Awfully Good: Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood
Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood (2003)
The Leprechaun proves that once you go black you never go back.
And so this is it. We've reached the end of the LEPRECHAUN franchise. In case you missed it, we've travelled with the little guy on adventures with a young Jennifer Aniston, getting some space action from an alien princess, and rapping with Ice-T in the hood. Supposedly, this sixth film was originally going to take the title character to Spring Break, which sounds infinitely more entertaining and boobtastic than what we got here. But the first "hood" movie did well enough on home video that they sent the poor Lep back to the projects. Thanks a lot, all 15 people that rented LEPRECHAUN 5.
Dorothy was a little disappointed to find that somewhere over the rainbow was just Shaniqua.
From the start, you know the fifth sequel takes things up a notch because it changes "to" to "2" and "the" to "tha" in the title. That's street cred, Lionsgate! The movie then opens with an animated sequence of embarrassing quality which attempts to retcon the legend of the title character with some mythical BS about a king summoning a gaggle of leprechauns to protect his gold. But as is with most fables and Matrices, there's always The One. In this case, The One is the Leprechaun we've grown to love, who refused to return home to his kingdom and instead travels the universe throughout time to watch over his preciouses. It's not clear where exactly he got his penchant for murder and naked women along the way, but there's that too.
Essentially the Leprechaun is more of a demon from Hell this time around and LEPRECHAUN 6 thusly comes across as more of a horror movie, at least compared to the previous two entries. BACK 2 THA HOOD has more of an actual narrative and plot and the miniscule hellspawn is more brutal and less jokey—to an extent. There's still plenty of random slapstick and comedy, from physical height gags to the Lep smoking weed and getting the munchies. He also massages an obese lady for no reason.
There are some values that transcend racial and socio-economic boundaries.
But even at its best, this is still far from high-brow stuff. Since it's a movie about inner city youths, of course they spend a decent amount of the first act brooding about the loss of their Community Center. (A Community Center funded by Leprechaun gold!) And since the focus is on an "urban" population, there's plenty of African American stereotypes. The characters are all drug dealers, potheads and weave beauticians. When they find the Leprechaun gold and become millionaires, they immediately spend it all on bling, drugs and Rodeo Drive fashion, instead of…you know, trying to get out of the ghetto. At one point, when the Leprechaun is attempting to carjack their ride, they even use the ridiculous hydraulics on their car to smash him in to roadkill.
That's the last time someone asked the Leprechaun to have a little heart.
Aside from Warwick Davis, the only other names you might recognize here are AVATAR's Laz Alonso and rapper Sticky Fingaz. But as with the rest of the films, Davis deserves all the credit for whatever meager success this franchise has had, giving his all to the role no matter how dumb the material gets. And it does get pretty dumb. This is a movie where the hero puts four-leaf clovers in to hollow tip bullets and exclaims, "Let's go kill some little people!" Or where the neighborhood fortune teller has actual psychic powers and can throw Street Fighter-style Hadokens at the Leprechaun.
"Do I get a SAG card now, guys?"
I'll give LEPRECHAUN: BACK 2 THA HOOD one thing though—it is educational. Amidst all the Irish-themed mayhem and pint-sized gore, the filmmakers find time to teach the audience that saying the N-word is wrong and that instead, everyone should say "ninja." The Leprechaun then gets the trend started by saying, "What's up my ninjas?" Hey, it's still more subtle than CRASH.
Have a fun and unsober St. Patty's Day everyone!
The Leprechaun gets a little frisky on the phone and a white guy embarrasses himself with Ebonics.
Probably the best kill in the entire franchise ("Give…that…back!"). Plus, the Leprechaun smokes some chronic, massages a fat lady and gets his ride pimped.
Whatever this is.
Take a shot or drink every time:
- The Leprechaun gets high
- The Leprechaun kills somebody
- Someone gets called "ninja"
- Someone gets hit via a motorcycle
- Someone says, "Of course, you're a Leprechaun."
- An African American stereotype is perpetuated