If you saw the trailer for The Man With The Iron Fists, you would have immediately thought of “Kill Bill“. Heck, Quentin Tarantino‘s name is plastered all over it. However, that is actually “Quentin Tarantino presents!” What does that mean? Well, he gave some money to the project. Yeah, that is about it.
Instead, consider this a movie by RZA, more famously known as the “leader” of the Wu-Tang Clan.
Set in China? Doesn’t matter, I will show one of the two white people in the movie first.
In Jungle Village, life is crazy. China in general was pretty crazy in the early 1900s. But in this village, it seems like all the weirdest people decided to get together and make a city of sin. It even has the best brothel in the area, lead by Madam Blossom (Lucy Liu). There are two warring gangs, the Lions and the Wolf. The Golden Lion wants peace, but due to sabotage, he is poisoned and killed, leaving the Silver Lion (Byron Mann) in charge, with Bronze Lion (Cung Le) now second in command.
Oh yeah, I hope you like silly names.
The Silver Lion wants to steal the governor’s gold, and live like royalty for the rest of his days, killing any who stand in his way. But his gang needs weapons. That’s where the Blacksmith (RZA) comes in, a man who hates fighting, but needs to get money to buy his love’s freedom (Jamie Chung) and escape the village. Too bad leaving can never be that easy.
With other characters such as Jack Knife (Russell Crowe), the X-Blade (Rick Yune), Bronze Body (Dave Bautista), Poison Dagger (Daniel Wu), and The Gemini, the fight over Jungle Village will be one that lives in infamy.
But just who is the Man With Iron Fists?
Oh well, probably this guy.
If you like crazy Kung-Fu movies, you will be pleased to know that this movie has some of the craziest I have seen. Goriest too, so hopefully that isn’t an issue. I almost think it could give Kung Fu Hustle a run for its money! The major players in this town don’t just need simple weapons for their battles, they need strong and creative ones. Claws, fists, automatic knives that can shoot saws, suits of armor that throw out blades, you name it.
That is really all this movie is about. Over the top fight scenes, with over the top players. Plot? The plot isn’t even important overall. Which leads to the films biggest problem. Not the lack of plot, but trying to force the plot on us.
Overall, most of the film is pretty fast paced, fight to fight, with enough plot to get the basic story. But halfway through the movie, bam, it slows down and we get stuck with a flash back story. The problem with that story is that it really doesn’t add too much to the overall plot (nor character motivations) yet takes a long time to do so.
RZA felt a bit too laid back in the role for my tastes, trying to seem mysterious, but coming off aloof. A stark difference compared to the rest of the cast. Crowe and Liu were of course brilliant, both causing me to laugh and cringe throughout the movie.
The Man With The Iron Fists is a film that doesn’t take itself too seriously, so neither should you. Instead, enjoy the beautiful fight scenes and the interesting characters.
3 out of 4.