Karate Kid, Part 4 is better known by its release title, The Next Karate Kid. The sole holdover from the first three KK flicks is Noriyuki "Pat" Morita, once more cast as janitor/martial arts maven Miyagi Yakuga. This time, his pupil is orphaned 17-year-old Hilary Swank, the granddaughter of Miyagi's war buddy. Relentlessly bullied by her male classmates and feeling responsible for her parents' fatal accident, Swank is taught self-worth through the tough-but-gentle guidance of Miyagi. While The Next Karate Kid may come off as too "PC" for the tastes of some fans, it is heaps better than the appalling Karate Kid, Part 3.
by Hal Erickson synopsis