Director John G Avildsen and writer Robert Mark Kamen returned with a smart story that not only continued the character journey but also managed to flip the focal point on its head. Where the first movie's focus was on Daniel, the second one put Miyagi in the spotlight, and the result is a more mature and drama-orientated story that explores themes of culture, tradition and lost love. The Okinawa setting lends the series an authentic quality and makes it a much more cinematic movie-going experience. The new focus and exploration of Miyagi's backstory makes it an emotionally charged narrative that gives credence to the drama and puts the action on the back burner.
THE KARATE KID PART II was an even bigger box office hit than the original due to audience's thirst for more, however it's critical reception was much less enthusiastic. The lack of action is the likely factor for its lacklustre response, which is a damn shame when the story and overall aesthetic holds far more charm. Thankfully the sentiment has improved over the years and the fondness for the movie has grown. It has become something of a nostalgic memory and in today's age of mindless replicant sequels it's nice to reflect on a time when more originality was put into crafting a sequel.