Director: Michael Schultz
Cast: Taimak, Vanity, Christopher Murney
Release Date: Available On Blu-Ray August 25, 2015
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
In New York City, a young man searches for the “master” to obtain the final level of martial arts mastery known as the glow. Along the way, he must fight an evil martial arts expert and rescue a beautiful singer from an obsessed music promoter.
Taking advantage of the continuing uproar and recognition of the music video craze in the 80’s Motown record label found Berry Gordy executive produced a clever and incredibly fun little film in 1985 titled ‘The Last Dragon’ which was directed by Michael Schultz (Car Wash). For those unfamiliar with the cult classic, it combines a kung fu premise with an urban setting fueled by the music so definitive of its time. Even after 30 years it still holds up as a ridiculously fun and intentionally silly little romp that provides nonstop fun from start to end, while perfectly summarizing and defining the spirit of the mid 1980’s in every element.
Fans of Berry Gordy’s ‘The Last Dragon’ will definitely want to make certain they pick up a copy of this 30th Anniversary Blu-Ray release to add to their collections. Arriving on Blu-Ray for the first time ever and fully remastered in high definition, the release delivers phenomenal high definition video and audio presentations in addition to a couple of great extras including Return of the Dragon’ which includes all new interviews with members of the cast and crew and more (more detailed information regarding the bonus content can be found in the special features section of the technical specification coverage below). While it may not be overloaded with bonus content, fans of this cult classic will undoubtedly be thrilled simply to see the movie arriving on Blu-Ray at long last and with a notable transfer to boot, easily making it a must own for many.
The 30th Anniversary Blu-Ray release of ‘The Last Dragon’ features a fully remastered 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks outstanding, especially when taking into consideration the films age. It delivers a sharp, detailed presentation that fortunately also allows the grain and other artifacts of the source age to remain and at just the perfect level, looking consistently fantastic without any notable negative faults to be found within; holding up impressively during even the darkly lit and numerous fast moving action sequences and never resulting in anything occurring on screen to become indiscernible. Overall, this is quite the impressive high definition video presentation, sure to thrill fans of this cult classic.
The Blu-Ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack sounds wonderful, providing an 80’s-focused collection of music that is also the most prominent aspect of this films soundtrack (unsurprising considering Berry Gordy’s involvement and the obvious intent to cash in on the then currently occurring music video craze). It utilizes all five available channels with regularity to surround the viewer with a barrage of 80’s music at its finest in addition to any number of fitting action-oriented auditory elements, while never resulting in any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to be negatively affected or rendered inaudible. Overall, just as with the video presentation, this 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack is fantastic and delivers in every possible way expected of it.
The 30th Anniversary Blu-Ray release of ‘The Last Dragon’ includes a couple of nice extras. Included on the release is an Audio Commentary with Director Michael Schultz, along with a fun and informative all-new look back at the film and its impact in ‘Return of the Dragon’ which runs just shy of 25 minutes in length and includes new interviews/comments with members of the cast and crew including Berry Gordy, Taimak, Michael Schultz and more. The Theatrical Trailer is also included.