Being born in the 80’s and being a martial arts fan as a kid, I was always going to have a soft spot for this movie. I came across it when I was only small and because the name sounded familiar (Enter the Dragon being my favourite movie at the time). I didn’t know then that this would be one of the only times it was ever shown to my knowledge on UK TV. I have never seen it on tv since, and only just recently re-purchased the DVD.
The movie is about a Kung Fu student named “Bruce” Leeroy Green, who wants to reach the final level, a feat only Bruce Lee achieved. The final level is achieved when you are surronded by a mystical glow, showing you are a true kung fu master. Leeroy’s master tells him to go and search for a Kung Fu master in New Yor kby the name of Som Dum Guy. At the same time he has fallen for Music Video presenter Laura Charles who wants him to be his body guard to help her from Videogame King Eddie Arcadian. An evil Kung Fu master by the name of Sho-Nuff has also returned to town and wants to fight Leeroy, so he can be the kung fu master of Harlem.
The movie was made by Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown Records, so naturally the soundtrack is outstanding. The movie features the best of R&B and hip-hop from the time, sprinkled with martial arts references, including ‘Rythm of the Night’ and ‘7th Heaven’. The soundtracks is one of the best I have heard in a movie and is strong throughout, with a very strong eighties vibe. If you own a soundtrack for a movie, this has to be it. It is particularly awesome when Laura Charles starts playing a 123movie song in the 7th Heaven studio and puts on Enter the Dragon, Leeroy gets WAY to exciting, it is slightly worrying at this point. The only one bad point about the music in the movie is Eddie Arcadian’s girlfriend wants to be a popstar and is terrible, but unfortunately we have to suffer through her eye wateringly bad music video.
Sho-Nuff the main bad guy in the movie played by Julius J. Carry III is brilliant. He is one of the best movie bad guys ever, no-one can touch him. He walks about with giant shoulder pads and claims to be ‘The Shogun of Harlem’. He has classic lines such as ‘Kiss my converse’ and is unforgettable. I will be honest he steals the movie from under the nose of Taimak.
Taimak plays ‘Bruce’ Leeroy Green, and it is surprising to know that he had no previous acting experience, and learned on the set as he worked. He does put in a fantastic shift. The fighting scenes are amazing and he is definitely worthy of being called a kung fu master, his acting may be slightly wooden at times, but considering this is his first role ever, he does a brilliant job, and lets be honest his fighting scenes more than make up for it,
I also think Leeroys brother Richie is fantastic, he is hilarious in the movie and a great little actor here. He is played by Leo O’Brien.
The plot of the movie is slightly basic, but it is a good entertaining movie that is easy to follow and heavy on entertainment. It never slows down to much and you learn enough about the characters to at least care about them a little. They are pretty one dimensional and not very complicated but so what, it is a great movie, and the action and music makes up for it.