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Film / The Karate Kid Part III

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The third movie in The Karate Kid series, released in 1989.

One year since the first film, John Kreese has fallen on hard times after his humiliation at the 1984 All-Valley karate tournament. He orchestrates a plan with an old war buddy of his, Terry Silver, to revive the Cobra-Kai dojo by targeting both Daniel and Mr. Miyagi. With Kreese remaining in the shadows, Silver manipulates Daniel into returning to the All-Valley tournament, setting him up to be humiliated by a new unstoppable student, Mike "Dynamite" Barnes.


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This film provides examples of:

  • Artistic License – Sports:
    • Per virtually any official karate tourney organization rules, there's no way Barnes could get away with blatantly punching Daniel in the face between bouts. That is instant disqualification. Barnes (and probably the Cobra Kai Dojo) would be banned, possibly indefinitely. There's zero tolerance for that kind of behavior.
      • The first season of Cobra Kai revealed that indeed, the Cobra Kai Dojo received a lifetime ban; it was only an impassioned speech by Johnny (over thirty years later), and over the justified objections of a prominent Tournament board member (Daniel himself!) that got the ban lifted.
    • No yearly sports event would give past victors a free ticket to the final rounds, it was done to skip a tournament montage in the third act. Sports in general can be brutal on athletes and any defending champion would have to prove their skill in the normal bracket. The only exception would be the likes of exhibition matches.
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  • All for Nothing: Silver, Kreese, Barnes and Snake constantly physically and psychologically tormenting Daniel throughout the movie to utterly destroy him in the tournament before he is defeated is this because Daniel ultimately wins the tournament in spite of it all.
  • Break the Haughty: Kreese is going through hard financial times at the beginning.
  • Break Them by Talking: Subverted. After Daniel gets out of his Heroic BSoD thanks to Miyagi knocking some sense into him, Barnes goes on to taunt Daniel, claiming that he's a fraud and that both his karate and Miyagi are full of shit. Daniel, however, doesn't allow the rant to faze him.
    Come on, get up! Get on that line! Get on that line, LaRusso! You're worthless! Your slope teacher's nothing! Get up, man! You're no champion. Get up! You suck, LaRusso! You suck, man! And your teacher's karate is shit. You hear me? He's shit! You're done, LaRusso.Your karate is a joke. And your teacher's worth shit. He's nothing! And you're nothing! I own you! I own you, LaRusso! Where's your little Jap teacher now? He's a phoney, man. He's a fake and he didn't teach you nothing. Your karate's shit. You hear me? Get up!
  • Chekhov's Skill: Daniel must rappel down a cliff to retrieve a valuable bonsai tree. Good thing his new girlfriend's hobby is mountain climbing.
  • Classy Cravat: Lord knows why, but Terry wears a cravat during the tournament at the end.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Hi again, Terry! Oh, and bonus: his company is called Dyna-Tox Industries. Yes, really. Their PR team must cry themselves to sleep every night!note 
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Miyagi manages to trounce Barnes, Kreese, and Silver in succession, all in literally one minute.
  • Inspirational Insult: Daniel gets up to face Barnes again after Barnes yells, "Your karate's junk. You're nothing. Your slope teacher's nothing!" This gives Daniel more motivation to win.
  • Karma Houdini: Silver's sum punishment for all the trouble he caused is having his fighter lose a tournament. Sure, he got smacked around by Miyagi at one point, but he should be facing some serious criminal charges for his orchestrations.
  • Kick the Dog: Like most Karate Kid villains, Mike Barnes does all manner of petty, cruel things to Daniel.
  • Motive Decay: Terry does what he does out of friendship and loyalty to his friend, John. The opening scenes of the movie really do a good job of driving this home. And yet, he's the one who comes up with the idea of completely destroying Danny and Miyagi, and his motivation ends up devolving completely into this.
  • Obviously Evil: Terry. They have multiple scenes entirely dedicated to piling on gratuitous For the Evulz moments for the guy. He's an obnoxious rich guy who dumps toxic waste wherever he can get away with it, bribes judges, makes sure to hire "Karate's Bad Boy" and is in touch with local "bad boys" to hook him up with his mooks. Oh, and he wants to destroy the lives of a kid and an elderly man because they inadvertently humiliated his friend Kreese when Kreese tried to destroy their lives.
  • Opposed Mentors: Daniel picks up an Evil Mentor after an argument with Miyagi.
  • Playing Gertrude: Thomas Ian Griffith, who played Terry (a Vietnam Veteran around Kreese's age) is younger than Ralph Macchio (who still played a teenager).
  • Police are Useless: At one point, Daniel reports Mike and his thugs to the cops. It doesn't help.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Terry and Mike both refer to Miyagi as a "slope" for that extra touch of asshole cred.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Terry Silver and John Kreese may talk about restoring the Cobra Kai Dojo to its former glory, but their desire to humiliate Daniel and Mr. Miyagi speaks louder.
  • Revisiting the Roots: Attempted this by going back to the rivalry with Cobra Kai and the All-Valley Karate Tournament, but instead ran into Recycled Script.
  • Sequel Escalation: Averted. While the second film took Daniel to a foreign land and a fight for his life, the third takes him back to the same tournament he already won in the first film and gives him a pass straight to the final round.
  • Sore Loser: Barnes briefly throws a fit after he loses to Daniel in the All Valley Karate Tournament.
  • Step Three: Profit: Even if Barnes had beaten Danny, his star pupil being a bullying thug would've sunk Silver's new Cobra Kai before the doors opened. Though it's clear Silver couldn't give a crap about the money.
  • Training from Hell: Silver makes Daniel undergo a series of brutal training regimes which involve offensive and violent techniques; the frustration Daniel accumulates from said training causes him to become distanced from Miyagi.
  • Unsportsmanlike Gloating: Parodied by Miyagi, of all people! After handily taking down the Big Bad Duumvirate of Barnes, Kreese and Silver, Miyagi mocks Silver's ridicuolus kiais. To be fair, Silver was the one who mocked this first at Miyagi.
  • Written-In Absence: Daniel's mother couldn't appear in this movie because she went back to New Jersey to help a sick relative.

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