Since I want to shed light on some missed gems, The Last Dragon is almost too easy of a pick since a lot of people are already big fans of the film. However, some younger film fans might not be aware of this kung-fu classic. It is also the only movie I know of where the two leads have one name in real life (Taimak as Leroy Green, Vanity as Laura Charles).
‘Bruce’ Leroy Green 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, Sho’Nuff the Shogun of Harlem, and an rescue a beautiful singer from an obsessed music promoter.
Despite the backing of music legend Berry Gordy, Vanity never really broke. Even with the help of this film. No one in this film did. And that is just fine. Everyone was so perfect in their role. Nowadays they would cast Samuel Jackson as the Sho’Gun and he would ruin the film. And then they’d cast Selena Gomez or someone already established as Laura Charles. They’ve been kicking the remake around for a while, but I hope it never happens.
The film is pure 80’s chopsuey, with some of the best one-liners you’ve ever heard. “Kiss my Converse!” “Take a hike, Cool Breeze.” “Just direct-a your feets-a to Daddy Green’s Pizza!” “Don’t bug me, fix your face.” Any attempt to remake it would never be able to capture that charm.