The Man With The Iron Fists



Directed by RZA – Written by RZA and Eli Roth

Starring: RZA, Russell Crowe, Lucy Liu, Cung Le

As far as films which are born directly from the mind of a musician go, Man With The Iron Fists is 100 times better than any of its predecessors. I went into the cinema not excited to see a rip-roaring martial arts film, but to see what the RZA had managed to do with $20 million and I left with a grin on my face which has remained since.

I generally hold a staunch opposition to the music industry and the film industry colliding for any reason other than soundtracks, but on this occasion the RZA has surpassed my predictions and created a film which entertains for the full 95 minutes. Every part of the film oozes with the same level of pastiche which surrounded Kill Bill (2003) and the nod to Quentin Tarantino’s martial arts bloodbath was apparent in the stylising and the gore. This is mostly down to the collaboration with Eli Roth, known mainly for his work on Hostel (2005) but also for prior work with Tarantino.

In the beginning we are introduced to the Blacksmith (RZA) who explains to us how his calamitous situation unfolds in the setting of Jungle Village – a small territory in 19th century China. We are introduced to new elements of the story constantly, with the Blacksmith narrating to us the various problems which are cropping up.

The most pressing issue is that everyone is trying to get hold of an extremely large amount of gold which the government is transporting through Jungle Village. Why the government would ever choose to leave anything valuable in such an environment is beyond me but the decision is made and the cogs begin to turn. Because of this, a power struggle unfolds and the Blacksmith becomes more and more embroiled due to his services being in demand, and his lover Lady Silk (Jamie Chung) being a whore at the brothel where everything important in this film seems to happen.

The constant introduction of new, dynamic characters creates a flow of excitement and interchanging narratives without the film relying on its extravagant fight scenes. When these fights do eventually break out they are rewarding and full of horrible bastards such as Jack Knife (Russell Crowe). Mr Knife’s entry to the film is one accompanied by mass hedonism and a visceral gutting, leaving none of his psyche to the imagination. Similar introductions are afforded to all the key players and this in depth nature to the script makes you feel as though outside of the walls of this one narrative lays a backstory which could spawn hundreds of films.

Without a doubt this is one of the most all round entertaining action films of recent times and I fully recommend it to anyone who has a fondness for brutal violence, martial arts, hip-hop or scantily clad Asian girls.


– Jake Jackman

One Response to “The Man With The Iron Fists”
  1. insiderhedge says:

    Reblogged this on Parrot Reviews.

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