Mr. Miyagi decides to take Julie, a troubled teenager, under his wing after he learns that she blames herself for her parents' demise and struggles to adjust with her grandmother and fellow pupils.
A surprise. I quite liked this one. There may not be anything outstanding, or even massively good, about 'The Next Karate Kid', but I actually felt content with what I had just watched when the end credits came along. It turns into a sweet story, even after a fairly rocky start. The villains are meh, a little iffy but fine... far better than those from 'The Karate Kid Part III', that's for sure. Pat Morita (Mr. Miyagi) is a little cliché-filled but still super endearing and likeable. A young Hilary Swank, in her first major film role, brings a solid performance as Julie. At first I wasn't convinced, but by the end I felt like I saw a positive journey with the character. In my opinion, it's the best sequel to 1984's 'The Karate Kid'. That's a big surprise, considering the downward trajectory of the preceding two. Don't get me wrong, it's close to being a not so good film. However, for me, it just about floats above the required marker. I like it, can't lie.