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Marcus Reviews The Man With The Iron Fists

3 Nov

Synopsis:

Making his debut as a big-screen director and leading man, RZA-alongside a stellar international cast led by Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu-tells the epic story of warriors, assassins and a lone outsider hero in nineteenth-century China who must unite to destroy the clan traitor who would destroy them all. Since his arrival in China’s Jungle Village, the town’s blacksmith (RZA) has been forced by radical tribal factions to create elaborate tools of destruction. When the clans’ brewing war boils over, the stranger channels an ancient energy to transform himself into a human weapon. As he fights alongside iconic heroes and against soulless villains, one man must harness this power to become savior of his adopted people.

What I Liked:

The biggest compliment that I can give this movie is that it made me feel extremely nostalgic. Having grown up watching old kung fu classics such as The Seven Deadly Venoms, Enter The Dragon, etc, watching this felt like taking a time machine back to my childhood. You can tell that RZA is a huge fan of those films as all of the classic kung fu tropes appear in this film.

Like most kung fu movies there are alot of colorful characters that inhabit this world that RZA created. Most impressive/entertaining of which were Jack Knife played by Russell Crowe (who was basically Jack Sparrow but was a blast to watch), Madame Blossom played by Lucy Liu (Basically playing her character in Kill Bill amped up to 11), Brassbody played by Batista (who did some impressive physical acting) and Silver Lion played by Byron Mann (who chewed up the scenery every time he came on screen and was by far my favorite character).

There were some brilliant moments of self satire in the dialogue (mostly given to Silver Lion) as well as a moment of pure gold uttered by Russell Crowe’s character that almost made me stand up and cap.

You could tell that RZA’s spent many hours in his life watching classic kung fu movies as he used alot of the editing techniques and camera tricks used in them to make it feel more authentic.

The fight choreography, though not for everyone, was pretty damn impressive throughout.

“Shame On A Nigga” by The Wu + Kung Fu Badassery = one of the dopest movie intros that I’ve seen all year. My friends and I were AMPED after it had ended.

What I Didn’t Like:

While he’s a solid director, RZA is an outright TERRIBLE actor even by kung fu movie standards. He seems to have a really hard time enunciating and his voice was ridiculously low so most of the time I didn’t understand what he was saying. To make matters worse he was narrating the entire movie.

While storytelling was never one of the strong suits of the Kung Fu genre, this movie was so all over the place at times that it was easy to lose track of what the whole thing was about in the first place. While I didn’t have much difficulty keeping up personally, my friends were totally lost and I’m sure most of the other people in the theater were too.

Though I understand why they used it, I HATE CG blood and this movie had loads of it.

The section of the movie where they explored RZA’s character’s back story and he became the focal point of the movie was by far the weakest and most unintentionally hilarious part of the entire movie. After it was all said and done I couldn’t help but feel like this would’ve been a better, and more coherent, movie without his character all together.

For a movie directed by the head of the Wu-Tang Clan, there was a surprising lack of hip-hop in the score which was honestly disappointing to me (especially after how amazing the intro was).

After all of the buildup, I was left feeling that the finale was a tad bit anticlimactic.

Overall:

Let me start off by saying that The Man With The Iron Fists is a terrible movie but it’s terrible in the best way possible. If we’re judging it by pure filmmaking standards it’s got incoherent storytelling, amateur camerawork, hilariously bad acting and somewhat schizophrenic fight choreography but at the same time that’s what made it so entertaining. It’s almost unfair to critique this in terms of filmmaking because going into this one should already expect it be below average in that respect. If you’ve seen pure kung fu movies before then you know that the best ones revel in how ridiculous they are and The Man With The Iron Fists succeeds in that respect for the most part. Though I’d be lying if I said that there weren’t moments where I was curious about how this movie would’ve turned out if Quentin Tarantino had directed it instead of RZA. Nevertheless, While I wouldn’t recommend this to most people, if you’re a fan of kung fu movies and are just looking for a good time/you’ve already seen Wreck-It-Ralph then gather some likeminded friends and check this gem that’s destined to land on many people’s guilty pleasure list.

Rating: C