The Next Karate Kid

The Next Karate Kid

Synopsis of Movie

Ralph Macchio was in his early 30’s by 1994, and the “Karate Kid” designation no longer fit. Rather than rename the franchise “Karate Man” or “Karate Dude,” producer Jerry Weintraub instead decided to find a new pupil for Mr. Miyagi to train as The Next Karate Kid. And like the film’s promotional materials reminded us, “Who says the good guy has to be a guy?”

At the funeral of an old war buddy, Mr. Miyagi catches up with the man’s widow, Louise Pierce. She’s got her hands full with rebellious granddaughter Julie, a 17-year-old with a chip on her shoulder ever since her parents died in a car accident. When Louise gets called away on business, Miyagi offers to babysit the troubled teen.

Julie’s up to her ears in problems at school, where a bunch of militaristic jerks called the “Alpha Elite” lead a reign of terror under the command of Colonel Dugan. Chief among the Alpha Elite is Ned, who makes Julie a personal target. The unpopular tomboy finds a friend in Eric, an Alpha Elitist with a soft side. Julie also has another pal, a hawk named Angel, whom Julie is nursing back to health on her school’s roof. One night, Ned catches Julie sneaking in and tries to get physical with her. Julie escapes, but she’s unfairly suspended as a result.

Under Miyagi’s direction, Julie rides out her suspension at a monastery, where the master trains her in the art of karate and the Zen way of life: “Respect all living things.” Sporting a few new kicks and a healthy new attitude, Julie returns to school, ignoring the bullies and focusing on her budding romance with Eric. But those Alpha jerks just won’t let well enough alone, turning the school prom into the butt-kick-fest everyone’s been waiting for.

Taking over the “Karate Kid” mantle was Hilary Swank, a future Beverly Hills 90210 regular and Oscar winner. Noriyuki ‘Pat’ Morita gave the film a warm, reassuring presence in his return to the Mr. Miyagi role, but it wasn’t enough to kick off a new Karate Kid franchise.

Movie Release History

1984 - The Karate Kid
1986 - The Karate Kid Part II
1989 - The Karate Kid Part III
1994 - The Next Karate Kid

Movie Sub Categories

live-action
action/adventure
drama

Movie Studio

Columbia

Cast

Miyagi   Noriyuki 'Pat' Morita
Julie Pierce   Hilary Swank
Dugan   Michael Ironside
Louisa   Constance Towers
Eric   Chris Conrad
Abbot Monk   Arsenio 'Sonny' Trinidad
Ned  Michael Cavalieri
Charlie   Walt Goggins
Tall Monk   Jim Ishida
Monk   Rodney Kageyama
Buddist Monk  Seth Sakai
Mr. Wilkes   Eugene Boles
School Clerk   Keena Keel
Morgan  Tom Downey
T.J.*  Brian McGrail
Pizza Driver   Wayne Chou
Senator Daniel Inouye Himself
Wilson  Gustave Johnson
O'Connor  Brian Smiar
Westcott Boys   Christopher Beam
Westcott Boys   Eric Beam
Westcott Boys   Scott Powderly
Leon   Davis Robinson
Ernie   Anthony Ejarque
Ted   Steven Mark Friedman
Roland   Christopher Wilder
Sales Woman   Annette Miller
Jack Russell   Bud Ekins
Larry Townes   Paul Bronk
Dusty   Fred Fontana
Girl at Prom  Julie Caroline Weintraub
Bungee Jumpers   Johnny Melton
Bungee Jumpers   Chad Melton
Bungee Jumpers  Scott Strupe

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