November 8, 2012

Quick Review: The Man With the Iron Fists (2012)

Anyone who knows Hip Hop knows the Wu-Tang Clan; those Staten kids with different styles who mixed martial arts samples and references with sick beats and clever lyrics, and gave the rap game a much needed injection of dope ill fly rhymes that were off the heazy. Also, shizzle my nizzle. (I'm white, this is all I've got.)

Their founder, Rza, is not only a music-producing genius, but he loves him some Kung-Fu flicks. I still credit Gza's Liquid Swords album for introducing a legion of white kids to the awesomeness of the movie Shogun Assassin. *If you've never seen Shogun Assassin, see it now. Ditto listening to Liquid Swords.

Anywho, Rza is a brilliant producer/MC, but can he pull off writing and directing a movie too? He's an alright actor, and we know he is a lover of films of all kind, but loving and creating are two different things... still, for all he's given us, we owe him a chance to entertain us on the big screen.

Plus, the trailer looked too good for us to immediately dismiss this movie as a failure, without even seeing it.

Let's just keep the plot description simple here, shall we? Rza is The Blacksmith; a runaway slave who takes up residence in feudal China, and makes weapons for the people of Jungle Village. After learning the details of a massive gold shipment that is to come through said village, someone named Silver Lion kills his father, Gold Lion, which pisses off a bunch of people, including The X-Blade, who wants to kill Silver, Bronze, Iron, Puce, Magenta, Rainbow and White Lion.

Not this White Lion, because, who'd want to kill them?
Then Russel Crowe shows up with a knife-gun at Lucy Liu's whorehouse, violates a bunch of whores in creepy ways, and then decides he wants him some of that gold. The Gemini Killers and the Hyena Clan also want in on the gold action, although the Lion Clan isn't having any of that. They get some dude named Brass Body to protect their interests in the gold claim. This guy is massive, and can change his body to brass at will, making him virtually undefeatable... or is he?

This movies has its share of issues, trust us; it's a bit jumbled, the plot is incoherent at times, the acting isn't anything to write home about in most cases, and it's even goofy at times. There is a 4 hour cut of the movie out there, which may explain why so much of it makes so little sense at times or feels rushed, so we're hoping that the whole thing makes it to Blu-ray at some point. You know, to make more sense of it all?

We saw this movie for the Kung-Fu love and the over the top action, not for its tight script or perfect narrative, so not much of that really matters to us in this case. This movie plays it tongue-in-cheek, and it is absolutely self aware. It knows what it is, and doesn't care to be anything else.

So why did we like it so much?

Crazy Kung Fu action and the copious amounts of blood that comes along with it. The violence was really insane at times.
Russel Crowe. Not only is he awesome, but we think it's cool that he stayed boys with Rza after American Gangster, and came aboard this project to hook him up.
Lucy Liu. Hot and deadly, the perfect combination.
Batista is a beast, and it's always fun to see him destroy things.
Jamie Chung, because good God just look at her!
A great international cast of actors that know their martial arts.
Silver Lion. Sure, this may be a picture of Prince, but Silver Lion was pretty much the Asian Gangster version of Prince, hair and all. We kid you not.
As long time Wu supporters, it was a no-brainer for us to go see a Kung-Fu flick brought to us by the mind of The Rza, who loves and essentially built his empire off of Kung-Fu flicks. This isn't a great film; in fact it's a bit messy and dare I say amateurish, especially with some of the bad dialogue and that annoying voice-over. That said, this is a labor of love that does exactly what it was supposed to; entertain fans of Martial Arts flicks with some crazy fight scenes and visuals.
Anyone who digs the old chop-socky flicks of old will have a lot of fun with The Man With the Iron Fists. Those who are looking for anything else other than a fun time will find the movie lacking in many ways.


Don't know where this Jamie Chung girl came from (possibly Guam), but she is a stunner. Lucy Liu ain't half bad either.

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