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An Accurate Synopsis Of The Movie The Last Dragon

last dragonThe Last Dragon was a film produced by Motown Records in the mid-eighties, and while it was sort of created as a way to market a few singles, notably Oh Sheila, the film still stands as a pretty good Kung Fu movie, a good comedy, and one of the all time must download movies of the eighties. It’s fun, funny, sort of corny and very eighties.

The film follows Bruce Leroy, or so is his nickname. He’s a young martial artist from Harlem who works for his father’s pizza parlor while teaching Kung Fu to the local neighborhood kids. Throughout his adventures, he also has to keep his cool and composure while dealing with his rival, Sho’Nuff, who’s always trying to get a rise out of him. Sho’Nuff, you see, is the Shogun of Harlem… Yep, the Shogun of Harlem. That’s what he likes to call himself.

Sho’Nuff, the Shogun of Harlem, is really a cinematic treasure as far as great film characters go. He tries to egg Bruce Leroy into a fight so that he can prove, once and for all, who the strongest fighter in the city is. Every time he steps on scene, it’s with a short speech, aided by his lackeys. “Am I the prettiest?!” “SHO NUFF!” “Am I the baddest?!” “SHO NUFF!” “Am I the meanest, leanest mofo around dis town?!” “SHO NUFF!” “SHO’NUFF! Da Shogun of Harlem!” He wears visor sunglasses, a samurai’s hakama (those baggy pants that disguise foot movement), and shoulder pads, as well as a top knot… He looks ridiculous and he’s just a joy to behold.

If there’s one downside to the movie, it’s the whole subplot about the Cyndi Lauper wannabe singer and her promoter/boyfriend. He’s trying to play hardball in order to get her played on the local music show, and… Well, it’s just not really the high point of the movie. It’s not too much of a distraction, but you’ll find yourself wishing they’d just get back to the kung fu already.

But don’t worry, it gets back to that soon enough when the promoter hires the meanest hombres in town to take Leroy down, culminating in a massive brawl with Leroy and his students on one side, and a gang of colorful thugs on the other, including a great big fat white guy with a gray Mr. T mohawk and a gold colored jumpsuit… Strange characters, indeed.

There are also some really fun, corny moments along the way. At one point, Leroy tries to seek wisdom from the guy who writes the fortune cookies at the local Chinese restaurant, only to find that they’re written by a computer. Therein he finds that zen wisdom of emptiness and being.

Could the movie have been better without the weird subplot about the record promoter? Sure, but even so, it’s one of the all time classic eighties flicks, and one of the best attempts at spoofing the Kung Fu genre while at the same time honoring it. It’s also just plain a whole lot of fun.

So it’s exciting, it’s funny, and it has all the goofiness and colorful style you want from an eighties movie. Give it a download.

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