HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Cryptozoo
Weathering with You
Rim of the World
Love & Basketball
JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time
Trapped
We Need to Do Something
Falbalas
Vanguard
A-X-L
Injustice
Bigfoot Hunters
Armitage III: Polymatrix
Girls Nite Out
Moxie!
Five Women for the Killer
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
   
 
Newest Articles
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
   
 
  Man with the Iron Fists, The Wu-Tang Clang
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, AdventureBuy from Amazon
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 2208 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: