¨When it comes to money, things get funny¨
The Man with the Iron Fists is yet another early contender for worst film of the year. It seems like this year I have watched far too many terrible movies, and am in desperate need for the first breakout movie of the year. RZA directs this kung fu action/comedy film which fails at many levels. First of all it has too many characters crammed into one film. RZA intended this movie to be over four hours long and divide it into two parts, but instead of that they edited everything and made it into one 100 minute movie. That really hurt the pacing of the film which moves at a ridiculous pace and seems to hurry everything. The film doesn’t works as either an action film or a satire because in the first place the action scenes are quite terrible and in the second it is far from being funny. The script also lacks some clever lines and a better story, while the acting in this film is terrible. I know that in some way this film tries to pay homage to the 70´s Shaw Kung fu films, but it still was messy, and the spoofs really didn’t work. This is one of those movies I really don’t want to spend too much time talking about because I feel it was a complete waste of time. The film may be presented by Quentin Tarantino (because he is friends with RZA and has had his music on many of his own screenplays), but it is far from his work. RZA could have used some help from Tarantino because this is another proof that making violent films isn’t an easy thing.
The film begins by introducing several different characters which are all linked to Jungle Village. A blacksmith (RZA) narrates the action as he tells us what is going on. The leader of the Lion´s clan, Gold Lion (Kuan Tai Chen), has been brutally murdered by Silver Lion (Byron Mann) and Bronze Lion (Cung Le) after they hear that the Governor´s gold is going to pass through their village. Gold Lion was assigned the task of protecting the gold while it was being transported, and now that he has been betrayed, Silver and Bronze Lion prepare an army to steal the gold. In the meantime, Gold Lion´s son, Zen Yi (Rick Yune) decides to avenge his father´s death and attack those responsible. Zen Yi is defeated however by Brass Body (Dave Bautista), who works for the Lion´s clan, but before he´s killed, the blacksmith manages to save him and escape. Silver and Bronze Lion manage to steal the governor´s gold and hide it in Madam Blossom´s (Lucy Liu) brothel. Jack Knife (Russell Crowe), an emissary of the Emperor, happens to be staying at the brothel when all this occurs. While these events are taking place, the blacksmith is caught by Brass Body and has his arms severed. Jack Knife decides to help the blacksmith and makes iron arms for him. They join forces along with Zen Yi and together they face the Lion clan in a blood bath.
As you can tell there are a lot of different things going on at the same time and way too many characters for a short film like this. Everything just seemed so disconnected that it never even worked as a spoof. I really didn’t care much for any of the characters either, and to say that there is no character development whatsoever is an understatement. I also had a lot of issues with the editing of the film with so many chops here and there. The action scenes never felt believable, and everything felt like a complete waste of time. This film may have had some interesting actors working here, but it is just terrible. Please skip this film.