Wednesday, 23 October 2013

FILM: The Man With The Iron Fists (6/10)

Why did I watch it?
I'm a pretty big fan of the Wu-Tang Clan and therefore a bit of a RZA acolyte so I was pretty keen to see his directorial debut.

What's it all about?
In Feudal China rival clans plot to steal the Emperor's gold as it passes through Jungle Village. Caught in the middle of the war between the clans and the Emperor's escort is the village's blacksmith (RZA), brothel madam Madam Blossom (Lucy Liu), the blacksmith's lover Lady Silk (Jamie Chung) and mysterious stranger Jack Knife (Russell Crowe). After suffering at the hands of the Lion clan the blacksmith forges ultimate weapons of his own and joins the fight.

The Good:
  • The likes of Crowe and Liu have fun with their roles, Crowe in particular as Jack Knife
  • Some good choreography and wire work, I'm thinking of the Gemini twins, the Black Widows and The X-Blade fights.
  • Fun mix of characters, eccentric Brit Jack Knife and the brass version of Fantastic Four's The Thing

The Bad:
  • It pains me to say this but the RZA was perhaps a little too self-involved as director, main cast member and narrator. His narration and acting were both very monotone and uninspiring, particularly as the titular role.
  • Heavy editing (original cut was four hours long and the final edit was 96 minutes!) results in congested character introduction throughout
Favourite line:
''I always bring my gun to a knife fight'' - Jack Knife

Stand-out moment:
Madam Blossom's orchestrated attack on the Lions by the Black Widows 

Like the film? Watch: Kill Bill, 13 Assassins
Like the soundtrack? Watch: Kill Bill, Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai
Like the director? Watch: Can't help you here, TMWTIF was RZA's directorial debut

What my wife would say: Who is the RZA?

What the world thinks:
Rotten Tomatoes - 49%
Metacritic - 51/100
LAMB Score - 2.5/5
Twitter - 'uneven', 'messy', 'fun'

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