and refuses to fight. Meanwhile, things are not working out between Daniel and Sato’s cousin Chozen.
A Mr. Miyagi story
Because the first Karate Kid movie was such an 80s classic, a sequel was on its way. Although The Karate Kid Part II has a title that suggests it will focus on Daniel LaRusso, in fact it is primarily about the history of Kesuke Miyagi and how he confronts his fate. In its own way, much of the first film is reshaped by depicting Daniel LaRusso going up against all the new martial art antagonists whose motivation to fight is a misplaced sense of honor rather than this time lust for power.
For me, this was a letdown. I like to see Mr. Miyagi in action, but as in a supporting role. Now it felt like that was Ralph Macchio on the sidelines. What I loved about the first one was all the special training and the fights. In this movie, I feel a great lack of such moments. At one point, Daniel was learning to dodge, but afterwards nothing was done with this.
The whole addition of the Sato storyline feels forced, as does the blossoming love between Kumiko and Daniel.
Let’s get to the action!
Before I get to the end scene, there is a sudden storm, which only serves as a means to showcase the heroism of the two protagonists. The blisteringly intended finale is completely over the top and implausible. It’s too bad more attention wasn’t given to a story that was a bit more innovative and less forced.
The choreography is decent and the involvement of the cast members impressive, the ending is somewhat disappointing. After an entertaining fight scene between Daniel LaRusso and Chozen, Toguchi comes to an understanding in the most ridiculously melodramatic and repetitive way without any sense of realism. Without wanting to spoil for those who haven’t seen the film yet but something happens to drummers that you just can’t take seriously – even though the film does. The premise in The Karate Kid Part II takes the relationship between Daniel LaRusso and Miyagi in a different direction. While it was a father-son type concept in the first film, the sequel plays on the idea of friendship between the two as equals as human beings yet different in the Eastern martial arts. It is interesting to note that the relationship between the characters has evolved since the first film.
It is the two main characters that keep the viewers drawn in, and the portrayals of the two cast members really serve as the main asset. Ralph Macchio does well, although his character is a cheap imitation of his previous role. Regardless, he once again does justice to his character. Pat Morita is also nice to see again, but the lightness and charisma is a lot less. Kind of logical given the circumstances of what his character is going through.
I was a little disappointed. The fact that this film will take place in China was a good but at the same time bad choice. The landscapes and images of the country are of course beautiful, but you can expect a lot of wooden dialogues and other things.