***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!
The Next Karate Kid - 1 out of 5
If Hollywood is one thing, it is the fact that it is a terrible gambler. Constantly film executives take chances that even Vegas would say it's a stupid risk. That sums up the fourth film in The Karate Kid Quadrility.
Daniel-san is gone and Mr. Miyagi finds a new trouble kid to teach in the ways of karate. This troubled youth (Julie) is played (quite badly) by Hilary Swank and her performance is so wooden and forced that it actually made me wonder how on earth she ever had a career after this film. Even worse is the film tries to make her look like the nicest, sweetest and most misunderstood trouble child. Her character's parents are deceased and she breaks the rules of authority by...wait for it...taking care of a injured hawk that she keeps secretly on the roof of her school. WOW! What a rebel!!! The story even starts to take a strange turn as her high school has a group of students who are used to enforce the rules (with violence if necessary, which is odd. The school board is cool with this?) under the tutelage of Colonel Dugan (played by Sam Fisher himself; Michael Ironside). Mysteriously, this group actually destroys a student's car and the Col. instructs one of his students to "finish him" during a fight. This made me wonder what exactly constitutes the end in one of these fights. Was the Col. instructing his student to kill another student? And, seemingly, the school board, the community and local law enforcement are cool with the antics of this student organization.
Apart of this group, known as the Alpha Elite, is the man (Eric) who tries to woo our new Karate Kid. Now, the whole movie I had to keep reminding myself that these characters were in high school because the actor who portrayed Eric looks like he's on the verge of pushing 40. Could matters get worse with the story? Of course it can because the moment Mr. Miyagi discovers that Julie is a perfect student for karate is when she's about to get hit by a car and, at the last moment, she leaps onto the hood and lands safely out of danger. Man Alive! At least the last three films were grounded in reality.
A bad story that ties up no real loose ends and culminates in an extremely weak morale at the end that's combined with weak acting pretty much sums up the attempt that is this movie. The third film wasn't the best but at least it was entertaining. Hollywood shouldn't have gambled and tried to bring new life to the franchise. Which brings me to my final point...I said Hollywood is a terrible gambler but it also never learns. After the debacle that was The Next Karate Kid, Hollywood decided to once again bring new life into the franchise by remaking the first film. I can hear the execs now, "Okay, we tried a woman, how about we try a terrible rapper and generic actor's son? That will bring in the youths to see our next crappy remake." Then another asks, "Can we replace Pat Morita with that guy who made the movies with Chris Tucker and use to be a respected martial arts action star?"
Will Hollywood never learn?