The Karate Kid Part II (Blu-Ray)
I actually own…I mean owned THE KARATE KID II action figures. You could push a button on their back and they would karate chop a board or ice depending on the accessory given. Admittedly, they were pretty lame but I enjoyed them. Which is a long way to say, I’m a fan of the film.
THE KARATE KID II is not quite as good as the original but as far as sequels go I am happy to say it is still thoroughly entertaining. The second film pulls off the difficult follow up task nicely by changing the location from California to Okinawa and upping the danger level. As mentor Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita) warns Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio), “This not tournament. This for real.” Basically summing up these aren’t just high school bullies any more Daniel-san. The film is riddled with other high level danger reminders as well, such as Daniel’s question, “How do you know who wins?” Miyagi’s response, “One who dead, doesn’t.“
The story picks up immediately following Daniel’s win at the tournament where Miyagi has a confrontation with the Cobra Kai coach John Kreese (Martin Kove). Along with Daniel, Mr. Miyagi flies back home to Okinawa to be with his dying father. While there, he unexpectedly is revisited by his past that he tried to flee from many years ago. His best friend Sato (Danny Kamekona) still wants revenge for Miyagi expressing his love to Sato’s soon to be arranged wife who never married. Daniel meets a new love of his own and gets an enemy in Chozen (Yuji Okumoto), Sato’s best student. How will the duo overcome these obstacles? Well a nicely placed storm might to do the trick.
The villains are ultra evil, recognizable by Sato’s delivery of every line as if he is constipated. Chozen has not an ounce of goodness to him, looking to beat and cheat everyone. This is classic good vs. evil, but don’t worry you can learn the difference between the two by this gem of a line by Sato, “I was wrong. Hate is wrong.”
Finally, what’s a KARATE KID movie without a signature move to be triumphant? Well sadly, The Drum technique is a little lackluster. Not quite the showiness as the Crane Kick but I doubt either would really work in a fight. The actually physicality of the final fight lacks a certain boom but the film makers make up for it by delivering some nice cheese factor moments with the audience using their little drum in unison and Daniels final “Live or Die” question.
THE KARATE KID II fires on all 80’s cheese filled fun cylinders with breathing techniques, ice chopping, groin punches, a dance sequence, air guitar, child saving and powerful emotional moments between our unlikely student and sensei. It’s even an Oscar nominated film courtesy to the song Glory of Love by Peter Cetera.
Video: This was a bit of a bland transfer even for an older 80’s film. It’s not the best but it is an improvement.
Audio: The sound was efficient especially during all the strong base chords when ever anyone was struck.
“The Sequel” Featurette (6:18): Mostly clips from the film with a couple of comments on how it’s great to get everyone back together. As always, it’s shocking to hear Pat Morita in his normal very westernized American accent.