REMEMBRANCE OF VIEWINGS PAST: THE KARATE KID, PART III

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Not a good date movie, if I remember correctly.  At least director Avildsen was keeping busy at the time, having just wrapped For Keeps and Lean on Me, and yet to bomb with Rocky V.  Parts of the film, perhaps handled by the Second Unit, had that Barry Levinson-home movie look where the camera moves awkwardly, or modernly, around on its subject.  In this outing, Daniel-son takes on Dolph Lundgren as a really bad-ass genetically modified Russian boxer ... no, wait, what actually happens is he gets himself mentored by a karate teacher from the Dark Side; rumor has it that this character is based on Lee Atwater.  Worse yet, apparently unbeknownst to Daniel, this new teacher's a friend of Kreese.  What an incestuous family tree!  Is there any doubt in your mind that Daniel's going to have to crawl back to Miyagi, tail between legs, and get that Miyagi mojo back in some final showdown somewhere?  Right.  And O.J.'s innocent.

There's a subplot involving a banzai tree on a cliffside that's only accessible by a lone rope.  This is perhaps an ode to the final scene of The Untouchables, where Billy Drago, aka Frank Nitti, climbs all the way down, then all the way back up to say that old saw "Hah!  You're a cop, so you can't just shoot me..."  The setup's just used for cheap thrills in Kid 3, though, of the damsel-in-distress variety, if I remember correctly.  I also remember that during the final showdown, it seemed that they were showing the snide comments from the evil Peanut Gallery more than the showdown itself.  Now, please refer to the title of this piece, remembrance.  Actually, it was on cable a while ago and saw some of it, just the part where the Karate Kid blossoms into the Karate Business Man, as he tries to sell Miyagi on opening a whole banzai tree store.  Well, he was probably more overcome by enthusiasm than anything; either way, Miyagi didn't seem too enthusiastic about it himself.  Then it hit me smack in the face with a silver two by four, the scene that seems to set the tone for the whole movie, where Daniel says over and over again "Oh, I'm so stupid!  Stupid!  How could I be so stupid?  Stupid!  Stupid!  Stupid!"  While it does indeed take a brave man to admit that, no one really wants to hang out with him, either.

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-so sayeth the Movie Hooligan

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