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8/10
Does this movie rock? Sho'NUFF!
Pumpkin27 February 2005
If you occasionally get nostalgic for break dancing, too much hairspray, De Barge, and Cyndi Lauper-style hair extensions, then this movie will give you an awesome blast from the past! I watched it on a Saturday morning and it made me feel like a kid again.

As many of the naysayers have already posted here, this ain't no bona fide martial arts flick. But it does make Tarantino-esque allusions to kung-fu pop culture- namely, Bruce Lee's films- that will be appreciated by 'true' kung-fu fans. And the fight scenes were co-choreographed by Ernie Reyes, Sr., so that gives them some credence.

In my opinion, the "worst" parts of this movie are actually the best because of their kitsch value: Prince protégé Vanity performs a ridiculously bad song and dance number; Leroy finds his inner "glow"; Sho'Nuff and his gang interrupt a screening of ENTER THE DRAGON; the list goes on. I think I'll watch it again next Saturday!
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One long music video with chop socky thrown in
Schlockmeister27 June 2001
Lest we forget, this is BERRY GORDY's The Last Dragon. He was the head of Motown Records. It has the look of a music video for a good reason, it was produced and directed by music video people. Made to sell soundtracks like almost every Robert Stigwood movie of the 1970s.

Tiamak play Leroy, often called Bruce LeeRoy in this movie(ouch). It's amazing that he didnt do more in Hollywood than he did, maybe it was a personal choice of his, it certainly does not seem to be because of any lack of talent. He could have been an action hero on the level of a Van Damme in my opinion (with a little acting talent added in...).

Vanity is beautiful, as usual, as the host of a TV video show, remember them? She is very easy on the eyes and the role does not require too much in the way of her acting, so she does very well.

The story line is silly and improbable. All this action and no police ever show up? The movie makers and Tiamak seem to obviously love Bruce Lee movies, and for Lee fans this was a nice way of seeing Bruce back on the big screen after 12 years or so of nothing after his death. The scene where Vanity presents Leroy with a video compilation of some of Bruce's greatest moves is a highlight of this movie.

Worth seeing. Be in a light, silly mood and you will get the most out of it. Be sarcastic and critical and you will have a miserable time. Remember, your children will laugh at your favorite movies as well.
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9/10
Flashy Kung Fu 80's Flick
silentcheesedude25 January 2005
It's so easy to dismiss a movie from another time-line as pure trash. Why, if I just pick up any car-chase movie from the 70's, or some old spy movie from the 60's WITHOUT considering the era & what was in it, I'd be lost.

The 80's introduced a pop culture focused in music, thanks to MTV. Break-dancing was the norm. Synthesized keyboards backing up great, and some not so great singers were all over. Also, movies in the 80's carried over what Bruce Lee & others had brought from the 70's: martial arts. Lots of movies with the word 'ninja' in it, and of course 'Karate Kid' made a big impact in 1984.

If you were already into the hip-hop scene, & you liked the American dance pop music that was playing all over New York, then going to see 'The Last Dragon' would have been a natural extension for your weekend experience at the movies.

The story is simple- Young kung-fu master Leroy Green (Taimak) must seek his inner-self by obtaining what is called 'the glow', and is faced with wrath of a great, cheesy bad guy called Sho'nuff, along with his gang. Along the way he will learn about his family, himself, and even find love. There's plenty of side stories that include our hero, who, by the ways, eats popcorn with chopsticks. He's a modest, gentle young man who is faced with other challenges you wouldn't expect, like, for example, how to be 'black', and the fact that he's a virgin.

There is some hilarious lines, and I remember the entire theater in a riot with some of these:

Sho'nuff: Now, when I say, "Who's da mastah?" you say, "Sho'nuff!" Who's the Master?"

Gang: "Sho'nuff!"

Leroy Green: "The truth will be revealed only to eyes unclouded by desire."

Sho'nuff: "It's mumbo jumbo like that & skinny little lizards like you thinking' they the Last Dragon that gives kung-fu a bad name."

Those who really watch Kung Fu films are in for a treat, as this one really lays on the Bruce Lee references. The villain, Sho'nuff, is a just oozing with the typical kung-fu bad guy look & sound. There are some good fighting scenes, as Taimak is really an expert in martial arts (there were some karate how to videos he did), but there is one little kid in this movie who really kicks butt. You have to see him in action to believe it.

Nope. There are no Oscar winners in here. You won't see an outstanding story line. No expensive SFX. Just a moderately low budget, flashy movie filled with that decade's influence- like bright colored clothes, neon lights, & music. It's the right blend of kung-fu, fantasy, romance and comedy together with 80's clicks and buzzes that really make this movie. If you like kung-fu, forget the nay-sayers and watch this, you won't regret.

9 out of 10
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10/10
A classic, hands down.
rudypoo29 June 1999
This movie is like a guilty pleasure- nobody really talks about it, but every time it comes up in a crowd, within seconds people are using classic lines like "Who's the master?" and "Hey my man, what it look like?" and laughing like maniacs.

This was my favorite movie as a teenager and I've probably seen it 100 times. From the hilarious over-the-top performances to the hybrid karate/comedy/musical genre, it's a movie that kept me laughing the whole way through.

If you like classic movies, then don't waste your time- you'd be better off watching "The Sound of Music" for the 800th time. But if you didn't like this movie, odds are you tried not to.
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8/10
Shonuff!
Peter Grunbaum4 January 2004
Why have this movie got so long a rating? Probably the most funky martial arts movie ever made. An absolute 80s masterpiece. Full of honour for Bruce Lee and that period as well as containing the spirit of Van Damme and the 80s - and afro-american funk as well as saturday night fever dance movies. This movie definitely got the glow!
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This movie inspired me.
sulsasword31 May 2004
Forget the campiness. Who cares about the less-than-Oscar-nomination acting. I never watched The Last Dragon for these reasons. I watched it because I loved the feeling and spirit. Oh, and Vanity. This movie became such a huge influence in my life that I pursued martial arts lessons so that I could be just like LeRoy Green. Now, nineteen years later, I am nearly ready for my Masters rank in the martial arts. This movie was all about basic things in life: good triumphing over evil, the importance of love, family ties, loyalty and plain, old good fun. I find it interesting that LeRoy could reach the Final Level ONLY after he had found someone else to help; i.e. Laura Charles. Rather like life should be, eh?! Love is truly the ingredient for a rich, fulfilled life. Of course, some serious kung fu adds some spice to life. Just one thing: how did LeRoy practice catching a bullet in his teeth? Did his old master train him by throwing bullets to him? Forget the hoakiness. Just enjoy this awesome (and rather poignant)film.
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10/10
Kung Fu classic
DunnDeeDaGreat16 November 2001
The Last Dragon had everything a kung fu classic should have. As a chlid this was one of my favorite films. Tamiak surpisply never did another movie but it's still a lot of fun. Soon I'll own the DVD. Check this movie out for a good time.
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9/10
The absolute best martial arts flick ever!
VernonPope4 March 2002
Alright, I acknowledge that there are cheezy scenes. I also realize that the "bad" singer is a Cindy Lauper clone, and that Vanity was a protege of Prince. All that aside, I think the filming was great. The scenes were well shot, the music did a terrific job of matching the scenes and setting the mood, and even the comedy helped to keep the show from being too much of a fight flick - in other words it was more real than most shows. The script was easy to follow (alright, predictable) but it's necessary to reach a broad audience. The fight coreography was well done, and Leroy's struggle to believe what everyone is trying to tell him about himself is the real jem of the show - who among us doesn't struggle with such problems at times?
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10/10
I can't get enough of this movie!
-=Zipp=-10 January 2000
I've seen the movie about 37 times, and I can recite just about every word in the film, but for some reason, I just can't get enough of it!

For those of you who haven't had the privilege to see the movie yet, imagine a blaxploitation movie mixed with a martial arts movie mixed with a Motown soundtrack. There's 'The Last Dragon' for ya, and there is my favorite movie of all time.

The movie is full of some of the wildest characters, including a very uptight producer, a terrible singer who is so good she's bad, a beautiful dance show host, and one of the most memorable villains ever.

The soundtrack is Motown...'Nuff said.

For the serious moviegoer, 'The Last Dragon' may not be your cup of tea. However, if you're willing to drop your guard for a minute, and just have a bit of campy fun, then 'The Last Dragon' is definitely for you.
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10/10
Must see
CYossarian28 October 2002
If you like stupid and fun movies, this is for you. Fun action, retarded yet comical performances by the cast, and a stupid but enjoyable plot. The fxs in the movie are so 80s it is insane, the costumes fall along those lines as well. If you don't like stupid fun movies (example: Evil Dead), then do not bother, but if you do like I said before, The Last Dragon is for you.
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6/10
Agreeable nonsense, but wears out its welcome after a while.
Scott LeBrun16 February 2016
In this 1980s favourite, the likable Taimak stars as "Bruce" Leroy, a very earnest martial arts student. His goal in life is to find a character known as The Master and attain the highest level of martial arts wizardry, otherwise known as The Glow. Along the way, he becomes smitten with a stunning VJ named Laura Charles (Vanity), and is forced to confront villains such as loudmouth gangster Eddie Arkadian (Christopher Murney) and the overbearing "Shogun of Harlem", also known as "Sho'nuff" (Julius Carry), who travels with a flamboyant entourage.

It's true enough that "The Last Dragon" would have the most appeal for kids, or people who saw this as kids. It ultimately goes on a little too long and does get pretty tiresome at times; Johnny Yu (Glen Eaton) is a particularly annoying character. But this feature length combination of MA and music video stylings gets by on amiability. A series of showdowns can boast some good action, plus it's a fair deal of fun when levels of cheese get higher as Leroy does battle with Mr. Sho'nuff.

The cast gives it some value. Taimak is a decent action hero, and the lovely Ms. Vanity is ideal as his object of affection. Leo O'Brien goes to town on the scenery playing Leroy's lively brother, who is himself strongly yearning to be with the leading lady. Both Murney and Carry are completely over the top as the villains. Faith Prince does alright as Eddies' air headed girlfriend who has ambitions of pop stardom. Also appearing are Mike Starr, Jim Moody, Ernie Reyes Jr., Keshia Knight Pulliam, and William H. Macy. Keep an eye out for Chazz Palminteri, in his film debut, as a mustachioed thug.

The non-stop soundtrack is reasonably catchy, and the filmmaking (led by director Michael Schultz) is overall fairly colourful and amusing.

Six out of 10.
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10/10
Vanity, Sho Nuf', DeBarge's "Rhythm of the Night," and Bruce LeRoy... what more could you ask for?
Crackphu17 September 2000
Great quotes, kung fu, a whole lot of Vanity and a little old-school break dancing. This is an 80s classic. What a great movie!

For those who claim that Bruce LeRoy is gay, the movie is stupid or that the directors were misguided in their efforts making this movie clearly did not get it. This movie is exactly what they wanted it to be - and it works.

The Final Level's glow, the ridiculous Sho Nuf gang's outfits ("Who's the master?!?!?"), and the Cyndi Lauper-on-crack Angela and her tits with headlights from Q Gardens. I don't think those were a mistake. This movie was meant to be entertaining. It had it all, classic 80s music and even some quality fight scenes at the end that had guys cheering for Bruce Leroy almost as loud as they did for Rudy at the end of his movie. "Who's the Master?" "I AM!!"

This movie was exactly what it was meant to be - a great flic. If you don't think so, you need to pause, take a minute and put your 80s hat back on. If you don't have one or have lost your connection with the decade of the parachute pants and the boom box, then this movie may never be as entertaining as it once was for us. Enjoy.

A few people to notice int he background: William H Macy as Laura's make-up artist, Cockroach from the Cosby Show in the pizza parlor when the gang vandalize it, and Ernie Reyes Sr in the fight scene. Nice early work.
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10/10
The Last Dragon............
FOLEYAXEL10 June 2008
Warning: Spoilers
It all started with Bruce Lee, which initiated the mass popularity of martial art cinema in the US. That soon followed the Hong Kong imports i.e.: Shaw Brothers and Jackie Chan to name a few. Soon after Hollywood decided to try and emulate this genre with few results. With the likes of Chuck Norris, and the Cannon Group ninja movies, there hasn't been a clear cut film at that time that signified brilliance in Hong Kong Cinema.

This film was a result of just that....the writer Louis Venosta inspired by Bruce Lee and the style of kung fu films started the seed to which many know as the last dragon...or most known as "Berry Gordy's The Last Dragon". Motown mogul Berry Gordy decided to take this on as a marketing tool to promote his new musical acts at the time and to make co-stars Vanity, and Taimak a stars.

The story in all its glory is most easy and simple to follow....a young shy, unassuming man in his early 20s Leroy Green or more known as Bruce Leroy because of his devotion to Bruce Lee and the martial arts has reached the final level in the martial arts.

We learn that in order to reach the final level one must obtain the glow.....since Leroy isn't ready he asks for someone to guide him. His master sends him on a quest to find the master who will guide him to the final level.

Simple, right?

Wrong...of course he has many obstacles along the way in his quest. Leroy somehow gets involved with a local VJ Laura Charles (Vanity) who's being harassed by sleazy producer Eddie Arkadian (Christopher Murney). Apparently Arkadian wants to use Laura to showcase his music through her show as an opportunity to sell records.

The main villain in this film goes by the name, "Sho'nuff the Shogun of Harlem".

He's the bad ass of Harlem and to complete and honor his ego he sees Leroy as a threat to his domain and must defeat him. Leroy refuses to fight but we know because of the story structure their paths will meet again.

Leroy is so focused on the martial arts that he is so closed in to everything else in his life. He dresses like a Chinese disciple, doesn't have many friends and is clueless in interacting with the ladies. The humor sets in when his young brother Richie (Leo O'Brien) is more adept at talking to the ladies than Leroy. In a funny scene Richie goes on to teach Leroy the art of making moves to a lady. He's not looking to fall into the arms of Laura and her problem. He did what he thought was right in defending her, and at the same time begins to fall in love with her. What to do? Fighting Sho'nuff is not in his ethics and dishonors the martial code.

Is this Oscar worthy? No In its simplicity the last dragon shows us that with love, family, and inner strength can overcome your inner demons thus becoming the master. It's a basic tale that reaches to young people and it has remained a staple of my life. That's the quirkiness of it all this film just has heart! It reaches to young people and they gravitate to it. The fighting even for it's time is not bad, but what makes it shine is the cast ie: Taimak who plays the character with such heart that most young audiences feel they can identify with....a character who's simple, shy, has the goods just needs to confidence, and through your inner quest we all can overcome the Sho'nuff's of our life!

The direction by Michael Schultz is on point...nice concept of making it like a live cartoon...if you let your guard down and accept the world it's in you can enjoy the Last Dragon....
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10/10
I can't help but...
dee.reid12 October 2006
...Comment on Motown Records' own "Berry Gordy's The Last Dragon," the 1985 martial arts action-comedy featuring one-name action hero Taimak in the lead role as a Bruce Lee enthusiast named Leroy Green (a.k.a. "Bruce Leroy"), who idolizes the Master in late-night Harlem grind-house outings along with other young movie-goers and at one point dons a yellow tracksuit a la Bruce in "Game of Death" (1978).

IT'S KUNG-FU WITH SOUL!!! ENTER THE LAST DRAGON!!!

Leroy's trained for years attempting to achieve the mysterious "glow," a desired power force that can only be obtained when one has mastered himself. Leroy has mastered his physical abilities, but true to these sorts of movies, has not mastered his own being. He can't even talk to the pretty VJ Laura Charles (Prince protégé Vanity) without stumbling over himself (gee, and I thought I had problems with the ladies in that respect, and I'm no kung-fu master).

Directed by Michael Schultz, "Berry Gordy's The Last Dragon" is pure, cheesy fun with a supporting cast that knows their roles very well and run with it, including Julius J. Carry III in a deliciously over-the-top villain role as Sho'nuff, the Shogun of Harlem, and Chris Murney as psycho music promoter Eddie Arkadian. The special effects are pure '80s, nothing to really be excited about (but of course, were top-of-the-line back then). The fights are great too, but not spectacular; the final confrontation between Leroy and Sho'nuff is pretty sweet.

What I liked about "Berry Gordy's The Last Dragon" is its timely vibe - pure cheese. The '80s were the decade of cheese and for a "B"-grade blaxploitation/Bruceploitation flick, this movie has that and more, but it's watchable cheese, with a truly one-shot action hero in Taimak, who exercises some formidable gong-fu moves of his own, and is almost shameless in his Bruce-like mannerisms. The film seems oddly in sync with the blaxploitation-era flicks that inspired it; the only thing missing is Jim Kelly with an Afro. Taimak does have one really cool demonstration scene where he chops an arrow in half in mid-flight (which, from what I understand, was filmed as is).

As a fan of martial arts movies, I'd definitely recommend checking out "Berry Gordy's The Last Dragon" if one is truly a fan of martial arts cinema. If you like Motown Records, definitely check out the soundtrack.

P.S.: For all you Bruce Lee loyalists out there, be on the lookout for a sequence featuring clips of the Master in action from "Fists of Fury" (1971), "The Chinese Connection" (1972), and "Enter the Dragon" (1973).

Exit... the Last Dragon.

10/10
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10/10
u r the last dragon
dragonballz3017 February 2006
best martial arts movie ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Some one needs to make a sequel. or a awesome video game true to the movie. and no remakes not directed by the same guy as King Kong like a real martial arts expert or (BRuce) Leeroy him self but beside that someone really needs to make something else out of this movie it was the greatest martial arts movie of the 1980's plus the movie was hilarious in some parts. the only thing that needs to be changed was the funny but stupid glow effects and like a old Shownuff training a new evil guy and some white kid who gets picked on in school go to find Leeroy and have him train him to achieve the glow with some of the original music from the original movie in the new movie because it would be awesome!!!!
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Taimak and Leo O'Brien
DebelynMcC20 May 2002
They are my favorite actors in the movie , it would had been nice if was The Last Dragon 2. I think that movie should have had some credit to it and I wish that we had more black actors on a widescreen TV. Just like Will Smith and Denzel Washington. But would like to seen more of Taimak starring in more movies and also Leo O'Brien.
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Sho'Nuff!
useoncendestroy12 November 1999
I recently saw this movie for the first time, and I actually liked it.

I think I enjoyed this movie so much because it was like a time capsule of the 1980s. I remember all those songs on the soundtrack, and I remember how popular Vanity was during that time. Mostly though, I remember the b-boys. *swoon* I can totally see this movie being a hit with kids back in the day because they'd look up to Taimak's character, and breakdancing was the BOMB... I'm sure he was all the rage then. But it's kind of a positive role model type thing for the kids too, and I can see parents really digging that, thinking that this movie is a selection that'll keep the youngstaz outta trouble for an hour and forty-five minutes or whatever.

> This is an action packed movie. There is never a dull minute from the time we see the opening scene of the Tae Kwon Do exercises, to the final "battle" between good and evil, there's something keeping you there and interested. I think Bruce Leroy's little brother almost steals the show, because he's such a scam artist. He's like a very young wisecracking Chris Tucker-type or somebody. That kid is hilarious. He's obviously hip, and aware of what's cool during that time. He's also got a crush on Laura (Vanity)... Who wouldn't? He's a red-blooded American boy!

The most meaningful part of this movie for me was the thing with the brothers... The bridging of the gap between the brothers. That was really special, because Bruce Leroy Green in all his naivete really was very different from his little bro... Like, there's a cultural GAP between them or something!

I'd recommend this movie to anyone who has a passion for the roots of hip-hop, graffiti (and there is a BUNCH to be seen around the sets) or urban culture, martial arts, or just a well told funny story. It is a comedy--it's even a comedy from the eighties, so get ready to see some multi-colored, checkerboard, neon green, and bright orange patterned madness--but know that this movie has its message too. I kinda think movies like this are quite rare. It isn't often you get to see a young man become a hero of his own accord.

But, you know... I couldn't be sure if the Sho'Nuff character wasn't really Busta' Rhymes or somebody... =P
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6/10
Fun 80s afro-fu
funkyfry18 February 2008
Warning: Spoilers
The legendary Berry Gordy of Motown Records fame produced this action comedy that revisits classic kung fu movie images and archetypes and places them in an 80s ghetto American setting. The result is definitely messy and at times unintentionally funny, but for the most part I was impressed with the way that the film's light comic touch and equally light social commentary carried the movie with a goofy spirit of fun and freedom.

It was a fun movie to kick back with some friends and drink a few beers with. You've got this guy "Bruce Leroy" (Taimak) who's on a spiritual quest to become a kung fu master, and then the villain is this guy who looks like Bootsy Collins with football shoulder pads, Sho'nuff (Julius Carry). There's also the requisite white corporate type bad guy who's trying to make a big deal out of his talentless girlfriend by strong arming a popular local television video DJ (Vanity). We were surprised to see William H. Macy pop up for about 20 seconds in a bit part as a toady trying to convince Vanity to play the horrible video that the girlfriend made. I've never seen him so young or in such an unrewarding part.

I guess the most important thing to judge in this movie is the quality of the kung fu; I've seen quite a few kung fu movies even though I would never consider myself an expert and I would say the quality was pretty good and it was all done in a way that looked great on screen. There's some special effects involved in some of the later parts that looks pretty "dated" I guess but you expect that in 80s kung fu movies from what I've seen. In fact the whole thing has at least a little bit of the appeal and style of John Carpenter's "Big Trouble in Little China." Musically I think the movie is very weak but I have to admit I'm not a fan of 80s music. When you think about the name Berry Gordy you definitely tend to think of superior music to anything that we heard in this movie.

What I enjoyed most was the way that "Bruce" Leroy Green was less "black" than just about anyone else in the movie; it provides a lot of humor and is an interesting counterpoint to the kind of macho Afro-American posturing that you see in a lot of Jim Kelly movies and so forth. There's a funny scene where a group of Asian break dancers show more "blackness" than Leroy could possibly be capable of. I thought Taimak was a very charismatic actor and had a unique combination of fighting skills and humility. He wasn't the type of action hero that you saw on the screen in the 1980s, which might be part of why this movie didn't do well. I would have liked to have seen more of him in movies but this was the first time I've seen him. I guess if this movie had been a hit he would have been a big star, he could have been 5 years ahead of Wesley Snipes, and in my opinion a more convincing martial artist as well.

It's no masterpiece but worse movies made more money at the time.
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10/10
Very good camp classic of the 80's
aelroth21 October 2006
This is definitely an unrecognized classic of the eighties, which should deserve to be better known. The Last Dragon is certainly a cheesecake of a movie, a highly amusing pastiche and collage of the film and music genres popular in the early 80's, such as the Kung-Fu movie, the Breakdance movie, the video clip (references to Cyndi Lauper and Prince – watch the hilarious video clip à la Cyndi Lauper) –there's even a touch of fantasy. It's a Friday night guilty pleasure (in fact when I watched it) for all those who have been through the 80s.

Unlike Flashdance, it doesn't take itself too seriously: yes, it's (very) cheesy , undiluted 80s, but it's more stylish than you would think at first. Whereas of Flashdance you laugh of the movie, here you find yourself unexpectedly laughing with the movie. The whole cast is evidently taking a pleasure in this film –in particular Julius Carry – the "Shogun of Harlem"- and this pleasure passes on to us spectators. This movie is closer to camp movies such as "The Big Meater Eater", "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" and further back in time "Jack the Giant Killer" and "The Son of Sinbad", rather than other 80's classics, because once again it doesn't take itself too seriously and yet has more qualities than many of the films of its time (don't mention "Highlander"). There's lots of action in this movie, but also singing and dancing as well as some romance. This film shows, irradiates much joy and pleasure, that you wonder why some refer to the 80s as the decade that everyone wants to forget...

This movie is hysterically funny from the beginning to the end, but underlying the humour it also touches on "serious" themes, such as cultural identity which reminds the excellent Ghost Dog by Jim Jarmusch. The main character in the Last Dragon, an African-American Kung Fu master follows cultural models from the East, while some of the Asian characters are strongly influenced by Soul, Funk and African-American culture. Both "The Last Dragon" and "Ghost Dog" show that cultural identity is not something which is fixed, but is fluid, exchangeable, undetermined – both movies show characters that adopt, appropriate and are appropriated by other cultures.... Don't get me wrong: the Last Dragon is unabashedly commercial, but it touches on themes normally "reserved" to "high art" (whereas Ghost Dog does it the other way around ;-) ), while remaining consistent with the slapstick tone and humour of the film.

Overall this movie is highly enjoyable. William Macy even makes a short, but very amusing appearance. You gotta see this movie!
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9/10
An awesome movie
manystyles17 March 2006
This film is more then a Kung-Fu flick. Its the only good African-American inspired martial arts movie I have ever seen (Sorry Jim Kelly, its true).

The plot is a standard Kung-Fu movie style.

Student seeks final knowledge or skill so must quest for a new teacher, student has good friends that need his help and family problems, a brother he cannot relate to and a life that walks against the grain of the place he is from (in this case, NYC of all places) and his family (they own a pizza shop, yes that is part of the comedy of the movie, an African-American family that owns and operates a pizzeria) , student encounters bad guy and bad guy's equally evil cohorts, student falls in love with woman, she is in danger. She gets in trouble, so does his family, He sets out to saves his love interest.

Kung Fu fighting ensues.

However, it is the crossover elements of the movie that really pull it all together. The break dancing/Hip-Hop element of the film REALLY works. Its done amazingly well. The Hip-Hop doesn't seem tacked on and it actually fits into the plot of the movie. The younger brother (and the central "Hip-Hop" character) played by Leo O'Brien does shine as the flub for his older brother's straight man routine. You gotta remember that this film was made during the peak of the early Hip-Hop era (think, right around the time Beat Street was made) and as a result the dancing, music, style and attitude still comes off as fresh and not watered down or overdone like it is today. The love interest (Vanity) is the host of a "Soul Train" like show, and the elements of the plot tie nicely into the hip-hop/80's pop music theme of the whole film.

Sure, the bad guys are comical and over the top, but that's what I expect from a Kung Fu movie. Think of this film as a blending of the serious Bruce Lee themes of justice and revenge with the Jackie Chan/Stepeh Chow over the top comedy approach. Its probably one of the myriad of movies Tarantino watched to put together Kill Bill, and probably the reason he went for a hip-hop inspired soundtrack to the film.

I won't give away the ending, but I will say this, its worth the 12 dollars you'll spend on the DVD. Of all the movies in my collection, this is the one most people pick up, read the back and say "lets watch this". A good lazy evening movie.
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The Last Dragon -- Thank God there's no more!!
yojimbo99918 May 2001
This is obviously a campy martial arts flick from the '80s. I was too young to see it when it first came out, but I did remember hearing a lot of hype about it. I finally saw it a few years back, and like all '80s movies, it ages badly. The music is standard 80s, and so is the utterly insipid storyline. But, taken for what it is, it's a pretty enjoyable film.

Unfortunately, the filmmakers make one too many mistakes: 1) the long length (clocking in somewhere around 2 hrs); 2) the full music videos during the club scenes (I felt like I was watching VH1's '80s-retro day instead of a movie); 3) the bad acting and uninspired direction. Compared to many of its 80s-compatriots, the acting and direction isn't anything new. It's just, well, too '80s, a period in which good movies were as rare as a politican who told the absolute truth.

The good: I did enjoy some of the music, if not just for the sheer retro feel of it. The big hair was a riot; and some of the fights were pretty good, even in comparison to the more technically and creatively superb fights of today's cinema.

This is Charlie's Angels for the '80s. It's camp, it's dumb, but maybe that's what the makers intended. Maybe.
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3/10
Kiss my Converse.......
FlashCallahan2 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
a young man, who is obsessed with Martial Arts and chopping arrows in half, searches for the "master" to obtain the final level of martial arts mastery known as the glow.

But firstly, he must fight an evil martial arts expert , who influenced Busta Rhymes, and rescue a beautiful singer from an obsessed music promoter......

This could have been a fun, video game style romp, but due to the deplorable acting from Taimak, and arguably, all of the cast, it turns into an ordeal, very, very quickly.

In some ways, it's trying to be a camp 'blaxploitation' movie, but the characters are so typecast and one dimensional, it fails hugely.

Like the other unique Martial Arts movie released around the same time 'Gymkata' it tries to be too ahead of its time, but the outfits and the admittedly brilliant soundtrack hinder it from the word go.

It goes for comedy, but instead of making it a spoof of martial arts and Blaxploitation films ala I'm Gonna Git You Sucka, it goes for straight comedy, and when you have characters like Sho'Nuff, it just doesn't work.

All in all, its a bad movie, but I can understand the love for it.

Because the cast must have loving families.

At least DeBarge are good.
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10/10
A Classic Movie
Ruffyboo14 February 2006
This is an outstanding film. A great movie in which martial arts and music made a great impact. I could watch this movie everyday. It is that beautiful. I often seem to think about the good times of break dancing and fun when watching this movie. This movie has a great soundtrack with a variety of artists who keeps the attention of the audience. The story line is great because of its correlation to the character of Leroy and his journey to meet the master. You can see the many aspects of his character as he develops boldness and courage while finding the master within himself. It was a great feeling for me to see Leroy saying "I Am The Master." I would suggest for anyone to watch this movie and enjoy the music and the master.
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9/10
Pure Unadulterated CHEESE
jbo022523 October 2005
This is movie is SOOOOOOO funny. It's cheese on a level that befits it as one of the quintessential 80s Power Cheese movies. It has DeBarge for crying out loud in it. Definitely worth a watch when you need a good laugh.

If you don't appreciate the silly and absurd, don't watch this. By far not a technical masterpiece, nor is there anyone with any acting chops in this film (except for the bit parts by William H. Macy and Chazz Palmenteri).

The only thing that kinda of annoyed is the clear lack of a defined Big Bad (sorry for the Whedonesque reference). It's never clearly defined (then again does it have to be?) if it's Show Nuff or Arkadian. I guess just throw together whatever enemies ya need and throw it all at Bruce LeRoy.
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