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  Leprechaun Back 2 Tha Hood Golden Opportunity
Year: 2003
Director: Steven Ayromlooi
Stars: Warwick Davis, Tangi Miller, Laz Alonso, Page Kennedy, Sherrie Jackson, Donzaleigh Abernathy, Shiek Mahmud-Bey, Sticky Fingaz, Keesha Sharp, Sonya Eddy, Beau Billingslea, Christopher Murray, Vickilyn Reynolds, Willie C. Carpenter
Genre: Horror, ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Many centuries ago, the Kings of the old country would take extreme measures to protect their treasures, relying on a legion of little faerie folk whose powerful magic ensured they could combat anyone trying to help themselves to the riches. Time passed and eventually so did the Kings, so the leprechauns were no longer necessary and returned to the ground - all except for one, that is, a mischievous creature (Warwick Davis) who had his own hoard of gold that he would hold on to at any cost, and woe betide anyone who took it away from him. Which somehow brought us to Los Angeles, and the region known colloquially as Tha Hood by the residents, where he was doing battle with a holy man, Father Jacob (Willie C. Carpenter)...

The leprechaun lost that skirmish thanks to a dousing in holy water from the representative of the Almighty on Earth, dragged back down into the earth by his unseen compatriots, which left the next half hour of film a curiously sincere drama where Emily (Tangi Miller), a hairdresser, has trouble keeping her boyfriend Rory (Laz Alonso) on the straight and narrow since he is determined to be a drug dealer and usurp the position of the hoodlums who have the monopoly on the cannabis business round there. This might leave you pondering that you were here for a Leprechaun sequel, in effect the sequel to Leprechaun in the Hood after Lionsgate took over the franchise from Trimark.

There were rumblings that this would be the first for a while to receive a theatrical release, though if that did happen they kept quiet about it and it was, like its fellow entries, seen mostly in the homes of those hardy fans who had stuck by the little green guy through thick and thin, all for those sub-Freddy Krueger wisecracks (and that's pretty sub) and gory demises. This time we had the bonus of a cast who would swear their heads off at every opportunity, just to emphasise how "street" they were and add grit to scenes which otherwise might have looked a tad silly. Oh, who were they kidding? After that first act with the melodrama of Emily's life set out with moody seriousness, the Leprechaun made his entrance when she suddenly fell into a hole.

Once underground, she creeps about and discovers a small chest full of gold coins belonging to you-know-who which she and Rory claim for themselves, and before you know it the diminutive villain was back in action. Though even by this series' standards, the budget was low and the setpiece executions were reduced to underwhelming death by massage or a none-too-clear punch to the gut from the wee man. Fortunately, the film rediscovered its sense of humour around this point, affording mild amusement at the titular character's groanworthy quips and the novelty of seeing him, say, push a bong through one victim's guts, not before getting thoroughly stoned of course because stoner humour in comedy horrors was the in thing at the time.

Basically, this time around was much like the others, the Leprechaun wanted his gold back, though was uninterested in getting hitched for a change, no matter that Emily would have made a personable princess for him. Not that she would have been delighted with that contrivance, so she should be glad she got off lightly, if you can call seeing umpteen folks in the neighbourhood around her murdered "light". Also included was clairvoyant Donzaleigh Abernathy who knows, you know, about the supernatural and ends up in a Harry Potter-esque magic spell contest between herself and the baddie, though you can guess how that turns out. Now the only thing that will destroy the pint-sized menace is a bullet with a bit of shamrock on it, except they call it a four-leafed clover for some reason, and wouldn't you know it, Rory's gun keeps jamming? No matter, you watched these for their predictabiity, and as Davis' last outing in the role it may not have been brilliant, but was miles ahead of the dreadful reboot ten years later. Music by Michael Whittaker.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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