This is one of those movies that should just never have been made. Truthfully, I could probably say that about all the Leprechaun movies, but this, the fifth installment in the series, completely embodies all aspects of the term "Sucktastic."
I wonder who keeps pitching these movies to movie executives. Even moreso, I wonder why movie executives keep buying these movies. "Just think, sir!" the brash young guy-who-pitches-movies-to-movie-executives says, "Warwick Davis. Ice-T. LEPRECHAUN IN THE HOOD!"
"Crikey!" says the movie executive who has been beaten over the head repeatedly while watching endless episodes of the Crocodile Hunter, "What a bloomin' onion of an idea that is! Do you think Mr. T will do it?"
"No sir, not Mr. T. Ice-T."
"Crikey! Even better!"
And so, Mr. Movie-Pitch Guy gets his money, and they make a movie. And I get to watch it. And wonder why they can't get people less brain damaged to be movie executives.
We open with T and some other guy breaking into somewhere with huge fros. I mean, T and his buddy have huge fros, not the place they were breaking into. You know it's supposed to be the 70s, because not only do these guy wear plaid pants and sport the largest afros outside of the Jackson 5, the soundtrack is playing that quintessential 70s theme song, "Theme from Shaft." Why, I don't know. I don't ask questions; I just write reviews. Well, ok, so I ask questions too sometimes.
In this cavern that T and his buddy break into, there is a bunch of gold trinkets and a statue of a Leprechaun. How they knew it was there is never explained, and why there's a half eaten fast food hamburger and a bottle of "Colt .54" malt liquor there (you know your movie sucks when you can't even get people to let you give them free advertising) is never really explained. I wonder if this somehow builds off the ending of the third movie (which I haven't seen yet) and ignores the entire fourth movie, which would probably be a good idea. But I've got my suspicions that nobody involved with this series is intelligent enough to even attempt to make a plot hook make sense, so never mind.
T's buddy takes the necklace from around the neck of the Leprechaun "statue" and, predictably, the "statue" comes to life. Lep makes quick work of T's buddy, killing him with his own pick comb while T sort of mills around somewhere else. T's buddy walks out to where T is, gurgles, and dies. Suddenly, T realizes something is wrong, not just because his buddy is dead, but because there's a walking little green dude trying to kill him as well.
T thinks quickly and pulls a gun on Lep. Lep thinks quicker and uses his magic powers to make the gun really hot so T drops it. (As an aside, why is that always the standard magical answer to someone pulling a gun on you? Why not make it get really cold? Or really slippery so the person can't hold onto it? Or make the trigger fall off? Or the bullets not work? Or really anything other than making it hot? Is a little imagination too much to ask?) T then digs into his fro and pulls out a knife. Lep makes that go flying. T goes into his fro of tricks one more time and pulls out a baseball bat. Wow a sight gag involving a big afro. I didn't see that coming. Lep makes that go flying, knocks T down, and prepares for the kill. However, T gets the best of Lep by turning on a big steam valve that happens to be in perfect position to do major pain to the little green dude. T then gets the necklace back on the Leprechaun, and the scene fades out.
We fade in on Stray Bullet, Postmaster P, and Butch, three rappers from the 'hood who are trying to make it big by winning some contest in Vegas. But first, they gotta get outta tha' 'hood by winning their regional competition. Their equipment blows up during their audition, and they get kicked out on the street by the club owner.
Distraught and without gear, they take an old guitar around to several pawn shops trying to get some money to buy some new gear. They sign Jimi Hendrix's name to the guitar and try to convince two pawn shop owners to buy it by claiming that Stray got it from his uncle, who played with Jimi on the Psychadelipalooza tour in '71. The first pawn shop owner calls their bluff by pointing out the small flaw in their story, namely that Jimi Hendrix died in 1970, so even if there was such a thing as the Psychadelipalooza tour, Jimi couldn't have played on it in '71. For whatever reason, they use the same story at the next pawn shop, causing the Chinese proprietor to shout, "Don't try to fool Chow! Everybody know Jimi die in 1970! Get out of my shop!"
As they're wandering around the hood, our three idiot savants come across T, now sans-fro and plaid pants, getting into his limo. Turns out T (called Mac Daddy now) runs a record label for hip-hop artists. Mac Daddy pulls up in his limo and stops to talk to these three chowder heads for reasons unknown to anyone except the writer and out of the blue invites them to ride back to his office for an audition. I love how people don't even bother trying to make things make sense in movies like this.
Mac Daddy is keeping the Leprechaun "statue" in a glass case in his office and the golden flute he took from the Leprechaun's horde around his neck. He listens to our three morons' demo tape and shows his displeasure with it by smashing it to bits. He then goes on a tirade about how he's not into all that happy crap, and only artists who rap about blowing people away and smacking around women get to sing on his label. Stray, who wants to succeed at any cost, starts to say they can change and can do the hardcore stuff, but Postmaster P (He's Postmaster P because he "delivers a positive message," dontcha know) sours the deal by saying they won't sing about that kind of stuff. Mac Daddy goes on another tirade (which, by the way, is pretty much all he does in this movie) and kicks them out of his office.
Well, that night our three screw-ups decide they're going to get even with Mac Daddy and get money enough to buy some new gear by robbing Mac Daddy's house. Stray talks Postmaster P into it by saying, "It's like Mac Daddy says. It ain't nothin' but a hip-hop thang. Just bidness in the 'hood," while I cringe.
Well, they're in the middle of robbing the place when Mac Daddy predictably catches them in the act. Butch blows up the glass case with the Leprechaun in it while Postmaster P shoots Mac Daddy. Don't ask me why Butch had to use explosives to open a glass case, but there you go. Butch takes the necklace off Lep's neck, thus freeing him, while Postmaster P takes the flute from Mac Daddy. Lep starts yelling about his gold, so they all shoot him, blowing him to pieces, and run out the door.
As it turns out, Mac Daddy was saved by some necklace that he wore that intercepted P's bullet. As it also turns out, rather unsurprisingly, Lep isn't dead. He pulls himself together and scares Mac Daddy away with his constant wailing and carrying on about his gold, which P, Stray, and Butch have made off with.
Mac Daddy runs away to the local bar, where he calls somebody and tells them to bring "guns, big guns, AKs, and Uzis." This guy never manages to show up, though. Mac Daddy goes into the bathroom, where he tries to compose himself by smoking a joint. Out of the blue, Lep shows up but suddenly seems more interested in the joint than in his gold. So Mac Daddy and Lep share a joint for a bit in a rather ludicrous scene, until Lep notices a gold ring on Mac Daddy's finger. He grabs the finger, and then Lep and Mac Daddy share a knock knock joke, preserved here for your viewing pleasure:
Lep then snaps Mac Daddy's finger off to get his gold ring back and tasks Mac Daddy with tracking down the rest of his stuff. Whoever it was who thought that scene was going to be funny should be strung up by his thumbs and forced to watch VR Trooper reruns for eternity.
Meanwhile, our three imbeciles have taken their loot back to the pawn shops. Since gold is worth more than fake Jimi Hendrix guitars, they actually get their new gear and some cash to spare. They throw a big party at P's house (or maybe it was Butch's house -- doesn't matter) and act pretty casual for people who just robbed someone and think they also killed him. Their party is broken up by Mac Daddy and his bodyguard, who have come to kill our three airheads and get Lep's gold back. Also, Mac Daddy wants the flute back that P stole. Unfortunately for Mac Daddy, he forgets about the missing trigger finger on his right hand until it's too late, and our three dingbats jump off the roof to freedom.
The three stooges then run to the house of a local transvestite named Ms. Fontaine for a place to stay. This movie just keeps getting worse. Lep shows up at the tranny's house while the boys aren't looking and Ms. Fontaine takes him to bed. "Oh, I didn't come to play with fruit. I only seek my magic flute!" Lep says, but Fontaine takes him down the garden path anyway. Oh please let this end swiftly.
The boys hear Fontaine being killed by Lep, but of course "her" screams sound more like screams of pleasure. "Mr. Funny Boy got company!" Stray says. But soon enough Lep comes out of the bedroom and continues looking for his flute. He chases our three buttheads into the bathroom, where they barricade the door while Butch makes a firebomb out of douche and KY Jelly. I don't even want to know where he learned that trick. They firebomb Lep and run away again, this time going to P's mother's place. They don't stay there long before they decide they need "sanctuary," so they go spend the night in the local church.
Our three sheepdips are woken up the next morning by the Reverend, who has decided they need to sing for the congregation or else...well, something. I don't know, at this point I was more interested in looking at internet p--uh, I mean CNN.com, than I was in watching this movie.
So, these boys sing a little song for the church. It's a great little rap song, with lyrics like, "Jesus loves me, this I know. If he don't, I'll find a... ho...." As you can imagine, it doesn't go over well. However, P blows the magic flute (which doesn't make any real noise except for a sort of mystical hum but which our three ubermensch have finally discovered is magical), and suddenly everyone is down with their rap. They realize that this is why Mac Daddy wants the flute back so badly -- nobody would actually listen to his crap if it wasn't for the flute. Also, Coolio has a pointless cameo in the movie at this point.
But, unfortunately for our three mental deficients, Lep has tracked them to the church, and he busts in and chases them around. Mac Daddy shows up too, and there's kind of a three way standoff until Lep uses his magical powers to blow a big hole in Mac Daddy's bodyguard. Then our three simpletons somehow trap Lep in a big safe. Yeah, like that's going to hold him.
From inside the safe, Lep summons some hot chicks to help him out. They are of absolutely no use, as Lep inexplicably escapes the safe (I was paying as much attention as could be reasonably expected at this point, and I have no clue how he escaped the safe -- I'm sure the writers didn't even deem it a worthy enough trap for Lep anyway) and kills the Reverend. Our three fartknockers have already escaped at this point, though, so Lep continues his search for his flute.
The boys have decided that they're still going to make it to that contest in Vegas, so they go back to the place where we first met them, get into the local contest, win it (thereby advancing to the "finals" in Las Vegas), all before Lep can get from the church to where they're at, apparently. The guy must walk really slowly.
Lep makes it there in time to rain on the guys parade during their victory party. He finally corners our three retards, and Postmaster P finally gives up the flute to him. However, P makes Lep angry when he immediately tries to steal the flute back, so Lep gets his revenge by forcing Stray Bullet to shoot himself in the head.
Postmaster P is haunted by dreams of Lep and Stray bullet for some unknown amount of time, until Butch comes over and the two decide they need to get the flute back from Lep and get to those finals in Vegas, even though Stray is dead now. Like Stray said, "It ain't nothin' but a hip-hop thang, just bidniss in the 'hood."
So Butch brings in his book "Leprechauns for Dummies" (Would I make something like that up?), from which he as learned that Leprechauns lose their powers temporarily from the effects of four leaf clovers. So he's prepared some joints laced with four leaf clovers. Yeah, I'm sure that was the most effective use of those clovers, dude. He and P have learned that Lep is having his zombie women bring other women up to him at the club (apparently, Lep took the place over or something). So naturally, Butch and P decide they have to dress up as women and get upstairs, make the Leprechaun smoke some clover joints, then steal the flute back. None of this makes any sense, especially the part about what they're going to do when Lep recovers from the effects of the clover and comes after them again, but no matter. They've got a plan, and they're sticking to it.
Amazingly enough, the plan goes off without a hitch. We get some really great scenes of Butch and P getting all dolled up, then they get to Lep's place, get upstairs, get him to take a hit off the joint, and steal the flute back.
However, Mac Daddy chooses this time to show up again. Either he was coming to steal the flute back from Lep too, or he was just in the neighborhood and decided to go see his little buddy or something. Anyway, P and Mac Daddy face off again, and Mac Daddy shoots Butch. Oh dear, the poor guy is going to die in a dress, a fact that he laments with his final words. Mac Daddy then dares Postmaster to shoot him, which (and this shocks the heck out of Mac Daddy for sure) he does. But before P can escape, Lep is back in action. Lep and P square off in the great final be-all-end all of confrontations, which lasts for all of thirty seconds and has as one of its highlights Postmaster P talking to Lep in a falsetto Irish Brogue for no really good reason. I'm so glad this is almost over.
Turns out Mac Daddy is only mostly dead, though, as he gets back up and sneaks up behind Lep. Also, Mac Daddy has the necklace which can turn Lep into stone. But, instead of sneaking up behind Lep and putting the necklace on him, instead Mac Daddy, never really known for his brains anyway, picks up a chair and smashes Lep with it. Then he stands there laughing. Ok, the guy got blown to bits, burned, and shot several times, and Mac Daddy thinks he's won after braining him with a chair. Come on, I've seen pro wrestlers take worse chair shots than THAT one.
Lep of course gets up and kills Mac Daddy the rest of the way, but unfortunately Mac Daddy throws the necklace up into the air, and it comes down (presumably) around Lep's neck.
Finally, it's Postmaster P, rapping by himself on stage. Everyone cheers him, but as he goes offstage and removes his sunglasses, we see that his eyes are glowing green, the universal symbol of possession by Leprechaun! Turns out Lep is still around, and in an almost surreal closing scene (well, it would be surreal if it wasn't so friggin' dumb), Lep claims to have taught Postmaster everything he knows and proceeds to get on stage himself and bust out a hardcore rhyme about himself. "Lep in the 'hood, come to do no good! Lep in the 'hood, come to do no good!" Catchy. Thankfully, this is finally the end of the damn movie.
I liked this movie in spite of the fact that I really didn't want to. But I really wish somebody would just give Warwick Davis a few decent roles, just so he wouldn't have to keep making these horrid Leprechaun movies.
Scene to watch for: Ms. Fontaine and Lep meet.
Best line: "Unhand me gold you thieving hoods! You've got more gold than Tiger Woods."
Things that make you go "Huh?": I can understand Warwick Davis having to make these movies, but what the HECK was Ice-T thinking??