The Man with the Iron Fist – 3.5/5 Movie Reviews by Ry!

The Man with the Iron Fists – 3.5/5 – Kung Fu movies are as hard to grade as horror movies. They don’t usually have deep involving themes or stand out with the greatest of characters, with a few exception. The difference in the two for me is that at least a relevant story can be seen in a kung fu movie. For this one in particular, it is less with trying to impress us with anything crazy or new, but showing us eccentric acrobatic wire fighting scenes, funny situations and awesome action from beginning to end. This movie here is a basic homage to all older kung fu movies along with being its own unique film in the genre.

Taking place in the fabled Jungle Village; groups of people are on the hunt for the Emperor’s treasure of gold. This includes a band of warriors, assassins, and a rogue British soldier descending upon this village in feudal China. Along with these people, a humble blacksmith caught in-between the clashing, and must defend himself and his fellow villagers from the doom that is about to happen. This film does contain a lot of known actors and celebs. You have Rza (who also directs the film) as the blacksmith, Russell Crowe as the rouge British Soldier, Batista of WWE fame as Brass Body, Lucy Liu as Madame Blossom and Cung Li as Bronze lion to name a few that stand out. In this collection of people you find unique and vivid characters. Each of them brings their own kind of ‘fighting technique’ and also different backgrounds to their own persona. This background isn’t delved deeply to in the simple plot of the movie, but just enough to give them substance in the movie. Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu stand out the most in their roles. They stand to the forefront because both are very stern, sadistic and sometimes pretty funny as their characters. That charm and wit they have is brought out by their great acting, and you can tell from the beginning that they enjoyed playing these fun roles for Rza’s movie. All the other side characters not mentioned, including the dancers of Blossom’s ‘pleasure’ house and the other evil baddies, do their job in keeping you in touch with the movie. There isn’t really anything dramatic, over the top or underwhelming to these roles, and they fill in enough to keep the movie moving forward.

The direction of the film is pretty standard for kung fu movies. You have stories of revenge, hidden motives and obvious backstabbing that happens like in all these kinds of movies. The one thing that this movie does though is draw interest to the story by its outlandish actions and sometimes comical timing in the script. Even for the simple direction, right off the bat you know from Rza’s monologue, there isn’t a reach in this film to be superbly dramatic. This film is just a basic homage to all those wired acted kung fu movies, and you’re here to be entertained by his vision and his story. From beginning to end, the fighting and action sets throughout are the strengths of this movie. The action is what keeps you involved because they are spectacular and over the top just enough to make it seem cool and not cheesy. This includes such pieces as the bar fight in the monologue, to the fight between the lion clan and the Gemini killers in the dragon inn.

The cinematography is truly a blissful thing to watch. You feel captured by the jungle village, and all the unique places there (like the dragon inn and Madame Blossom’s pleasure house). These unique pieces make you feel like you’re in ancient china. The score is a mix of kung fu style songs as well as hip hop flavor to make the fighting more intense. Because of these two parts being so good, it brings even a great anticipation for the action scenes, as there is color in the fighting, and oozing of excitement to awesome kills throughout. There is also, a good amount of blood, limps getting cut off and some awesome decapitation of certain people who stand out and make you cringe but understand, these fights are the truth.

Overall, there isn’t anything here that will be overly dramatic or seriously underwhelming. This movie has the typical kung fu elements, but the tone is intense and enjoyable, and you are thoroughly entertained by all the action and characters in the film. Stand out characters with a kung fu/hip hop twist; you will be happily fulfilled by the end. If you’re a fan of kung fu movies, this is a treat for you. I would say a good night out for watching, and a DVD add to your collection.

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