The Karate Kid Part II Review: An Underrated Followup

After Cobra Kai Season 3, I was jonesing some more karate goodness. So after watching the first Karate Kid, I decided to go all in and get the rest of the franchise in. So, we dove in and watched The Karate Kid Part II, a continuation from the original Karate Kid! Here is our review on the second film.

In the first movie, we talked about how The Karate Kid and it’s director, John G. Avildsen, just get fighting. We’ve seen him direct and grow both the Rocky and Karate Kid franchises. The Karate Kid Part II was his first foray into a sequel of the two franchises. Remember, Sylvester Stallone took over the Rocky movies after the first movie. So the second installment of Karate Kid allowed Avildsen to grow his characters on film for the first time.

The Karate Kid Part II: Building the Lore

The Karate Kid Part II took upon it’s shoulders to build the lore of the characters, specifically the beloved Mr. Miyagi. The movie takes us from Reseda and gets us all the way to Miyagi’s homeland of Okinawa, Japan. With Daniel LaRusso in tote, Miyagi must face the problems from his past that led to his fleeing to the United States.

The tone of the first Karate Kid was an underdog story, a classic trope. The second move deals more with coming to terms with one’s past mistakes. This provides a unique and fresh look at a new country and new setting.

Speaking of setting, as mentioned earlier, we went from Reseda to Japan. The scenery and culture difference was great to see our two characters interact with. Having the young and cool Daniel LaRusso in Japan as a fish out of water really let us appreciate what the first movie did for his character. 

Overall Rating: 7/10

The Karate Kid Part II is a must watch. The writing is consistent with the first so if you liked that and held off for over 30 years to see the second, watch it, you will not feel out of the loop. The original Karate Kid wasn’t perfect, however and neither is part 2. 

First of all, we don’t see much of the original characters aside from the beginning of the movie. Ali is nowhere to be seen. While they’ve broken up, it would have been nice to at least see her on screen in the second. Maybe they couldn’t get her back for a second movie. 

Also, LaRusso’s mom just let him go with Miyagi to Japan while she went out of town for the summer. I find it hard to believe that a mother would let her son go halfway across the globe to a completely foreign country. 

But, the good far outweigh the bad in The Karate Kid Part II. If you’re a fan of the first, you’ll enjoy the second for what it is. Also, you’ll get a good reminder of things that happened in season three of Cobra Kai.

If you want to watch The Karate Kid Part II, check it out on Amazon. It’s an affiliate link for us. You support the actors in buying the movie and support us by helping take care of website costs!

Miyagi travels to Japan to confront an enemy from his past. A brilliant collision of culture and combat.

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