Friday, August 27, 2010

Freaky Friday: The Last Dragon

Ah, Kung Fu!  The culmination of thousands of years of an ancient culture, the beauty of an entire civilization distilled into a lethal art form.  Now set that against a backdrop of inner city struggles, add a Motown soundtrack, and introduce one of the greatest villains this side of Ernst Blofeld and you've got The Last Dragon: the greatest Kung Fu musical ever made.
Year- 1985
Rated- PG-13
Running Time- 109 minutes
There are only two kinds of people in the world: those who love this movie and those who have never seen it.  (well there might be a third category of people who've seen it and don't like it, but who cares what those people think)  Berry Gordy (the Motown legend) produced this little gem.  And it does the Motown name proud!  This movie stars not one, but two actors with only one name: Vanity (former Prince girl) and Taimak (Martial Arts fitness guru).  Neither of them are really proficient actors but they are both real pretty.  
Eddie Arkadian (played by Christopher Murney) is a passable bad guy, but the real engine of this movie is the ineffable Sho-Nuff: the Shogun of Harlem.  Julius Carry (RIP) carries this movie from beginning to end.  Most of the time I find myself rooting for Mr. Nuff and his goons because the good guys are just boring.  I defy you to find a better villain in the 1980's (I mean other than Gorbachev).
The plot is irrelevant.  This movie is about getting Bruce Leroy (Taimak) and Sho-Nuff together so everybody can get all Kung Fu Fightin' and so maybe the pretty people can kiss in the end.  
The last battle between Leroy and Sho is pretty cool, what with the glowin' fingers and what not.
If you really liked Yentl and Terms of Endearment, by all means don't see this flick, but if you like GOOD movies, this cinematic masterpiece will not disappoint.
The soundtrack isn't too bad either.  I've got two words for you: DE BARGE.  
I'll give this one four stars.  Check it out!


  1. Lee:
    I think Yentl can hold its' own against The Last Dragon - have you seen it? I'm disguised as a man! Now that's some serious acting.

    Your friend,
    Barbara Streisand

    PS-Barry Gordy is a dear friend of mine. I'll tell him you say hello.

  2. Best bad guy of the '80's? Oh please, that honor is reserved for Dan Hedaya in "Commando" - and that fact is sho nuff.

  3. I can only think of Dan Hedaya as "Nick Tortelli" from Cheers...not very scary!