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In order to be "The Last Dragon", a young martial arts student in New York trains to become a great fighter like Bruce Lee, but first he must face off against one mean, bad dude known as Sho'nuff, the Shogun of Harlem.
In New York City, a young man searches for the "master" to obtain the final level of martial arts mastery known as the glow. Along the way, he must fight an evil martial arts expert and rescue a beautiful singer from an obsessed music promoter. Written by
When I say "Who's the master?" - you say... Sho Nuff!
It is in Julius Carry's 'Sho Nuff' character that The Last Dragon finds its biggest laughs. Here is a towering, mean, cartoon character come to life. Better yet is the fact that Carry, spouting lines that would make even the most jaded comedy fan laugh, plays the material 100% straight, as do the rest of the cast in their respective parts.
The Last Dragon is an action/kung fu/comedy film that knows it's a farce but at the same time has the characters play everything dead straight. This works because we laugh at the outlandish plot and characters who, behind the fourth wall, would probably get along well with inmates at an insane asylum.
Tiamak stars as Leroy "Bruce Leroy" Green, a quiet, timid martial artist obsessed with Bruce Lee pictures and obtaining a special level called The Glow, where his spirit takes over the mind's job, in turn creating an awesome force to be reckoned with. But Leroy believes not in using his martial arts for fighting, but for inner peace and strength. And then there's Sho Nuff, the self-proclaimed Shogun of Harlem, who towers over nearly everyone at about 6 feet 5 inches, has wild, afro-like hair, and wears ungodly clothing one might find if MC Hammer invaded a sports store.
Sho Nuff's favorite past times are wandering into packed movie theatres and challenging people to deadly duels because, well, he is just a weird guy, who has an even weirder posse to back him up and to lick his boots at every other step.
Naturally, Sho Nuff has wanted to fight Leroy for some time, and there are several moments in the film where he attempts to gain a rise out of the young martial artist but with no luck. Throw into this mix a night club VJ, a crooked mafia-type with Cyndi Lauper's cousin for a girlfriend, and you've got the makings of an `80s classic.
I love this movie. Tiamak is perfect in the lead as Leroy because he always looks as if he's about to break into a fit of child-like giggles. Vanity is Vanity. Blah. And Leroy's friend, Johnny Yu (Glen Eaton), nearly steals the movie as a martial arts student whose theory of fighting has to be heard for a laugh. But alas, it's Sho Nuff who steals the entire movie. When he's on screen, you can't help but laugh, despite the character playing EVERYTHING straight, and you gaze forth in wonderment - thinking to yourself that maybe beneath that hulking, cartoonish exterior, Carry was laughing inside but never let it show on the outside. Good acting there.
It's silly, over-the-top, jam-packed with `80s nostalgia, and is, above all, very entertaining, with an exciting climax and a wonderful showdown between Sho Nuff and Leroy...
Do I recommend the movie? Sho Nuff!
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