The Last Dragon

Release Date: 3/22/1985 – Rated PG-13

Plot Summary: Wu Tang made it common knowledge to us white folks that black men love kung-fu movies, but this movie should have been our first clue.  Leroy Green is an excellent martial artist, so much so that his master says there is no more he can teach him, and sends Leroy off on his own to find the missing thing that will complete his training.  There is a bit of a problem though, and that comes in the form of a huge guy named Sho’ Nuff, the self-proclaimed Shogun of Harlem.  Sho, along with his group of kung-fu lackies, keep trying to get Leroy to fight, but Leroy isn’t interested, even when the gang trashes his family’s business.  Leroy encounters a pretty young video DJ while saving her from a group of thugs, and they fall for each other.  She is later kidnapped by a crazy businessman who feels disrespected that she wouldn’t play his ugly girlfriend’s awful video on her show.  The businessman enlists the help of Sho’ Nuff, along with a large group of misfit thugs, to keep Leroy away.  Leroy comes in, along with a group of his own martial arts students, and kick everyone’s behinds.  One one guy remains – The Shogun.  Leroy and Sho’ do a bit of fighting back-and-forth, but Oh Shit! the Sho’ gets bored and his hands start glowing in some not-so-special effects.  Leroy starts to get the black beat out of him, until he remembers his master’s task for him to find what was missing, and that ends up being the love for this chick he just met.  Now Leroy begins glowing and knocks out the bad guy and saves the day.

Alex’s Thoughts:  As it missed the blaxploitation train by a few years, this probably would have been more popular had it been released a few years earlier.  It isn’t an awful flick, but it is hampered by its length – at nearly a full two hours. There are no less that four full length music videos as well as tons of breakdancing scenes that were totally useless, and were only put in there to hype up those songs (this movie was made by Motown Records).  If you took that stuff out, as well as the 10 full minutes of Bruce Lee movie footage (which I’m sure they squandered most of the budget on for those movie rights) and concentrated more on the kung-fu you’d probably have a really good movie, instead it’s just alright.

Tim’s Thoughts: I agree with Alex, this movie is too damn long, but it is definitely fun. I love that every character in this movie is a strange stereotype, it’s like Black Dynamite with the plot specific music, and goofy kung-fu, but not nearly as good. Despite the length I say check this movie out, it’s a lot of fun.

Final Thoughts:  A movie that was a little too late to the party, and suffers from just too much useless self-promoting, making it uncomfortably long.  Sho’ Nuff is one of the best villains we’ve seen though; and remember, when some one asks you “Who’s the master?”, you’d better say “Sho’Nuff”, less you recieve an ass-kicking.

Alex Rates This Movie 7/10

Tim Rates This Movie 7/10

“You just get that sucker to the designated place at the designated time, and I will gladly designate his ass… for dismemberment! ”

View the IMDB entry for this movie here or add it to your Netflix queue