Movie Review – The Man with the Iron Fists
If you feel like your life has been missing some kickass kung fu action sequences lately, you’re not alone. Millions of people have been losing sleep, thinking of the sweet, sweet sound of the human skull fracturing against the bridge of another human’s foot. When the cure for what ails you is more roundhouse kicks, leave it to doctor Quentin Tarantino to present you with some medicine. Open wide, sucker, and go see The Man with the Iron Fists.
Iron Fists is quite possibly one of the best movies this year, not because it’s really all that good, but because it’s trying something different than everything else. It’s one part Kill Bill, three parts Hard Boiled, throw in some Enter the Dragon, and toss Russell Crowe into the mix, just for kicks (pun almost definitely intended). Highly stylized graphic violence, awesome set pieces, and spot-on cheesy acting is the order of the day. And, what a great order it is.
The film is directed by RZA of Wu-Tang Clan fame, and was written by RZA and Eli Roth. Quentin Tarantino attached his name as producer to make the film just as awesome as any one movie could possibly get. Of course, a movie bleeding such adrenaline-fueled awesome from every orifice isn’t without its faults. RZA, who also stars, is easily the weakest actor of the bunch. Some of the action sequences could really have stood to be cleaned up. But I’m not going to lose sleep over petty complaints like these. The fact is, kung fu appears to be back, and not in an ironic way, thankfully. What’s more, RZA isn’t slowing down. His remake of The Last Dragon starring Samuel L. Jackson as Sho’Nuff is slated for release as early as next year.
Now, the story of Iron Fists is a little bit messy, so if you’re going for a literary opus, you should probably try something like Cloud Atlas. Seven clans are involved in the hunt for a legendary treasure. These assassins, warriors, and British guy are all led to the middle of a feudal Japanese village, where the blacksmith (RZA) resides. The Blacksmith decides that it is up to him to protect his village from the insanity that has swept down upon them. Cue up the ass-kickery.
If you can forgive a needlessly complicated plot and some sloppy fighting sequences, then you’re going to find an absolute gem in The Man with the Iron Fists. The style far outweighs the substance, but if you’re going to a kung fu flick for substance, then I’ve got some bad news for you about literally every other kung fu film ever made. There are head kicks aplenty, moments of genuine humour, and I defy you to leave the theatre and not believe that it’s possible to have an entire fight sequence while suspended in midair. It’s these kind of films that make the theatre experience enjoyable, and I’d recommend not missing out on it.
Photo courtesy aceshowbiz.com