The Karate Kid, Part II (1986 – Blu-Ray)

“For man with no forgiveness in heart, life worse punishment than death”

After renting the first ‘Karate Kid’ Blu-Ray from LoveFilm and finding it every bit as great as I remembered I thought I’d go for the sequel. However it wasn’t quite the same faultless experience. The original had the benefit of a very simple story “Bullied boy is taught karate by surrogate father figure” where as this sequel’s plot is a little harder to pin down.  Daniel (The titular Karate Kid) is essentially sidelined as we follow Mr Miyagi back to his home village in Okinawa where he must face an old enemy, fall in love with an old flame, save the village and if he’s got time teach Daniel some new moves by shaking a rattle.  Daniel must also face an enemy, fall in love and help save the village but these struggles just feel tacked on by the script writers to give him something to do while they tell the much more powerful story of Mr Miyagi.

All those problems stem from the script but the film still boasts the same two magical performances that made the first film work and it’s a delight to have more screen time for the late great Pat Morita.  The young Ralph Macchio as Daniel is once again a luminously charismatic screen presence demonstrating the acting chops he first showed in Francis Ford Coppola’s ‘The Outsiders’.  The filmmakers pains to accurately show the ancient rituals of Japanese culture are wonderful, particularly when filming the tender and sensual beauty of the Japanese Tea Ceremony.  I’ll have to give part 3 a go next to complete my trilogy experience.

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