HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Moonchild
Verite, La
Guilty, The
Stranger in the House
Redcon-1
G.G. Passion
Chien Andalou, Un
Boar
Bulldog Drummond
First Man
Machete Maidens Unleashed!
Cannibal Club, The
Grasshopper, The
Searching
Human Desire
Climax
Stiff Upper Lips
American Animals
Outlaws
Venom
World on a Wire
Velvet Buzzsaw
Picnic
Dick Dickman, PI
Hunter Killer
30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock, The
Race for the Yankee Zephyr
Boys in the Band, The
Brainscan
T-Men
   
 
Newest Articles
He-Maniacs: Ridiculous 80s Action
All's Welles That Ends Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 1 on DVD
Shut It! The Sweeney Double Bill: Two Blu-rays from Network
Network Sitcom Movie Double Bill: Till Death Us Do Part and Man About the House on Blu-ray
No, THIS Must Be the Place: True Stories on Blu-ray
Alf Garnett's Life After Death: Till Death... and The Thoughts of Chairman Alf on DVD
Balance of Power: Harold Pinter at the BBC on DVD
Strange Days 2: The Second Science Fiction Weirdness Wave
Strange Days: When Science Fiction Went Weird
Ha Ha Haaargh: Interview With Camp Death III in 2D! Director Matt Frame
Phone Freak: When a Stranger Calls on Blu-ray
A Name to Conjure With: David Nixon's Magic Box on DVD
Which 1950s Sci-Fi was Scariest? Invaders from Mars vs The Blob
The Empire Strikes Back: Khartoum vs Carry On Up the Khyber
Stan and Ollie's Final Folly: Atoll K on Blu-ray
   
 
  Man with the Iron Fists, The Wu-Tang ClangBuy this film here.
Year: 2012
Director: RZA
Stars: RZA, Russell Crowe, Lucy Liu, Rick Yune, Dave Bautista, Jamie Chung, Byron Mann, Cung Le, Daniel Wu, Zhu Zhu, Gordon Liu, Andrew Ng, Chen Kuan Tai, Hsueh Yoyao, Telly Liu, Dong Wen-Jun, Grace Huang, Andrew Lin, Auyeung Jin, Pam Grier, Eli Roth
Genre: Action, Martial Arts, Fantasy, Adventure
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: The Blacksmith (RZA) who worked in the small but crucial region of China known as Jungle Village has a tale to tell, about how he became a legend and how the place he had made his home after moving there to escape slavery in America was the site of one of the most epic battles in hand-to-hand combat history. Not only hands were used, as the Blacksmith was an expert in creating the most powerful and efficient weaponry around, which gave him a reputation as the man to go to if you were spoiling for a fight and needed the best defence - and best offence.

Although the latter aspect came into play when a whole bunch of cinema audiences saw this and were deeply offended at what they saw as one of the worst movies of all time. This was RZA's debut as director and he had penned the script with horror exponent Eli Roth, so naturally as an homage to nineteen-seventies kung fu movies made by Americans was on the cards, it simply had to be presented by Quentin Tarantino, leading those viewers to expect that Kill Bill kind of vibe. When they got more of a Shaw Brothers updated to the twenty-first century vibe instead, it was really only the diehard fans of such efforts who were willing to back RZA up.

He had of course made his name in hip-hop group The Wu-Tang Clan, no strangers to the appeal of martial arts flicks as the name suggested, but for RZA this abiding love of the genre went so far he wanted to make one himself, and The Man with the Iron Fists was the result. Therefore the plotlines typified by that heyday of Hong Kong movies were well to the fore, with revenge, greed and betrayal all on the menu, and an excuse for the cast to set about beating each other up - not really, they were pretending for the camera under Corey Yuen's choreography (which we didn't see enough of). Such was the director's obsession with the form that he wanted to be a kung fu star himself, and you could observe there were problems there.

No matter his achievements in music, the unwavering, hangdog expression RZA sported throughout no matter what crushing indignity befell his character or what enormous triumph he won through with was less stoic and more frozen in the glare of the studio lights. Fortunately for us, he employed better actors around him, so it wasn't a case of watching his wooden countenance for ninety minutes or so (it was apparently four hours in the original cut which may be more than even its most committed adherents would be able to take). Along with such Asian stars of various generations appearing as Lucy Liu as the madam of the local brothel where nobody takes off their clothes, Jamie Chung as Blacksmith's true love (when you're directing you can get someone who looks like that as your romantic partner) and even Gordon Liu in a small role as a head monk, there was a certain Aussie.

Step forward Russell Crowe as Jack Knife (lots of slightly self-consciously cool names in this) who didn't, sadly, get involved with the martial arts, but he did have a gun that was also a knife, so that would have to do. He seemed to be enjoying himself anyway, and didn't really deserve the criticism he got because he was attuned to the tone of the enterprise at least as much as Byron Mann, who played main bad guy Silver Lion. Mann was having tons of fun emphasising the charismatic qualities of the villain, and the manner in which the plot tried to cover as many evil fighters as possible - and goodhearted, too - meant that we didn't spend as much time with him as we would like. This dilution of spirit thanks to RZA and Roth adding a "wouldn't it be awesome if this happened?!" scene every minute did have a detrimental effect, and you wished the editing had been more ruthless - supposed hero Rick Yune's bladed suit makes more of an impression than he does. Nevertheless, with reservations this did contain a pulp verve which spoke to its creators, if more than the potential audience.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1166 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
George White
Enoch Sneed
Stately Wayne Manor
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
   

 

Last Updated: