The Last Dragon is one of my all time favorite films. I know the entire film by heart. I will annoy the shit out of you if you watch it with me because I will quote the entire fucking thing. It is far from a perfect movie. In fact, there’s much in it that is downright awful. But it all somehow works. There’s a strange magic to this movie that makes you believe in the power of The Glow. Now there’s a remake in the works that I haven’t mentioned here at all. It does not impress me. In fact, I predict a big ol’ bag of fail. And I’ve come up with a list of reasons why I believe 2010’s The Last Dragon will suck and suck awful damn hard.
- The Plot
- It’s a Remake of an Homage
The Last Dragon is full of martial art movie cliches. It’s got the wise old master, a quest for knowledge, a seemingly unstoppable villain. It pays a lot of reverence to Bruce Lee and can almost be watched as an homage to Bruce. Now you may hear that the folks who want to remake the film want to sort of pay tribute to the original. Dur? You can’t pay tribute to an homage! That’s just fucking redundant.
- Sam Jackson Does Not a Good Movie Make
A number of people are excited that Sam “Mother Fucking” Jackson will be playing the villain Sho’nuff, the Shogun of Harlem, the Baddest Mo Fo Low Down Around This Town. I’m sorry, but there’s only one Sho’nuff and sadly, Julius Carry is no longer with us. As good as he is at saying “Mother Fucker,” Sam Jackson just doesn’t cut it.
Part of it may be that it’s terribly difficult to see him as anyone other than Sam “Mother Fucking” Jackson. Julius Carry was a relatively unknown actor at the time so it was easy not to get distracted by his star power. Sam Jackson is Sam Jackson is Sam Jackson and I think that will hurt the movie greatly. For Sho’nuff to work, you kind of have to have someone who’s personality can get lost in the character. And while maybe there was a time that Sam Jackson was that person, I don’t think that time is now.
Besides, he really sucks in these cheesy genre flicks. Snakes on a Plane, he fucking phoned in. The Spirit, he went completely batshit crazy.
- This Scene:
- No Actor is as Awkward as Taimak
Our star, Bruce Leroy, is played by 19-year-old martial artist Taimak who is horribly awkward throughout the entire movie. This is because he is a martial artist first, actor… um… maybe never. He is not good at acting. But again, it somehow works in this movie. It’s not artificial, it’s all real. All of his little uncomfortable quirks that make Laura fall in love with him, those are all real. You can’t recreate that. If you hire an actor, it’ll come off horribly forced. A martial artist might work, but there’s no guarantee. Somehow, all of Taimak’s faults worked for the character. It was one of those happy accidents. That’s not something you can recreate on purpose.
- Today’s Pop Music Sucks
Okay, this might be a little old man of me and certainly the 80’s were no highlight in the history of American pop music. But seriously folks, today’s pop music is bullshit. Fucking autotune everywhere. Fucking sing-song-rapping. No good can come of this.
In the original film, arcade owner Eddie Arkadian kidnaps top veejay Laura Charles to get her to play a music video starring Eddie’s girlfriend, Angela Viracco, on Laura’s weekly music video show and it’s up to Bruce Leroy to save her.
I’m not making that shit up.
If that sounds like something completely batshit insane, it is. Arkadian is quite mad and waaaaay over the top. And while it somehow works in this instance, there’s no possible way this plot would work in modern times. First of all, what cable channel plays music videos anymore? And where are all the arcades? And what the fuck is a veejay? Even if the remake is set in the 1980’s, this plot still doesn’t make any fucking sense.
There’s no possible way they can recreate this scene to my satisfaction. Never. It just doesn’t work in a modern context and it barely works here. The only reason you don’t chuck the DVD out the window right now is because of Sho’nuff. He’s the biggest reason I love this movie so much. And the remake doesn’t have him. Boo!
So there you go, six horribly biased reasons I don’t think this remake will be any good. If the producers want my money, which is doubtful if they read this, they should open it the same weekend as Airbender. I will pay actual money to see The Last Dragon opening day if it opens the same day as Airbender. I want to see Airbender go down in flames and if that means shelling out money to see a remake that I’m basically allergic to, I’ll fucking do it.