The Next Karate Kid

The Next Karate Kid

Infobox Film
name = The Next Karate Kid

caption = "The Next Karate Kid" movie poster
amg_id = 1:133409
imdb_id = 0110657
writer = Mark Lee (using the "Mr. Miyagi" character created by Robert Mark Kamen)
starring = Hilary Swank
Pat Morita
Michael Ironside
Constance Towers
Chris Conrad
director = Christopher Cain
producer = Jerry Weintraub
Susan Ekins (associate producer)
R.J. Louis (executive producer)
music = Bill Conti
cinematography = László Kovács
editing = Ronald Roose
distributor = Columbia Pictures
released = August 12, 1994
runtime = 107 min.
music = Bill Conti
country = United States
language = English
budget = $12,000,000
preceded_by = "The Karate Kid, Part III"

"The Next Karate Kid" is a 1994 film starring Hilary Swank and Pat Morita. It is the fourth and final movie in "The Karate Kid" series. It was directed by Christopher Cain, written by Mark Lee with music by Bill Conti. The film's tagline is: "An ancient tradition is about to collide with a new generation...and get a kick in the pants."

Plot synopsis

Kesuke Miyagi (Pat Morita) travels to Boston to attend a commendation for Japanese American soldiers who had fought in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team during World War II. There, he meets Louisa Pierce (Constance Towers), the widow of his commanding officer, Lieutenant Jack Pierce. He later meets Pierce's granddaughter, Julie Pierce (Hilary Swank), an angry teenage girl who has become full of pain, sorrow, and consequent resentment because of the death of her parents in a car accident. Her rage and violent behavior have led to friction between her, her grandmother, and fellow students. She is also in disgrace for sneaking into the school at night to care for an injured hawk, named Angel, whom she keeps in a pigeon coop on the roof.

Hoping to mend matters, Miyagi appoints himself Julie's caretaker and sends Louisa to his own house, where she is said to become his gardener. Miyagi treats Julie with great respect, does not openly contradict her at any point, shows no reaction to her harsh treatment of him and does not antagonize or try to reform her. In order to quiet her spirit, Miyagi takes Julie to a Buddhist monastery and teaches her Karate, of which art she has already made a small acquaintance.

Early on, she meets and befriends Eric McGowen (Chris Conrad), a kindhearted train-security guard and a pledge for a fraternity known as the Alpha Elite. The members of this organization are taught to strictly enforce the school rules, using physical force if necessary, by a stern and relentless Colonel Dugan (Michael Ironside). In this group is Colonel Dugan's strongest and most aggressive student Ned (Michael Cavalieri), who makes repeated, indiscreet, unsuccessful attempts to flirt with Julie. Before leaving for the monastery, Julie asks Eric to feed and water her hawk, to which he agrees.

At the monastery, Julie learns, through direct lessons, respect for all life; balance; co-ordination; awareness; and some limitability. She befriends several monks including the Grand Abbot. Eventually, the monks hold a birthday party for her, giving her a cake and an arrow that Mr. Miyagi had caught while it was in flight in a demonstration of Zen archery.

After Julie's return from the sanctuary, Eric tells Julie that Angel is healthy and asks Julie to be his dance partner in the coming prom. Julie accepts, but reveals later to Mr. Miyagi that she cannot dance. When she returns home from school, she sees that Mr. Miyagi has moved the furniture in her living room: he tells Julie that they will hold a Karate lesson. During the lesson, Mr. Miyagi subtly teaches Julie to dance, reflecting his earlier method (shown in previous films) of teaching one skill while appearing to teach another. He then shows her a prom dress he has bought for her, having guessed at size and style.

Having learned that Angel is now able to fly, Julie releases her. Although Angel has become accustomed to caged life and is therefore reluctant to leave, Julie successfully urges her to take flight.

Eric takes Julie to the dance party in his prized Oldsmobile car, while Mr. Miyagi and the monks (who have come to visit Julie, at her invitation) go to a bowling alley to play tenpins. There, they use their strong mental discipline to play the game, winning several times. A boastful, undisciplined local player challenges them, loses the match, and accepts their tutelage.

During the dance party, Ned and his fellow Alpha Elite members disrupt the dance by bungee-jumping from the ceiling of the school gymnasium. Eric goes to confront Ned; Julie stops him, and they both walk away from the dance. Eric drives Julie home and kisses her on the lips as they prepare to part ways. Ned follows them and damages Eric's car with a baseball bat. Ned then challenges Eric to a fight at the Docks, a favored Elite hangout.

At the fight, Ned is joined by Colonel Dugan and the rest of the Alpha Elite. They set fire to his car, as well as to several other objects in the area, and severely beat Eric. Eric is saved by Julie and Mr. Miyagi. As they start to leave, Ned challenges Julie to fight. Julie fights, using the Karate she has learned, until Ned cheats by throwing sand into Julie's face. Julie eventually defeats Ned and turns her back on him. This prompts Colonel Dugan to desperately bully the rest of his group, urging them to continue the fight. Mr. Miyagi then challenges Colonel Dugan to fight. Mr. Miyagi wins the fight, and then departs accompanied by Julie and Eric. He then reveals to Julie a tenet of his practice, at which he had hinted "en route" to the monastery: "Fighting [is] not good. But when [you] must fight, win".

The film concludes with a scene of Angel flying freely above sunlit waters.


*Sergeant Keisuke Miyagi
Pat Morita
*Julie Pierce
Hilary Swank
*Colonel Dugan
Michael Ironside
*Louisa Pierce
Constance Towers
*Eric McGowen
Chris Conrad
Michael Cavalieri
Walton Goggins

Hilary Swank was set to star in the movie to replace an aging Ralph Macchio, who was 32 years old. Swank was 19 years old at the time.

U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) appeared as himself in this film. Like Miyagi, he had fought in the 442nd and had also received the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Production notes

All the interior and exterior high school scenes were filmed on the Brookline High School campus, except for the scene in the gymnasium. The exterior shot is the Brookline High School gym, but the interior was Cousens Gymnasium at Tufts University. Other scenes from the movie were shot in the Boston area. For example, the scenes at Julie's house were filmed in nearby Newton.

The first three movies in the series, which featured Ralph Macchio as Daniel, were set in Los Angeles. In this movie, the setting is changed to Boston.

Because Hilary Swank could learn the advanced "flashy" moves and had trouble with the beginner moves, the Tang-So-Do karate instructor for the movie awarded her with a "Pink" belt, a mix of the white (beginner) and red (the one just under black in that particular style).

In all the four movies, the reunion scene is the only time Miyagi actually wears his Medal of Honor. The Medal of Honor is worn on a silk ribbon around the neck, not pinned through a jacket. The only other neck order issued by the United States is the Legion of Merit.

Conforming to the title changes of the first, second and third "Karate Kid" films for their releases in Japan, "The Next Karate Kid" was renamed "Best Kid 4" (ベスト・キッド4/"Besuto kiddo 4"); the major and obvious change is that this movie's translated title now explicitly identifies it as the fourth in the series.


According to the TV Guide, "The Next Karate Kid" received the unusually low rating of one star, though movies on the TV Guide are rated differently depending on the area and are not based on the total critical review.

"The Next Karate Kid" was the least successful movie of the series at the domestic box office, grossing only $8.9 million, compared to $90.8 million for the original, $115.1 million for "Part II", and $39 million for "Part III". [cite web |url= |last=Gray | first=Brandon |title=Franchises: The Karate Kid |accessdate=2008-03-30 |year=2008 |work=Box Office Mojo]


Track listing for 2007 Varèse Sarabande score

# "The Next Karate Kid" (:24)
# "Regiment of Heroes" (1:24)
# "Julie Storms Out" (3:15)
# "Cops Chase Julie" (1:09)
# "Trainyard Emotions" (2:15)
# "3M1" (2:10)
# "The Pizza Guy" (:31)
# "Julie and Miyagi" (3:03)
# "Julie’s Fight" (3:50)
# "Monk Headquarters" (1:26)
# "Dining With Monks" (2:51)
# "Julie-san Satori" (2:25)
# "Training Montage" (2:10)
# "Zen Archery" (1:44)
# "Welcome Home, Julie" (:43)
# "Rooftop Fight" (1:04)
# "Angel Flies" (3:18)
# "The Monks Arrive" (1:48)
# "Miyagi Tears" (1:33)
# "Bowling For Monks" (1:04)
# "The Alphas Drop In" (:54)
# "The Alphas Clobber Eric" (3:14)
# "Julie Fights" (3:42)
# "Miyagi’s Big Fight" (3:35)

ee also

* The Karate Kid
* The Karate Kid, Part II
* The Karate Kid, Part III


External links

*imdb title|id=0110657|title=The Next Karate Kid
*amg title|id=1:133409|title=The Next Karate Kid

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