The Karate Kid, Part II Blu-ray Review
PictureSony has done as good a job here as they did with the companion release of the first instalment, bringing The Karate Kid: Part II to Blu-ray with a faithful 1080p High Definition rendition presentation in the movie's original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1 widescreen. The detail is excellent, clarity resounding without any signs of edge enhancement, and there is simply no softness. Remaining respectful towards the original grain structure of the film, there is a fairly noticeable level of grain running almost throughout but, again, to DNR this into oblivion would Vaseline-up the image in a horrible way - akin to the recent Predator debacle. Thankfully this is not the case here. The colour scheme looks almost as dated as with the first movie, but the colours themselves have probably never looked this vivid - even on original presentation. Black levels are solid if perhaps not exceptional, and whilst this may not hold a candle up to modern Blockbusters, it is a loving, faithful rendition of a quarter-Century-old production.
SoundSimilarly the aural accompaniment comes in a solid DTS-HD Master Audio flavour comparable to that encountered on The Karate Kid. Dialogue is offered up clearly and coherently, largely emanating from the centre channels, with some accompaniment from the fronts. The material is largely limiting when it comes to the effects, which are largely atmospheric and - even then - more commonly found across the frontal array. There are some nice touches, particularly when creating an authentic Japanese atmosphere. There's nothing big or boisterous here, the fight sequences - understandably - coming across as the loudest offering. The score is perfectly suited to the fairly predictable fight-themed story, doing its best to be rousing nevertheless, and we get a few noisy 80s pop tracks to round things off. Again, as with the first movie, noticeable bass is almost non-existent, but that was only to be expected. Overall this is a solid effort, doing the absolute best with the limited material on offer.
ExtrasUnlike the first movie, The Karate Kid: Part II comes to Blu-ray almost devoid of extras. There is a brief, 6 minute Featurette entitled The Sequel, but it offers up more final film footage than it does anything else, with only brief behind the scenes snippets and soundbites from the cast and crew. There is also a Blu-pop track but, unlike the one on the Blu-ray release of the first movie, this one is strictly text-based (no Ralph Macchio video comments this time). Still, it is a nice new addition, and very welcome considering the only other thing we get is a bunch of Trailers.
VerdictThe Karate Kid: Part II may not be a particularly memorable sequel, but it is a solid-enough, good-hearted companion-piece to the original classic. Perhaps not as iconic, it still tries to develop things in a different direction, focussing enough on the much more interesting Mr Miyagi character to feel like a worthy addition to the franchise. Falling down mainly for its facsimile representation of Daniel-san's story arc in the first movie, there is still much fun to be had, particularly after just watching the Part 1. On UK Region Free Blu-ray we get the same solid High Definition image and sound quality that Sony managed to pull off for the original, but only a couple of extras this time around. Fans of the movies should definitely consider picking this up alongside the first movie, even if you steer clear of the further entries, as it is a decent enough sequel.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £19.99
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