Andrew Beckett is an up-and-coming young lawyer who suspects his dismissal from a prestigious law firm may have been due to his contracting AIDS. He hires homophobic ambulance chaser Joe Miller to sue his former employer for wrongful termination as his old firm is so powerful that no attorney in Philadelphia wants to take it on.
In 1952, when a sick Inuit hunter becomes despondent after being sent to a hospital in Quebec City, he is introduced to an orphan who serves as a translator and helps him to rediscover his pride and energy.
Daniel is blackmailed into competing against the vicious "Bad Boy of Karate," Mike Barnes. Though Daniel clearly needs Miyagi's help, he refuses, claiming that fighting for a trophy violates the spirit of karate. A new teacher manages to convince Daniel that he should learn a combat-style karate technique diametrically opposed to Miyagi's system, but when Daniel learns that the teacher, Barnes and an old enemy are setting him up for a slaughter, he has to beg Miyagi for help.
Summoned by his dying father, Miyagi returns to his homeland of Okinawa with Daniel after a 40-year exile. There he must confront Yukia, the love of his youth, and Sato, his former best friend turned vengeful rival. Sato is bent on a fight to the death, even if it means the destruction of their village. Now, far away from the tournaments, cheering crowds and safety of home, Daniel will face his greatest challenge ever when the price of honor is life itself.