Here’s another movie which has some pretty cool nods to Bruce Lee! It’s called the Last Dragon, and it’s an American Kung Fu comedy about a Kung Fu student looking to become a master – his name is ‘Bruce Leroy’ or Leroy Green, played by Taimak.
Bruce Leroy is one hell of a fighter, catching and breaking arrows shot at him by his master and smashing up criminals on the street – without being harmed. He is told by his martial arts teacher that he can no longer teach him and must see ‘The Master’ Sum Dum Goy to reach the final level and achieve ‘The Glow’. The Glow is something achieved by the greatest fighter alive and only the world’s greatest fighters are able to achieve this state and be called a master.
So Leroy heads out to find Sum Dum Goy with his gold medallion which used to belong to Bruce Lee. Leroy must show the Master this medallion in order to meet him.
After witnessing a young and sought after woman being kidnapped, Leroy steps in and saves her effortlessly. Not interested in sex, only in his pure mission to become a master, he sends her off but realizes that he has lost his medallion!
From here Leroy is caught up with the gang trying to force this woman to work for them, all the while Leroy’s nemesis Sho’nuff is after him looking for a challenge match. Leroy must do his best to be pure whilst dealing with the danger and sleaze of this New York crims whilst trying to meet the master and achieve greatness.
Some Light Hearted Fun!
This movie is a lot of fun and definitely should not be taken seriously. Leroy is the overcooked Bruce Lee and Martial Arts fanatic, acting almost strictly like the monks and honorable Kung Fu masters typically found in old 70’s Hong Kong action movies. Meanwhile his family and the people around him are mostly ‘normal’, with the exception of the gangsters and the crazy ‘Sho-nuff’ trying to cement his reputation as ‘The Shogun’.
The main villain is totally ridiculous – a short bald man with a couple of useless sidekicks who he is using to make a killing in the entertainment industry, of course he eventually works with Sho’nuff creating a partnership that Leroy must fight at the end of the movie.
The film really has a light poke at kung fu films while offering some pretty legit choreography and moves from Taimak. Of course, being made in the 80’s with the overdone puffy hair and bad fashion adds to the ‘silliness’ factor of the film.
The Action & Martial Arts
I was pretty impressed with Taimak’s movements considering this was comedy, but he is a legit martial artist. Taimak has black belts in a few arts including Goju Ryu Karate, Taekwondo and Jujutsu. But you’ll see more than that in this film including a few Wing Chun /trapping hands movements that are performed quite technically.
The fights are relatively fast and flow very well, with a variety of movements that really showcase Taimak’s stuff. But each fight also has that slighty comedy element to it as he seems to be so serious and caught up in his kung fu persona. It’s very well done.
Ultimately the action takes second place to the comedy and story, but stands tall with some decent physical performances. Check it out for some fun!