By BRANDAN WONCH
“The Man with the Iron Fists” made its debut on Blu-ray last month so a friend and I decided to give it a try. For those who haven’t heard of the movie, it’s a rather unique tale that all starts with the Wu-Tang Clan. The Wu-Tang is a well known rap group that has been around for quite some time and has had several of the most famous rappers as members at one point throughout its career.
I’m not a huge rap fan so I only know a few of the rappers who came from the Clan, those being RZA and Ol’ Dirty Bastard. It’s also a little known fact that the Wu-Tang Clan is a big fan of old martial art films. This movie was paid for and stars one of the clan, RZA, and its main purpose is to serve as a love letter of sorts to the old school kung-fu genre.
With stars like RZA, Russell Crowe, and Lucy Liu, I’m sure you can guess now that “The Man with the Iron Fists” is an action kung-fu movie. It’s filled with a lot of Crouching Tiger-style high wire karate with an intriguing yet simplistic story. The story isn’t pushing any new boundaries but that’s kind of the point. It plays it by the numbers following most of the classic blueprints to a T. You’ve got your blacksmith (RZA), the mysterious stranger (Crowe), and there’s a brothel where Lucy Liu manages all the girls.
I should probably mention that this is a very mature movie, or I guess immature. Let’s just say it’s filled with plenty of blood, sex and other “mature” themes.
Overall it’s a pretty good film. In what seems to be a bit of a slow period for sale releases, you could certainly do worse. The acting was solid enough, even from some of the lesser known talents in the film. I do have to say, however, I loved Crowe’s character “Jack Knife.” It easily made the film for me.
That said, I do have to touch on the negative side of the movie. The one big problem is that it tries too hard to be the old kung-fu movie. It goes out of the way to use some out-of-date special effects and other things that seriously date the movie, seeing as it just came out last year. It does serve to separate it from the pack, so I guess it’s just one of those double-edged swords.
Overall, it’s a good film with some solid acting. It’s unique and just a lot of fun. Some of its unique qualities, however, also happen to be its downfall.
Rating: 8 out of 10