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.
**Despite the heavy reviews and the public's disinterest, it's not as bad a movie as they say, and it was able to end the franchise on a positive note.** After three very interesting films, the “Karate Kid” franchise had to continue, and a fourth film was made, this time with a young girl in place of the apprentice (Ralph Macchio was too old for the character, and he had no interest in calling more his image and career to the universe of martial arts films). It was a risky move, but necessary if they wanted the franchise to continue... but the public didn't buy in, despite the movie itself not being as bad as they say. In fact, I even consider it to be better than its immediate predecessor. With a weak box office result, largely as a result of the public's loss of interest in karate films, the film killed the franchise for a few decades, but I have no doubt that it was able to end it on a positive note. The script is simple, but not without its flaws: Miyagi attends a military ceremony honoring the dead of his military unit, and ends up meeting the daughter of an ex-comrade-in-arms, Julie. She is a withdrawn young woman, with problems and angry due to the death of her parents in an accident. He decides to take her as a karate apprentice, it being obvious that she has a series of problems with other violent teenagers and will have to use martial arts to defend herself, but predictability is an agenda present throughout the film, which is not brings anything substantially new to the franchise. The film basically contains the same ideas and structure as its predecessors. The end of the movie is pretty hard to believe. Despite the problems, the film brings back Pat Morita, who has already won us over with the friendliness and good humor of his character, and with an always very committed interpretation. He has always been fundamental to the success of the films in this franchise, and his funny and charismatic presence is even more important here, in a film where he assumes even more presence and protagonism. Hillary Swank is still extremely young in this film and is a long way from the glory days she will live in years to come, but she shows charisma and presence, and a latent talent that needs to be polished. The film also has the participation of Michael Ironside and Michael Cavalieri, in the role of the two main villains, both of which are predictable, flat and underdeveloped, but still worthy of our dislike. Technically, it is a very discreet film, which invests more in discreet effects and in a clear sound and image than in more flashy things. The movie's pacing is slower than its predecessors, and that takes some of the fun out of the movie, makes it more sleepy, but it's not a serious problem. The cinematography and editing are good enough, as are the choice of filming locations, the design of the sets (in particular the monastery) and the costumes. Finally, but just as importantly, the action and fight scenes were good enough and very well choreographed, and while some thought they were too sparse, I thought they were more interesting than the two preceding films in the franchise.
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Movie Star Rating : 7.2 Read More
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In the future, crime is out of control and New York City's Manhattan is a maximum security prison. Grabbing a bargaining chip right out of the air, convicts bring down the President's plane in bad old Gotham. Gruff Snake Plissken, a one-eyed lone warrior new to prison life, is coerced into bringing the President, and his cargo, out of this land of undesirables.
Movie Star Rating : 7.1 Read More
Two men answer the call of the ocean in this romantic fantasy-adventure. Jacques and Enzo are a pair of friends who have been close since childhood, and who share a passion for the dangerous sport of free diving. Professional diver Jacques opted to follow in the footsteps of his father, who died at sea when Jacques was a boy; to the bewilderment of scientists, Jacques harbors a remarkable ability to adjust his heart rate and breathing pattern in the water, so that his vital signs more closely resemble that of dolphins than men. As Enzo persuades a reluctant Jacques to compete against him in a free diving contest - determining who can dive deeper and longer without scuba gear - Jacques meets Johana, a beautiful insurance investigator from America, and he finds that he must choose between his love for her and his love of the sea.
Movie Star Rating : 7.5 Read More
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