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Film / The Karate Kid Part II

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The second movie in The Karate Kid series, released in 1986.

Six months after the first film, Daniel has broken up with Ali and is being set up to move in with Mr. Miyagi as his mom moves up north. Miyagi receives a notice that his father is gravely ill and he decides to return to his home village in Okinawa. Daniel wants to support his friend and father-figure and goes with him, also hoping to learn more about Miyagi's history.

At the village many things have changed, and Daniel learns of an old feud between Miyagi and his old friend Sato that has not passed with time. (Miyagi left Okinawa so he would not have to fight to the death.) Daniel also begins a troublesome relationship with Sato's nephew Chozen, who is even more aggressive. Miyagi's father dies but that did not subside Sato's anger. Along the way, Daniel also begins a new romance with a local girl, Kumiko.

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This film provides examples of:

  • Alpha Strike: Chozen demonstrates that the crane kick leaves Daniel overstretched and off-balance.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Sato is, curiously enough, the main one in the film instead of Chozen.
  • Artistic License – Martial Arts: A small one as the movie is well-researched but, according to the movie, the Miyagi family invented karate. Mister Miyagi glosses over it but tells a story in his family dojo about how one of his ancestors went to China, learned White Crane Kung Fu, and basically adapted it to become karate as we know it. This is basically the story of how it happened in real life but over centuries with many different people. Miyagi could have been telling a family legend but his family dojo traces it back to the ancestor and it seems to be true in-universe.
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  • Award-Bait Song: The theme song, Peter Cetera's "Glory of Love", was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song. It also helped that it reached the Top 5 in various countries including the US and UK.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Chozen allows Daniel to follow through on the crane stance, but simply catches his foot and gives him an elbow to the back (a move reminiscent of Johnny's elbow to Daniel's knee in the first movie).
  • Book-Ends: The nose-honking.
  • Break the Haughty: Chozen has nothing going well for him once Daniel arrives in Okinawa.
    • Sato has this happen to him in a far more subtle way. For the past thirty years, he's been fuming about how Mister Miyagi disgraced him and planning his revenge by finally getting the Duel to the Death he's always wanted. Then Mister Miyagi saves his life during a typhoon as well as the life of a little girl, demonstrating his superiority in the martial arts in the process. Additionally, he's also forced to confront he's effectively raised his nephew to be monster. By the end, he makes a Heel–Face Turn and is forced to swallow his pride.
  • Brick Break: The second film takes most advantage of this trope with Mr. Miyagi coaching Daniel how to break through six sheets of ice, while Miyagi tops everyone by chopping a thick ceiling beam in two with one chop to rescue Sato pinned under it in a storm. At that point, it is likely that Sato realize that if they had their duel, Miyagi would have been able to kill him with one full force punch.
    Sato (to Chozen while holding the bell ringer girl): "Now, to you, I AM dead!"
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • The film opens with Miyagi teaching Daniel about a breathing technique to focus the mind and body to pound in nails in one hit. Mid-way through the movie Daniel is challenged to break the sheets of ice and Miyagi reminds him of the technique.
    • The reason why he needs the drum technique is illustrated when Chozen easily defeats the Crane.
  • Cherry Tapping: Miyagi nose-honking Kreese at the beginning, then Daniel doing the same to Chozen at the end.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Sato is a Corrupt Land Owner who is willing to destroy the village to goad Miyagi into that fight of his. He already had a monopoly on the fishing industry (condemning the villagers to a life of poverty) when Miyagi arrived to see his father.
  • Crushing Handshake: Chozen's greeting when he first met Daniel.
  • Cruel Mercy: Miyagi humiliates Kreese, later saying his life is punishment enough for him. At the end of the movie,
    Daniel: Live or die, man?
    Chozen: Die!
    Daniel: Wrong! (makes honking sound, squeezes Chozen's nose and pushes him out of the way)
  • Deadly Dodging: When Kreese attacks Mr Miyagi at the start he never hits back, just dodging while Kreese punches through two car windows (definitely not Soft Glass). Taken Up to Eleven in the remake.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Miyagi gets off one of his best quips here:
    Daniel: "Hey, Mr. Miyagi, can you break logs like that?"
    Miyagi: "Don't know. Never been attacked by tree."
  • Did Not Think This Through: Sato is an Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy despite his age and the fact he's a Corrupt Corporate Executive who just happens to run a dojo still. He thinks he can kill Mister Miyagi in a fight as he's been keeping up his skills for decades. The problem with this is it turns out Mister Miyagi's family invented karate. Miyagi also studied since near birth and it was only due to their friendship that Sato was taught. It's fairly clear Sato was never anywhere close to his rival's level.
  • Duel to the Death: Sato has been building one up in his head for roughly thirty years. He plans to kill Mister Miyagi in one and avenge his dishonor from years ago. It never happens.
  • Due to the Dead: Miyagi's reason to go to Okinawa is because his father is dying; he arrives in time to talk to him one last time. Sato is saddened too, and as a result, tells Miyagi he has three days to mourn before he demands his grudge be settled.
  • Foreshadowing: The poster of Sato breaking a log. Miyagi breaks a wooden beam of similar size in one blow to save Sato from being pinned under it during the typhoon.
  • Happy Ending Override: The first film ended with Danny getting the girl. In this film, she dumps him for a jock. She also chooses Prom Night, if Daniel's outfit is any indication, to break up with him.
  • Hate Sink: Between antagonizing Daniel for little to no reason (mainly because Daniel is Miyagi's student, seemingly), cheating villagers out of their money (which they don't have much of, to begin with), and threatening to kill Kumiko out of spite; it's safe to assume Chozen's the most villainous of the Karate Kid antagonist. He's so vile that even Sato's disgusted by his actions.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Sato, after Miyagi and Daniel rescue him from a destroyed shrine during the typhoon. He orders Chozen to do the same thing, and Chozen refuses.
  • Heel Realization: Sato has one of these during the typhoon when his nephew won't help search for a missing child in a storm but Miyagi's Western pupil will.
  • Help Mistaken for Attack: Sato is trapped under a long piece of wood during a storm, and when Miyagi walks over, Sato thinks the idea is to finish him off while he is trapped, only to find out that Miyaki just wanted to free Sato from the rubble.
  • Honor Before Reason: Sato could be the trope image as he is still clinging to a 30 year old grudge. Somewhat Justified as his fiance chose to remain unmarried even when the hypotenuse ran away. The fact Miyagi and he are both reaching the end of their middle ages also makes it somewhat ridiculous.
  • I Have No Son!: Sato to Chozen after Chozen refuses to help Daniel rescue the bellringer during the typhoon. "Now, to you, I am dead."
  • I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine: Nobu McCarthy played Pat Morita's fiancee Momo in Happy Days.
  • Ironic Echo: In the opening scene after Miyagi takes down Kreese without actually attacking him, he repeats back his own creed that Kreese imbues in his dojo.
    Miyagi: (Miyagi has Kreese at his mercy) Mercy is for the weak. We do not train to be merciful here. If a man faces you, he is the enemy. An enemy deserves no mercy. HIIIIIIYAAAAAAH!!! (rears back his hand and goes into a chop, but suddenly stops short of Kreese's terrified face) Honk! (Pinches Kreese's nose before dropping him)
  • Large Ham: Sato doesn't merely chew the scenery; he devours it in great gulps.
    "Your fear make air STINK!!"
  • Medal of Dishonor: A zig-zagged trope but given the fact his wife and child died in the Japanese internment camps in California, Daniel's attempt to make a display for Miyagi's Medal of Honor clearly makes the WW2 veteran uncomfortable. As we saw in the first film, he's got profoundly mixed feelings about his war time service.
  • Neutral Female: Kumiko attempts to subvert it by trying to pull Chozen away from Daniel during their last fight. It doesn't work, but the effort is appreciated.
  • Never My Fault: Chozen blames Daniel for dishonoring him. Daniel 1) accidentally revealed that he was cheating the villagers, 2) fairly won a bet that Chozen forced him into, and 3) helped save some of the villagers from the typhoon while Chozen was doing nothing.
  • No-Sell: When Miyagi confronts Chozen and his cohorts as they're trashing his home (on Sato's orders), Chozen, in a rare moment for the series, actually gets a shot in on Miyagi - hitting him across the back with a spear while Miyagi is getting Daniel out of the way. Miyagi barely flinches.
  • Not My Driver: A car is waiting for Mr. Miyagi and Daniel when they arrive in Okinawa. When Miyagi asks the driver why they're heading away from the village where he wants to go, the driver and his friend reply "Some things have changed since you were last here, Miyagi-san..." "...and some things have not, eh?" Mr. Miyagi and Daniel soon learn what this means when they reach their real destination: a warehouse where Mr. Sato and his nephew Chozen confront them.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: We find out Mister Miyagi made a rather epic foul-up in his youth when he publicly announced his love for Yukie, alienated his best friend (who was Yukie's betrothed) to murderous rage, then skipped out to avoid killing him. Miyagi thinks leaving was the best option but it left Sato with a permanent chip on his shoulder that is still burning him, broke Miyagi's father's heart, and Yukie revealed she never married because she was in love with him alone. Pat Morita's acting is subtle throughout but does an excellent job of how wrong things have gone is breaking through Miyagi's The Stoic attitude.
    • After Sato's Heel–Face Turn, we also get the realization he's not only raised Chozen to be a complete monster but casting him out has only made him someone with nothing to lose. He begs Chozen not to go down the same road as him, but Chozen's already snapped.
  • Not Quite the Right Thing: Miyagi running away from his Duel to the Death with Sato. He didn't want to risk killing the man who was like a brother to him, and also assumed that Sato and Yukie would marry (as their families had planned) if he was no longer around. But as noted above, Yukie refused to go through with the marriage, and this caused Sato to become consumed by jealousy and bitterness.
  • Post Game Retaliation: John Kreese does this to his losing students after they were beaten by Daniel in the first movie. He yells at them and gets physical until Mr. Miyagi intervenes. It doesn't go well for Kreese.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Daniel finds out that the Crane Kick from the first movie is easily avoided and just leaves you off-balance and exposed against an opponent who isn't freaked out by how ridiculous it is.
    • The whole fight between Daniel and Chozen in general. It is neither flashy nor require a lot of fancy flips or gravity defying martial arts, it's just one brutal fight for survival. To drive home how intense the fight was, there's hardly any background music.
    • Saving people in the middle of a storm comes at a great cost. The heroes had to be very fast, and eventually Daniel is the only one strong enough to keep going (Mr. Miyage is in his 60's, after all). And when Daniel goes back for the bell-ringer, he succumbs to hypothermia the moment his adrenaline wears out. Sato has to race out to rescue the child, who Daniel is no longer strong enough to carry.
  • Redemption Rejection: Chozen flatly refuses Sato's plea for him to let go of his grudge:
    Sato: "Chozen! Don't do this. I was wrong... hate is wrong. It's over!"
    Chozen: "I cannot hear you, uncle. I am dead to you, remember?"
  • Revenge Myopia: Chozen blames Daniel for "dishonoring" him — by doing such things as revealing that he was using false weights in his dealings with the villagers. Daniel lampshades this:
    "He cheats people and I'm insulting his honor?"
    • Sato has something of this himself with a little more justification. Mister Miyagi publicly announced he was going to marry Sato's fiance and then skipped out on their duel. Sato continues carrying this grudge for decades thereafter, assuming its because Mister Miyagi hated him and was a coward. He misses the fact Miyagi knew he was the better fighter and didn't want to kill Sato.
  • Save the Villain: Sort of with Miyagi. In the opening scene, he comes in defense for Johnny when he was getting strangled by Kreese. Then during the typhoon, he rescues Sato from being pinned under a heavy wooden beam.
  • Sequel Escalation: This movie sees Daniel travel with Miyagi to his hometown in Okinawa and tussle with a gang of thugs even more dangerous than the Cobra Kai. While Daniel faced Johnny at the All-Valley tournament as a matter of honor and respect, Chozen challenges him to a fight to the death in the climax here.
    "Daniel-san, this not tournament, this for real!"
  • The So-Called Coward: The main plot when Sato, who dismissed Miyagi as a coward for years, finally sees him and Daniel in action during a typhoon and realizes to his astonishment at how powerful and fearless they really are when necessary. As a result, he insists on helping them and makes amends the next morning.
  • So Last Season: The Crane Technique to the Drum Technique.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: At the beginning, Miyagi spared Kreese's life after squashing him in an act of self-defense.
    Daniel: You could have killed him, couldn't you?
    Mr. Miyagi: Hai.
    Daniel: Well, why didn't you?
    Mr. Miyagi: Because Daniel, for man with no forgiveness in heart, life even worse punishment than death.
  • Translation Convention: Made unnecessary in a clever way. Mister Miyagi's village has had a United States Air Force Base constructed literally next door. As such, the population has a large English speaking population. Daniel doesn't speak a word of Japanese and some characters like Yukie have difficulty with English but only Mister Miyagi's father doesn't speak any English at all.
    • Even so, the Okinawan characters speak English far more than would be likely, including in scenes where no American is present.
  • Underestimating Badassery: When Miyagi breaks a beam trapping Sato with one chop to free him, Sato surely realizes that this "coward" actually totally outclasses him in karate.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Ali, who ends up going on to dump Daniel for a college jock.
  • Visual Pun: An unintentional example. When Kumiko throws mud at Chozen after he assaulted Daniel, he smiles, takes off his white shirt, and throws it to her. "You keep for your collection." He gave her the shirt off his back.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Throughout most of the film, Sato speaks in a deep, gruff voice. He lets go of his anger after the typhoon hits, and shifts back to what is presumably his real, noticeably softer and lighter voice. The only time he uses his old voice after this is when chastising Chozen.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Mr. Miyagi and Sato were best friends growing up, until Miyagi fell in love with Yukie ("Yu-kee-eh"), who was arranged to marry Sato. One day Miyagi announced in front of the whole town that he wanted to marry Yukie. Sato, who felt as though he had been insulted, challenged Miyagi to a fight to the death. Miyagi fled to America rather than fight his best friend, and Sato held a grudge for decades.
  • Written-In Absence:
    • Elisabeth Shue was unable to reprise her role, as she was studying at Harvard, so it's explained that Daniel and Ali broke up.
    • Randee Heller (Daniel's mother) asked for too much money to be in Part II, so her character was written as having taken a job in Fresno.

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