Recaps & Reviews

The Man With The Iron Fists Is Corny, Cheesy Fun

Martial arts movies have seen their popularity rise and fall in North America over the years.  Their hottest time was undoubtedly the 1970’s when Bruce Lee caught the eye of American audiences.  In 2000 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was the talk of Hollywood when it found itself receiving a nomination for best picture at the Academy Awards.  Director Quentin Tarantino even paid homage to the genre when he released Kill Bill in 2003.  The Man with the Iron Fists is the latest movie in the genre to be released, but the question is will it be a hit, or has the genre faded into another lull period.

The  Blacksmith (RZA) is an escaped slave who is in love with a prostitute.  He makes weapons for warring tribes so that he can buy his love’s freedom from the mysterious Madam Blossom (Lucy Liu).  Unfortunately his plans start to fall to pieces when a shipment of government gold brings the war to his doorstep.  He joins the rightful Lion Clan leader Zen Yi (Rick Yune) and British soldier Jack Knife (Russell Crowe) to reclaim the gold and bring peace back to the country.

The Man with the Iron Fists is cheesy, corny fun.  It’s so over the top that you can’t turn away from it.  It’s also extremely violent at times, but the blood splattering is so unrealistic that it doesn’t cause you to turn away.  For Wu-Tang Clan member RZA wrote, directed and starred in the movie, and one has to wonder if he stretched himself too thin, as his acting is rather bland and not at all suitable for a lead character.  In fact out of all the characters his is the least interesting.  Speaking of characters, Russell Crowe does such a good job of playing his that you want to see more of him, and his chemistry with Lucy Liu makes you wish they had more onscreen time together.   Throughout the flick you almost need a scorecard to figure out which character is good and which is bad, and to help you piece together the various plots that are running throughout.

RZA’s directorial debut is not something you need to see on the big screen.  It’s more of a watch when it’s on TV late at night sort of thing.  It’s amusing at times, and it will keep you entertained, but it’s not really worth the price of admission.

Related Link: Lucy Liu’s Most Stylish Moments From TV & Film



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