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The Karate Kid Part II begins at the end of part I, after Daniel wins the All Valley Karate Tournament. As young Daniel and his teacher, Miyagi are leaving the tournament, they run into trouble between the bully Johnny and his karate teacher Kreese. Miyagi of course, comes in and helps out and the scene closes. Then the movie moves forward, six months. Mr. Miyagi’s father, who still lives in Okinawa, is gravely ill and Miyagi must travel to Okinawa. In the meantime, Daniel breaks the news of having to move with his mother. After some persuasion, Daniel is allowed to travel with Miyagi, and thus begins the new adventure of the karate kid. We learn why Miyagi left Okinawa so many years ago and we learn why he has not returned. What begins for Miyagi and for Daniel is an adventure of learning new skills, betrayal, trust and forgiveness.

Karate Kid Part II, The
Movie
I simply loved this film. Although it doesn’t serve up the same punches as the first film, it features a completely new setting and a completely new story that keeps the film fresh. In all honesty, I believe this film can stand up on its own without the first one. Without serving the characters with similar actions from the first story, this one presents both Daniel and Miyagi with new challenges of old friendships, new customs, and new cultures.

For a sequel, I strongly recommend this film.

Video
The picture on Karate Kid Part II looks fantastic, despite being 15 years old. Columbia/Tri-Star has presented this film in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The colors are solid and strong, while the fleshtones appear equally as real. With a film this old, I was sure I would notice some dirt and speckles, and I did, however, it wasn’t distracting.

For those of you that are fans of the pan-and-scan versions of DVD’s, you are in luck. Side two of this disc is the full frame transfer. Although, who wants to watch a film in full-frame?

Karate Kid Part II, The
Audio
The soundtrack on this DVD sounds fantastic. The disc is presented with 2.0 Dolby surround sound, which initially I thought would be disapointing, however, the track was solid, crisp and clean. There were only a few moments where I thought the music drowned out the dialogue. The film’s original music score also sounds full and crisp.

There are also tracks in French, and mono tracks in Spanish and Portuguese.

Extras
Sadly, The Karate Kid Part II contains a skeleton of extras. That’s not to say that there aren’t any, however, I was hoping for a few more. First we have the original featurette from 1986, which was used basically to promote seeing the film in the theater. It’s definitely worth a first look, but after that, I can't see why you would want to see it again. Then there are filmographies of Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, and the director John G. Avildson. Finally, theatrical trailers for Karate Kid Part II, The Karate Kid, Godzilla 2000 and Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles – The Pluto Campaign. (Admittedly, I think the latter trailer is a little misplaced.)

Karate Kid Part II, The
Overall
I simply love Karate Kid Part II, I believe it’s the best film sequel in the series. There are two other films following this one. The video looks great and the audio, really doesn’t give me much to complain about. Although Columbia could have possibly done a better job on both aspects, they are still satisfactory. Fans of the Karate Kid films should definitely pick this one up! The Karate Kid Part II not only matches the fan-fare of the first film, but in some respects, I believe it surpasses it.


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