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Last Dragon

By Bret Fetzer

Get ready for some seriously big hair. The Last Dragon--or, to call it by its full title, Berry Gordy's the Last Dragon--is a stunning example of 1980s camp cinema. One-name kung fu wonder Taimak plays Leroy Green, a.k.a. Bruce Leroy, a humble student of kung fu who has achieved the highest level of skill, but hasn't yet found his inner master. Wandering through the streets of New York in a Chinese peasant outfit, he accidentally becomes the protector of nightclub hostess/video jockey Laura Charles (played by former Prince protégé Vanity, who also costarred in the trash classic Action Jackson). She's being threatened by a height-challenged mobster who wants her to play his girlfriend's video (the girlfriend is something of a Cyndi Lauper look-alike, played by Broadway star Faith Prince). Meanwhile, a man who calls himself Sho'Nuff, the Shogun of Harlem, wants to kick Leroy's ass and prove himself the baddest kung fu master in town. Add to this Leroy's smart-mouthed brother Richie (who calls Leroy "the chocolate-covered yellow peril"), a dregs-of-Motown soundtrack (DeBarge is a high point), ninja battles, pseudo-Eastern philosophical babble, and a jaw-dropping club performance by Vanity, and you have a hilarious example of why we're all so very glad the '80s are over. Featuring a bit role by William H. Macy (Fargo, Magnolia).

 

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FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated PGNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Michael Schultz

Stars: Taimak, Vanity, Chris Murney, Julius J. Carry III, Faith Prince, Ernie Reyes Jr., Keshia Knight Pulliam, Chazz Palminteri

Released: March 22, 1985

Availability: DVD VHS


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