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John G. Avildsen
Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, Martin Kove
Writing Credits:
Robert Mark Kamen

Ostracised villain John Kreese attempts to gain revenge on Daniel and Miyagi, with the help of a Vietnam War comrade, the wealthy owner of a toxic waste disposal business.

Box Office:
$12.5 Million.
Opening Weekend:
$10,364,544 on 1560 Screens.
Domestic Gross:

Rated PG.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Dolby Vision
English Dolby Atmos
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English DTS-HD MA 2.0
French Dolby 2.0
German Dolby 2.0
Hungarian Dolby 2.0
Italian Dolby 2.0
Spanish Monaural
Castillian Dolby 2.0
Thai Monaural
Chinese Traditional
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 113 min.
Price: $75.99
Release Date: 12/7/2021
Available Only As Part of “Karate Kid 4K UHD Collection”

• Trailer


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Sony UBP-X800 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


The Karate Kid Part III [4K UHD] (1989)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson/Brian Ludovico (February 6, 2022)

Back in 1984, The Karate Kid became a surprise hit. A low-budget flick, it turned into a nice success that earned a more than tidy profit.

Inevitably, this led to a sequel via 1986’s Karate Kid Part II. Though it received weak reviews, audiences flocked to it and it actually took in more money than the original.

Just as inevitably, this meant another dip in the water with 1989’s Karate Kid Part III. Finally the well ran dry, as it made barely one-fourth the gross of the second flick and ended the series.

Well, until the even less successful spin-off Next Karate Kid in 1994 ended the franchise’s “original run”. A 2010 reboot did very well, though it didn’t spawn a new spate of flicks.

Kid III ended our journey with the original leads, and we start with a deposed and despondent John Kreese (Martin Kove). The disgraced owner of a now failed dojo, he finds his life in shambles.

Kreese’s former war buddy and apparent financial backer Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Mitchell) feels upset by this news, so he sends Kreese to Tahiti and promises to avenge his honor. Silver will employ martial arts bad boy Mike Barnes (Sean Kanan) to kick the living crap out of Daniel Larusso (Ralph Macchio) at the latter’s defense of the All Valley karate title.

Mentor/friend Mr. Miyagi (Noriyuki “Pat” Morita) encourages Daniel to skip the tournament and his student reluctantly agrees. However, Silver’s insidious plan subverts this plan, so Daniel and Mr. Miyagi find themselves ensnared in various issues that inevitably lead toward more climactic martial arts.

All of that sounds like a really contrived way to get Daniel back into the tournament and to revive our animosity toward Kreese – or his doppelganger, the even nastier Silver. Terry comes across as more dangerous than Kreese because he’s smarter and wealthier.

That doesn’t make Silver more believable, though. Kreese offered a semi-cartoony villain, but he still largely lived in the real world.

Not Silver, as he delivers the most absurd baddie one can imagine. He practically dons a top hat and twirls his mustache as he cackles in glee at his wicked plans.

All of this seems ludicrous as ludicrous can be. If Silver really wanted to help Kreese, why not just give him some financial backing and leave it at that? Why does Silver care about Kreese’s “personal honor” – which Kreese himself torpedoed?

Basically, Robert Mark Kamen - writer for all three installments - takes the conflict elements of The Karate Kid, shuffles them around, adorns them with just a few different baubles, and calls it a movie. It’s symptomatic of the script’s sloth that this movie that can’t come up with a better name than “Mr. Miyagi’s Little Trees” for a bonsai store.

Characters get thrown together and when they don’t work, they just get pushed out of the film. Daniel’s nascent love interest Jessica (Robyn Lively) comes and goes at random and never plays a real part in the proceedings other than to make the increasingly touchy-feely Daniel/Miyagi relationship seem less homoerotic, I guess.

The villains become the best part of the movie, mainly because of this lassitude. There’s no attempt to rationalize their actions, so they’re just obsessed and evil.

Thomas’s performance as Silver becomes hilariously over the top and delivers the movie’s only entertainment - unintentional entertainment due to his campiness, that is. Griffith looks awfully young to play a Vietnam vet buddy of Kove, probably because Griffith was 27 and Kove 43.

Crud, Griffith was slightly younger than Macchio! Macchio still maintained a fairly youthful vibe, but it remains perplexing that we were supposed to buy then-27-year-old Griffith as a Vietnam vet, especially given that the guy was 11 when the US left the conflict. Why not hire a more age-appropriate actor?

In no uncertain terms, The Karate Kid Part III delivers a narrative failure. The filmmakers count on us to simply reconnect with these characters on the same level we did in the original, and to a lesser extent in Part II, but they offer us nothing new as an incentive to do so.

We know that Daniel and Miyagi are on the right side of karate, and the Cobra Kai thugs represent the wrong. We know that in spite of the odds, Daniel will triumph, which is nothing new for this series, but we aren’t invested enough in the story to really care about the journey.

Kid III feels like nothing more than cheap product, a lame attempt to further a sputtering franchise. This ends up as 112 minutes of tedious, campy “drama”.

The Disc Grades: Picture B/ Audio B-/ Bonus D-

The Karate Kid Part III appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. Though the movie showed its age, the Dolby Vision image usually satisfied.

Overall sharpness seemed fine. A handful of shots provided mild softness, but the majority of the film offered fairly positive delineation.

I saw no issues with jagged edges or moiré effects, and edge haloes remained absent. Grain felt fairly natural, while print flaws remained absent.

Colors tended toward a natural – albeit low-key – palette. The Blu-ray didn’t give these hues great life, but they felt well-rendered for the most part. The disc’s HDR added heft and vivacity to the tones.

Blacks appeared acceptably dark and tight, while shadows brought us adequate smoothness and clarity. HDR contributed extra range and impact to both whites and contrast. Nothing here dazzled, but the image felt appropriate for the film’s vintage and style.

Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the movie’s Dolby Atmos soundfield stayed pretty focused in the front spectrum, where it did fairly well for itself. The mix presented good ambient sound from the side channels, and all of the audio blended together smoothly.

The rears tended to bolster the film's score, and they also provided some occasional effects, but I detected no indication any effort was made to create a surround mix that really involved the viewer. As such, the front speakers carried the show.

Audio quality appeared solid throughout the movie. Dialogue sounded warm and natural, and I had no trouble understanding speech at any time.

Effects were clear and realistic, and they lacked distortion. The score came across nicely, as it sounded bright and full, with some good depth to the range as well. The audio mix for Kid III certainly won't make your list of "demo discs", but it succeeded reasonably well.

How did the 4K compare to the Blu-ray version? Though audio went Atmos vs. the Blu-ray’s 5.1, improvements seemed modest. Kid III never became a movie with a lot of the whiz-bang we want for a strong soundscape, so the Atmos version added little.

As for visuals, the Dolby Vision 4K seemed more natural and distinctive, with superior definition, blacks and colors. The movie still “looked 1989”, but the 4K offered the more satisfying version.

The 4K includes the movie’s trailer but it lacks any other extras.

A second disc brings a Blu-ray copy of Kid III. It fails to include any supplements.

Essentially a cheap remake of the original, The Karate Kid Part III offers a feeble experience. Even the deeply flawed Part II works better than this bottom of the barrel scraping dud. The 4K UHD offers pretty good picture and audio but it lacks notable bonus features. Unless you eat and sleep Karate Kid, skip this terrible movie.

To rate this film, visit the prior review of KARATE KID PART III

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