The Last Dragon

The Last Dragon

Synopsis of Movie

Imagine a film that combines The Karate Kid, Black Belt Jones and Breakin’ into one high-stepping, karate-choppin’ blend of kung-fu and dance music. It may sound strange, but such a film really does exist. It's called The Last Dragon, and it is considered a treasure by 1980’s movie fanatics far and wide.

The Last Dragon tells the story of Leroy, a young African-American man who is obsessed with the martial arts. He dresses like a Chinese peasant, speaks like Confucius and even eats his popcorn with chopsticks. His dream in life is to attain the highest level of his martial arts mastery, ‘the glow,’ which will allow him to become an unstoppable force so powerful that his skin will let off a golden light.

This quest becomes complicated when his head is turned by Laura Charles, a beautiful singer who hosts an MTV-style dance show that plays music videos. He soon finds himself spending time around her studio while trying to work up the courage to ask her to “show him some moves.”

Laura Charles also has another, more dangerous fan: Eddie Arkadian is a nasty crook who wants his talent-impaired girlfriend, Angela, to become a music star. He is convinced he can make this happen by putting one of Angela’s videos on Laura’s show. When Laura refuses to play those videos, Eddie sends thugs to rough her up. Hero that he is, Leroy thwarts the attack and wins Laura’s heart in the process.

Things are looking up until Eddie retaliates by sending out Sho Nuff, the evil Shogun of Harlem, to kidnap Laura. It just so happens that Sho Nuff has been looking for a chance to defeat Leroy and thus prove that he is the local master of kung-fu. Thus, Leroy is forced to face up to Sho Nuff in a thrilling battle royale on the set of Laura’s show. In the process, he learns the true meaning of ‘the glow.’

Based on this storyline, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise to discover that The Last Dragon wasn’t the average teen movie. The real surprise is that it managed to be as good as it was unusual. Director Michael Schultz, who previously made the 1970’s classic Car Wash, skillfully used humor to keep the film’s blend of breakdancing and kung-fu mysticism running smoothly. Indeed, the film was full of sly and memorable bits of humor, like the slogan that Leroy’s father uses for his pizza restaurant: “Just direct-a yo feets-a to Daddy Green’s Pizza!”.

The Last Dragon further benefited from an exciting score of danceable r&b by Willie Hutch, a veteran composer whose credits included 1970’s black-action classics like The Mack and Foxy Brown. Another plus was the film's well-chosen cast, including two one-name wonders: karate kid Taimak as Leroy and pop star Vanity as Laura. Attentive viewers will also notice bit parts by future stars William H. Macy and Chazz Palminteri.

Although it did fairly well at the box office, The Last Dragon found its greatest audience on cable and home video. Over the years, it has become an enduring cult favorite because of its unique combination of kung-fu mysticism and high-stepping r&b. The film is also endlessly quoted by 1980’s film fanatics thanks to lines like “Hey man, what it look like?” In short, The Last Dragon is one-stop shopping for all your kung-fu and breakdancing needs. To paraphrase Leroy’s dad, “just direct-a yo feets-a to The Last Dragon for yo video needs-a.”

Movie Release History

1985 - The Last Dragon

Movie Sub Categories


Movie Studio

Columbia, Tri-Star


Leroy Taimak
Laura Charles Vanity
Eddie Arkadian Christopher Murney
Sho'nuff Julius Carry
Angela Faith Prince
Richie Leo O'Brien
Rock Mike Starr
Daddy Green Jim Moody
Johnny Yu Glen Eaton
Tai Ernie Reyes Jr.
Announcer Roger Campbell
Mama Green Esther Marrow
Sophie Keshia Knight Pulliam
Jackie B.J. Barie
Angela's Singer #1 Sarita Allen
Angela's Singer #2 Jacqui Lee Smith
Angela's Singer #3 Jodi Moccia
Hood #1 Sal Russo
Hood #2 Chazz Palminteri
Hood #3 Frank Renzulli
Beast Andre Brown
Cyclone David Claudio
Crunch Kirk Taylor
Sho's Woman #2 Janet Bloem
Sho's Woman #3 Lisa Loving
Hu Yi Henry Tuk
Lu Yi Michael G. Chin
Du Yi Fredric Mao
Master Thomas Ikeda
J.J.* William H. Macy
Margo Trulie MacLeod
Jason Gary Aprahamian
Headline Killer Lou David
Mr. Z Captain Haggerty
Martial Arts Fighter Ernie Reyes Sr.
Cab Driver Robert Silver
Voice in Theatre Clayton Prince
Tiny Kid Brandon Schultz
Kid in Pizza Shop Carl Payne
Hairstylist Anthony Cortino
Handsome Boy Sebastian Hitzig
Girl Student Kim Chang
Boy Student Derek Schultz
7th Heaven Dancer Rhonda Silberstein
Radio Smasher Peter Traina
Transvestite Freddie Storble
Policeman #1 Jack Meeks
Policeman #2 Joe Dabenigno
West Coast Demo Team Soo Gin Lee
West Coast Demo Team Scott Coker
West Coast Demo Team Julian Villanueva

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