John G. Avildsen rehashes his shopworn formula for another go-round in The Karate Kid Part III. Going against the wishes of his mentor, Mr. Miyagi (Noriyuki "Pat" Morita), Daniel (Ralph Macchio) will defend his karate title in an All-Valley Championship match arranged by his nemesis Kreese (Martin Kove), whose karate studio folded after his star student lost the championship to Daniel. Kreese's friend, Vietnam veteran and toxic waste dumper Terry (Thomas Ian Griffith), agrees to help his old pal regain the championship trophy. Daniel's rival Mike Barnes (Sean Kanan) is known as "the bad boy of karate," and Daniel feels he requires more training to vanquish him. But Mr. Miyagi refuses to help Daniel train for the tournament: "Karate to defend life and honor means something. To defend a plastic trophy means nothing." As a result, Daniel naïvely falls into the clutches of Terry, who takes him on as a karate student. But after Daniel finds himself trapped at the bottom of a cliff and Daniel's girlfriend, Jessica (Robyn Lively), has her life threatened, Mr. Miyagi realizes the bad guys have gone too far and agrees to coach Daniel for the tournament.
by Paul Brenner synopsis