Friday, November 7, 2008

A Last Dragon Remake?!? NO Nuff'!!!

As ya'll know, one of my all-time favoritest movies is the seminal 1985 flick The Last Dragon. No, it's not a great movie by any even remote stretch of the imagination. Campy, poorly acted, and backed by perhaps the worst soundtrack evar, the movie is really only notable because it's a period piece. For those of us who came of age in the 1980's this flick is a slice of our lives, a reminder of kinder, gentler, carefree times when life was easy and movies didn't have a quota of rapper cameos to fill. Plus, the movie prolly has more classic one-liners than any film this side of Menace 2 Society.

That, my friends, was one baaaaaadddd movie.

"Not bad meanin' bad, but bad meanin' good." [1]

So somebody please, please, please tell me why they've gotta go mess up one of my bestest childhood memories with typical Hollyweird nonsense?

When Samuel L. Jackson takes on a role, it’s always the biggest, baddest role around. According to The Hollywood Reporter, he’s going to be playing the infamous Shonuff, the Shogun of Harlem, in a remake of the 80s cult classic, “The Last Dragon.” Kerry Gordy, the son of original “Dragon” director, is producing, along with the Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA. Dallas Jackson is penning the screenplay. The project coincides with next year’s 50th anniversary of Motown, because there’s no better way to praise Motown than with kung-fu.

It sounds like the campy plot will remain unaltered, but will be updated. It still centers on young martial arts student Leroy Green, as he goes on a quest through the New York streets (*the* place to learn martial arts) to achieve the highest level of martial arts accomplishment, The Last Dragon of the title. Those who earn the Dragon ranking also possess the Glow, which makes them the greatest fighter alive.
That's right folks, Samuel L. Jackson as Sho' Nuff. Let that one marinate.

Actually, I think Sam Jax is perfectly suited for The Shogun Of Harlem. He's got the screen presence, he's got the look, and he can cuss better than prolly any man this side of my late grandfather. So, he's not the problem.

The problem is everything and everyone else. Who the heck can pull off the corny, yet appealing-to-women-of-all-age role that Taimak did as Bruce Leroy? I can't think of anyone off the top of my head, but if Sam Jackson is on board, they will likely reach for a "name". Can you say cornball Nick Cannon? Jesus, no!

Vanity's portrayal as the sexy, yet virginal bubblehead Laura Charles is even harder. I can see them trying to push somebody like Lauren London on us. It wouldn't be too farfetched. Vanity couldn't sing or dance. I'm sure Lauren would be perfect for that.

Still, the missing element here is the time period. This movie was kitschy mid-80's. It literally screams "the greatest decade evar"! There was the breakdancing. The overproduced synthy pop music. The video games. Karate. Parachute pants. Prince jumpoffs. High yella dudes with curly hair. Youthful innocence.

I know the producers are trying to update this for the 21st century, but really, what's the point? When you strip away all that's unique about it, all you've got left is a Samuel Jackson in a very bad hairpiece. Not that that's anything new.

This movie is doomed to fail. Epic fail.

It also raised the question: why the heck does some stuff need to be redone? Can't some classics just be left alone? I realize that Hollywood's next original idea will be its first, but how sad and pathetic is this? And since they're remaking urban classics, what's next? Coming To America, starring DL Hughley and Tyler Perry as Akeem and Semmi? Breakin' II with Omarion and old ass Marcus "I Got Served A Receding Hairline" Houston as Turbo and Ozone? Disorderlies, with Fat Joe, Sean Kingston, and Rick Ross as The Fat Boys? Negroes Please.

Leave my classics alone, you bastards!!!

Julius Carry is crying inside.

Question: Do you think remaking The Last Dragon is a good idea or more unoriginal Hollyweird copycatting? Who would play Leroy and Laura if you had to cast it? What other movies do you think they're butcher next?

Samuel L. Jackson Is The Shogun Of Harlem In ‘The Last Dragon’ [MTV]

[1] Name that tune. Ya'll better get this one.

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