The Man With the Iron Fists

"Weak"

The Man With the Iron Fists Review


Rapper-turned-actor-turned-filmmaker RZA is clearly influenced by cohorts Quentin Tarantino and Eli Roth as he indulges in this crazed pastiche of 1970s kung fu action romps. It's energetic and often quite funny, but far too silly to come together properly, mainly because he never adds any sense of post-modern wit. If the action scenes were more coherent, it at least could have been a guilty pleasure.

In a 19th century Chinese village, an American ex-slave (RZA) is known only as Blacksmith, forging weapons for gang members to raise the money to buy his girlfriend Lady Silk (Chung) from the local brothel's Madam Blossom (Lucy Liu). But their fate is caught up in a battle for power after the patriarch of the Lion clan is murdered and the swaggering Silver Lion (Mann) challenges rightful heir Zen Li (Yune). After a vicious attack by Silver Lion's muscled henchman Brass Body (Bautista), Zen Li is rescued by Blacksmith. And they get help from Englishman Jack Knife (Crowe) to fight Silver Lion and his thugs.

The title refers to something that happens about halfway in, when Blacksmith forges new arms for himself after being attacked by Silver Lion for helping Zen Li. This sets the stage for an orgy of metal-on-metal battling (there are also bronze and copper characters), leading to a clattering showdown between Blacksmith and Brass Body, who for some inexplicable reason can morph his body into, yes, brass. As such a wild fantasy, it's not surprising that the plot makes so little sense, although a bit more genuine character depth would have helped hold our interest.

Instead, we remain detached watching the wry, absurd fight scenes. These are lavishly choreographed with a combination of whizzy wire work, digital trickery and bombastic 70s-style musical cues, then shot and edited in a way that makes it hard to see what's happening. Basically, the main goal seems to have been to let the actors chomp mercilessly on the scenery while striking a variety of camp poses. As a result, there's virtually no chemistry between RZA and Chung, and therefore no emotional stakes to the story. Superficially, the movie is loud, messy and often quite funny. But most of the time we're laughing at it, not with it.

Rich Cline



The Man With the Iron Fists

Facts and Figures

Genre: Action/Adventure

Run time: 95 mins

In Theaters: Friday 2nd November 2012

Box Office USA: $15.6M

Box Office Worldwide: $15.6M

Budget: $15M

Distributed by: Universal Studios

Production compaines: Arcade Pictures, Iron Fists

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 49%
Fresh: 41 Rotten: 43

IMDB: 5.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , Eric Newman,

Starring: as Jack Knife, as Madame Blossom, as Lady Silk, as Blacksmith, as Chi Chi, as Brass Body, as Bronze Lion, as Zen Yi, The X-Blade, Gordon Liu Chia-Hui as The Abbott, Mary Christina Brown as Jasmine, Jin Auyeung as Chan, as Silver Lion, Andrew Ng as Senior Monk, Chen Kuan-Tai as Gold Lion, Yoyao Hsueh as Copper Lion, Telly Liu as Iron Lion, Grace Huang as Gemini Female, Andrew Lin as Gemini Male, as Jane, as Governor, as Poison Dagger

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Advertisement
Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Passengers Movie Review

Passengers Movie Review

Anchored by the almost ridiculously engaging Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, this sci-fi movie travels...

Neruda Movie Review

Neruda Movie Review

Clever Chilean director Pablo Larrain (who also directed Natalie Portman's Jackie) takes on the Nobel-winning...

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

Narrated by Daisy Ridley (The Force Awakens), this documentary is one of the most gripping...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.