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Reviews Comments: Karate Kid 3: Hilarious in it's execution. The Karate Kid film/book review by gibberingtroper

The film makes basic sense on paper. When industrialist Terry learns that his war buddy John Kreese is disgraced and bankrupt, he wants to help him make things right and get revenge on those responsible.

The problem is the execution. Kreese is shown bankrupt at the beginning of the movie which is implied to be the consequence of the tournament. This only makes sense if Kreese lost all his students due to his own rash actions and vindictiveness as one tournament loss shouldn't be enough to close him down. Whats more, we see that Terry is aware of this. He apologizes to Daniel and Miyagi for Kreese's rash actions in order to win their trust. So we know that Terry knows that this kid didn't really do anything to Kreese and was just defending himself.

Which makes it silly when Terry talks Kreese out of throwing in the towel and moving on with his life and then neglects his business interests to focus on concocting an overly elaborate revenge plot to hurt and humiliate Daniel. Heres the whole plan.
  1. Send Kreese out of the country.
  2. Apologize to Daniel and win his trust while informing him that Kreese is dead.
  3. Recruit a top karate student to compete in the local tournament.
  4. Have the top karate student goad Daniel into competing, threatening his life and his friend's life in the process (while hiding his own association with the student.)
  5. Hope that this somehow estranges Daniel from Miyagi so that-
  6. He can take Daniel in and train him wrong while pressuring him to learn vicious self-injuring attacks.
  7. Secretly bring back Kreese and wait for Daniel to give up or become uncomfortable with the training.
  8. When Daniel quits, surround him at the dojo and have Kreese spook Daniel.
  9. Its unclear what they would have done next because Miyagi saves Daniel. Were they just going to spook him? Probably because-
  10. Daniel has to show up at the tournament presumably hurt and poorly trained.
  11. Terry reveals at the tournament he is opening a new chain of Cobra Kai studios.
  12. Terry's real protege can draw out the tournament match deliberately losing points as needed to draw out the in ring punishment.
  13. The protege wins.

At this point, Daniel and Miyagi were supposed to quit karate forever while Cobra Kai ruled karate across the country. The problem with this is Daniel and Miyagi were not competing with Cobra Kai and had started a bonsai shop.


  • gibberingtroper
  • 25th Apr 11
To sum up. Daniel moves to California and minds his own business until students start bullying him. When they refuse to stop bullying, Miyagi saves Daniel and asks Kreese to keep his students in line. This is where the entire trilogy should have ended. But instead, Kreese tells Miyagi that Daniel had better compete in the local karate tournament or his students will resume bullying him. So Daniel has to compete and wins even inspite of Kreese's cheating and sacrificing his own students. The whole time, Daniel has just been defending himself and Miyagi has been protecting and mentoring Daniel.

So they move on with their lives, open a bonsai shop, and Daniel isn't even going to compete anymore. This can't stand, so a billionaire abandons all his other interests to drag Daniel back into the ring so he can humiliate Daniel and open a new chain of Cobra Kai dojos. Only, Daniel wasn't standing in the way of him opening these dojos, and Daniel winning or losing shouldn't have mattered. And in the process, Terry takes way too much joy in what he's doing. The way he acts is more in line with an overlord conquering a new realm. As Kevin Murphy says "I wish I liked anything as much as this guy likes being evil.
  • tublecane
  • 7th Oct 11
"12.Terry's real protege can draw out the tournament match deliberately losing points as needed to draw out the in ring punishment"

I could accept everything else, ridiculous as it was, if only tongue in cheekly. Even Terry's maniacal laughter at Daniel's bloody wood punching, which might be enough to turn off a movie without Mr. Miyagi in it. Then we get to the tournament, the culmination of the plan, if for no other reason than that's where the first movie climaxed. This is where things fall apart.

For it stops being a sports movie when the point is no longer to win, but to inflict pain. They might as well have simply punched Daniel in the face and pulled his pants down in front of girls, given how the evil plot unfolded. What was the point of goading him into defending his title if instead of beating him you're just going to beat him up? I could see if it was William Zabka, but no, it's just some random buzzcut roid rager. I understand he coached his Cobras to hurt Daniel unecessarily in the original, but not to this extent.

Why did it matter that much to Kreese that Daniel get beat up in that particular time and place? His fixation on the tournament is pathological and unexplained.
  • terlwyth
  • 7th Oct 11
Not to mention the feeling of evil and seriousness is just absent after the second one in Okinawa and the deal with Chozen.

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