Originally, when I made my first list of movies to watch for this 73 Sports Movies in 73 Days exercise in making me a much dumber person than I already am, I realized that I almost completely excluded martial arts movies. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to include them, I just forgot, because I didn’t immediately consider them “sports movies.” But then Brandon called dibs on Best of the Best and I thought, “That makes sense because it features an actual athletic competition,” so I added the greatest martial arts movie of all-time, The Last Dragon, to my list because it features martial arts as the centerpiece of a competition to determine, “WHO IS THE MASTAAAAAAAAAAAA?“
With The Last Dragon, though, I was really worried that it wasn’t going to hold up to the legend status that I’ve long since created for it in my head. Fortunately, and not surprisingly, it has. It holds up so well, in fact, that I went ahead and started a petition to the White House to outlaw a remake of The Last Dragon, even if the RZA is involved. So you should all sign that so I can admit that I played a part in making our government even more useless.
Anyway, are you ready to discuss a classic? SHO’NUFF!
That trailer is amazing, by the way. So much better than today’s trailers. But then, this movie is so much better than today’s movies could ever hope to be. First of all, The Last Dragon features one of the greatest movie villains ever written and portrayed in Sho’Nuff, AKA The Shogun of Harlem, played by the late and truly underappreciated Julius Carry. How he never received at least three lifetime achievement Academy Awards for this film alone is well beyond me.
Hell, the guy and character has inspired multiple YouTube tributes, and I’m told that’s the mark of a true entertainment industry genius.
Not to mention the fact that Sho’Nuff was rocking the Kanye West glasses before Kanye West was even old enough to tell people how great he thinks he is.
Aside from Sho’Nuff, who really deserves his own feature about how incredible he was, there was Laura Charles (played by my first interracial crush, Vanity) who broke records for the amount of hair spray used in one film.
Then there were the Asian gangsters, who, in hindsight, make me wish I was older when I originally saw this movie, because they gave us one of the most wonderful eternally quotable lines:
Plus, there was the pizza scene that caused Young Burnsy to actually say this many times:
But my favorite non-Sho’Nuff moment of the film came courtesy of Bruce Leroy’s younger brother, Richie, who had the amazing ability to pop and lock his way out of bondage.
Sadly, the actor who played Richie, Leo O’Brien, died last year. That’s pretty sad, so let’s go ahead and recapture the magic with one of the greatest movie ending fight scenes ever choreographed by humans or aliens from other dimensions.
Also, as an added bonus, here’s a perfect mashup of Sho’Nuff busting up Daddy Green’s pizza.
Final Grade: 100% Suki Yaki Hot Saki Sue