The Man With the Iron Fists: Review

13 Nov

Presented by Quentin Tarantino, The Man With the Iron Fists is the directorial debut of Wu-Tang Clan leader, RZA. The story takes place in Jungle Village during the 19th Century. Our protagonist is the Blacksmith (RZA), a man who’s forced to create elaborate weapons of death for the various clans vying for power. Add a shipment of gold to the mix and the whole village is consumed by violence and greed.

If you’re a fan of Quentin Tarantino, you know anything presented by him will have a heavy dose of violence, pulp and bizarre dialogue. The Man With Iron Fists is no exception, but unlike Tarantino movies you don’t develop a serious attachment to any of the characters. Considering the martial arts theme and warring clans, it’s obvious that almost everyone is going to die in some horrific way.

That being said there’s a lot to like about this movie. One of the best things about The Man With the Iron Fists is the diverse and interesting cast which includes Byron Mann and Cung Le as the treacherous villans Silver and Copper Lion; David Bautista as the ruthless Brassbody; Lucy Liu as sensual brothel owner Madame Blossom; Russell Crowe as the Englishman Jack Knife and of course, RZA as the Blacksmith.  All the characters have distinct qualities that match their names and/or skills.

RZA knew exactly what kind of movie he was making and doesn’t take it too seriously. The first time director concocted a convoluted plot – this character hates this character and that character wants to avenge this character…blah, blah, blah. Character development is pretty non-existent, but I found myself looking forward to enemies fighting Mortal Kombat style.

Lucy Liu and Russell Crowe were definitely my favourites. Lucy Liu spent the movie flitting around in gorgeous costumes and conspiring with the Lion Clan, while Russell Crowe spent the first 45 minutes of the movie banging beautiful prostitutes and spying on the other warriors.

The biggest problem with the movie is actually RZA himself. As the Blacksmith, RZA is somber and boring with a capital B. Of all the warriors, he is by far the least interesting and he constantly looks ready for a nap. Even the scenes that could add some dimension to the Blacksmith are painfully boring. I leaned over to my husband in the middle of one and asked “When’s the killing going to start again?”

Considering RZA’s musical genius, there’s surprisingly not enough music. Any music featured is controlled and doesn’t pump you up for the fight scenes. I don’t want to be too hard on RZA because his mistakes are forgivable since it’s his first movie.

Though enjoyable, The Man With the Iron Fists isn’t anything special. Don’t rush out to a theatre to see it, wait for DVD or On Demand. It’s not the type of movie that you’ll feel strongly about either way, but I promise that you’ll be quoting it for weeks – GEMINI STANCE!

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