The Man With The Iron Fists

  • Year:2012
  • Rating:MA
  • Director: RZA
  • Cast:Lucy Liu , Pam Grier , Jamie Chung , RZA , Russell Crowe
  • Release Date:December 06, 2012
  • Distributor:Universal
  • Running time:96 minutes
  • Film Worth:$13.50
  • FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

Given the talent on board, this registers as a disappointment, but even with the clunky dialogue and subpar fight scenes, it’s watchable fun.

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As the mastermind who created the kung fu-inspired hip-hop collective, Wu-Tang Clan, and the musical scores for Kill Bill and the Afro Samurai films, The RZA was practically destined to make a fight film for his directorial debut. With screenwriting help from Hostel writer/director, Eli Roth, and his American Gangster co-star, Russell Crowe, bringing his star-wattage alongside a bevy of respected martial arts performers, The RZA has rounded up top-tier talent to bring The Man With The Iron Fists to the screen. The film even has the blessing of “presenter”, Quentin Tarantino. So why isn’t the final product as much fun as it should be?

RZA plays Blacksmith, one of three lead characters in a film that doesn’t know where its focus should be. The other two leads are Jack Knife (Russell Crowe) and Zen Yi (Rick Yune). Blacksmith loves Lady Silk (Jamie Chung), a prostitute who works for Madam Blossom (Lucy Liu) at the most clothed brothel in recent cinematic memory. The couple gets caught up in the middle of Zen Yi’s revenge plot, the village’s effort to protect itself, and a battle between rival clans over stolen gold.

Crowe does a hell of a lot with what the script has given him, injecting sleazy charisma and intensity into the most clichéd dialogue imaginable. RZA gives a performance bordering on comatose, and Yune’s main characteristic is that his suit is spiky. But we’re here for the fights, right? Unfortunately, the wire-fu on display is weightless, and the editing and framing leave a lot to be desired. The Man With The Iron Fists is a mildly amusing first effort for The RZA, but those expecting the brilliant action of Kill Bill will be greatly disappointed.

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