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|Index||223 reviews in total|
RZA's film has some amount of imagination,but, simply put, he has no
idea how to build, pace, or tell a story. He has made the unfortunate
mistake of imitating a genre he loves without understanding what makes
it work. The dialogue is half nonsensical exposition, half nauseating
one-liners. Lots of clumsy penis and vagina jokes.
The plot is so diffuse...there is not enough time given to any character for them to be read as an actual character. The film fails in tying together any of these frayed threads and also fails to make what happens in any of them significant or sensible. For example there is a "betrayal" plot which happens in the first two minutes of the film, when there is no context to make that betrayal meaningful, make the traitor seem particularly villainous, etc. The acting is very broad and simplistic, which I guess is to be expected given the things RZA expects them to say. He doesn't seem to understand that all of these things, the characters, dialogue, plot points, etc. are pointless without a proper context.
Some people might be inclined to tell me it's the "point" of the movie to not have a story, to be a loose framework on which a series of fight scenes are hung. I'd first suggest that that is not a meaningful effort to make. But even as a visual spectacle or stylistic effort, it doesn't do very well. All of the fights are basically the same knife/sword play... none of the characters really have a specific fighting style, and the CGI gore lopped onto the fights is excessive and silly. The music cues are embarrassingly overdone...any time the film wants you to feel an emotion, the sappiest orchestral music instantly kicks in, to the beat of a hip hop song.
I think it's possible that RZA could make a good film someday, but this certainly isn't it.
Yes I gave this movie an eight! Why, you might ask? Because it did all
the things it was supposed to do. Reading all the reviews, I can't
understand what people were expecting this movie to be. Judging from
the trailer, you can tell it's going to be a dope kung fu movie but you
also see that RZA is playing the main character. I didn't expect much
from his acting but he did an okay job nonetheless. The plot was solid,
nothing complex or in depth like Inception or Dark Knight but who
really expects a complex plot from an action movie. I sure as hell
don't. I'm a film student and I noticed a lot of things wrong from a
logistics stand point, but I know how to turn off my head and just
enjoy a film for what it is. I didn't make the movie, so why waste my
time talking about what I would have done differently because I'll
never get the chance to. But I can write a review based on how I
experienced the film.
THE GOOD - The score was great. An interesting mix of hip hop, symphonic and other genres. The costuming, weaponry, set design were all great and looked great on film. This film had a lot of funny moments. As an adult, I can appreciate the humor from a dirty joke and they did them well. The fighting and action were awesome. There were times where my best friend would consistently tap out of excitement for how awesome the fight scenes were. The acting was okay, but I think the best job goes to Lucy Lui and Russell Crowe because they gave the best performances.
THE BAD - I don't know about RZA playing the main character. He did okay on some parts but on others he was very dry. I also would have preferred someone else to narrate. Like Morgan Freeman or Laurence Fishburne. I named those black actors because it seemed like the Filmmakers were going for an urban feel, but RZA's strong east coast accent was very distracting at times but I don't think that was a huge flaw, it's just a matter of taste and that's what the director wanted so I can respect that. There were a lot of cheesy moments. Some of the dialogue was cheesy and even certain points in the movie, you kind of whisper to yourself "Really?!" But knowing Quentin and RZA they both are Kung Fu lovers so I looked over the cheesy moments because I knew they were just paying homage to all of the Kung Fu movies that they grew up watching. It would have been nice to have a more detailed plot. Some characters weren't established well enough to care for them, but with me I didn't want to care I just wanted to see some flying kicks and daggers. Those nappy ass wigs that the Wolf Clan made me want to chew bricks. The hairstylist should be fired but, again, it's all a matter of taste. That was just a creative choice made by the director and I can respect that.
Overall, the movie is just a fun flick to go see on a Friday night. Lots of blood, decapitation, fun martial arts, subliminal dirty jokes, sarcastic humor, special effects, and a unique, urban take on the classic Kung Fu films we've learn to love over the years. This is not a movie you waste your time dissecting. You either love it or you hate. I took the movie for what it was and I loved every minute of it. It had everything an action flick should have, great action, great costumes, great weapons, solid plot and good actors.
Congratulations, RZA on your first film. I'm sure he can'y do anything but get better. He definitely has a vivid mind and I'm anxious to see how he evolves.
Lastly, whenever you're reading a review, make sure you learn how to decipher an authentic review from that of an upcoming filmmaker. We all tend to be very hard on each other and ourselves. A lot of these reviews, contain inhibitions about creative taste rather than the movie itself. No one cares about what you would have done differently. All they care about is if it's worth their ten, fifteen, twenty dollars. That is all.
Produced (not directed or written) by Quentin Tarantino (so you know
it's going to be bad) "The Man with the Iron Fists", Wu Tang Clan
member RZA's first try behind the camera, doesn't disappoint as far as
"bad" movies go. This is truly an exercise in visual and structural
ineptitude, which could only be the work of an amateur filmmaker. RZA,
starring alongside an obese Russell Crowe and Cung Le (which should
tell you all you need to know) in this rather poor grindhouse homage to
old Kung Fu movies, narrates the simplistic story of a black blacksmith
(RZA) who must protect his village from a deadly band of assassins. But
even this story takes a hit, as it becomes overcomplicated by RZA's
dreadful storytelling abilities. This mess of a film also stars Lucy
Liu, who is by far the most tolerable character, playing the Madam of
the town brothel. But not even Liu playing a watered down version of
her character in "Kill Bill: Vol: 1" or a halfway decent final battle
sequence can conceal the amount of problems that essentially cut "The
Man with the Iron Fists" off at the wrists. Truthfully, I haven't
wanted to like a movie this much and been so very disappointed by the
result since "Battle LA".
Why is this movie so bad? Well, the fact that the entire movie distractingly switches back and forth from English to Mandarin (I am only speculating) for reasons unexplained to the viewer, is the first of many head shakingly dreadful decisions made by RZA. But for a more in-depth breakdown, the following is a very brief (that is, if you enjoy long rants) analysis of RZA's first film:
RZA is no writer: While the classic Martial Arts film concept itself is interesting, the script co-written by RZA himself, as well as Eli Roth (Tarantino's protégé) is rather weak. Surprisingly RZA (only one of the best DJ's/lyricist alive) can't write dialogue to save his life. And while Roth has never been a master of the spoken word himself, it becomes all too obvious between which lines of dialogue RZA has written and which are insertions from Roth, when a character goes on a stiff 5 minute rant that ends with a rather Tarantino-esque one-liner. As for the story itself, the problem lies in that it becomes overly cramped with stupid subplots. Every time the story begins to head in a finite direction, RZA does his damnedest to add another idiotic twist, or have the character cease all action in order to spout out one more bit of needless exposition, complicating matters for an audience that was barely on board to begin with.
RZA is no director: Sometimes a filmmaker can get away with gratuitous violence because it is intricate to the story (or sometimes simply on pedigree alone). But when your story hangs on by a thread and your directing is suspect, the sporadic occurrence of intense brutality doesn't so much come off as shocking, as much as it adds to the clunkiness of the film. Now, RZA does use some stylized camera techniques that obtain a semblance of that cool-factor he is looking for, but yet again, problems arise when he uses them in excess.
RZA is no actor: Maybe the least important aspect of a grindhouse film like this is the acting, although there is something to be said for a self controlled actor who knows how to overact. In saying that, every scene with RZA, is almost comically stunted by his inability to hold his own around A and B-list actors and actresses. His own character must run the gambit of emotions here, from anger, to sorrow, to a man who is in severe anguish. So, if anything, his own script asks too much of him.
Something good: If you try hard enough, you can probably find something good to say about any movie well, maybe except for "Grown Ups". In the case of "The Man with the Iron Fists" um well the soundtrack is good (although, at times ridiculously misused) but this is to be expected since music is what RZA does (NOT DIRECTING). Final Thought: I do realize the intention of a film like "The Man with the Iron Fists" is to champion a hardy slathering of over-the-topness, but that doesn't change the fact that this is quietly one of the worst directed films of the year. At times it's so bad that one would wonder how Quentin Tarantino thought it was a good idea to financially back this project at all. But on the other hand, it wouldn't shock me if it were to come to light that Tarantino had given RZA the money, called up a few of his actor buddies, and told Eli Roth to make his script readable, as a repayment for RZA's work on the Kill Bill soundtracks.
Written by Markus Robinson, Edited by Nicole I. Ashland
Follow me on Twitter @moviesmarkus
"I always take a gun to a knife fight..."
I provided this rating based on the fact that I would not see this movie a second time, would not recommend it to a friend, and did not take anything away from it other than the thought that Quentin Tarantino must have been high when he agreed to lend his name out for it.
I saw this movie because of my love for martial arts flicks, and I usually give all of them a chance. Also because I am a huge Wu-Tang Clan fan. What I expected to see was some decent fight choreography back-dropped with a grimy, old-school soundtrack. Now from what I recall on the soundtrack part, it did not deliver. And I know that RZA could have incorporated a couple tracks that would have lined this film up nice. Some that could have been included were; Da Mystery of Chessboxin', Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuttin ta F*** Wit, and pretty much anything from the 36 Chambers album. The fight scenes were mediocre until near the end to which I decided I would suck it up and just watch the rest of the movie. The first scene of the film actually made me angry because the fight scene was chopped up (which I hate), and the track they used in the background (actually from the 36 Chambers album) just didn't fit right!
Other things that were disappointing, other than Bautista from WWE showing up, was the weak script and amateurish plot. The dialogue was horrible (see quote from above) and the plot was...well there wasn't really a plot at all. I walked out of the movie asking myself/trying to remember what the story was really about. I'm not sure if it was because I was blown away by RZA's acting or because I was too busy trying to figure out why Russell Crowe was in the movie at all.
The set and costume design were the only things I thought were good about the movie. And the effort to create something visually appealing did not go unnoticed. But its all about the story and characters, which were both lacking aside from Lucy Liu's bit. Wait I think I just remembered what the movie was about...yeah it's pretty weak.
If Quentin Tarantino had more involvement/any involvement at all in this movie it might have been quite possibly something spectacular. But then RZA would have probably not been in it. Hey when is Kill Bill Vol 3 coming out?
The film had potential with a decent storyline and all-star cast, but fails to pull in the viewer to care about the characters or outcome of the story.The movie far too often goes for cheap,juvenile sexual exploitation.The target audience for the movie seems geared towards males 16-24 and no one else.I've also noticed that the more people see the film the ratings here on IMDb decline.RZA also has very little acting skills and it was a major reason why the movie falls flat. Russell Crowe and Lucy Lui did a fair performance,but even they couldn't salvage the movie.I'm being very critical with my review b/c it's unfortunate to see a movie that had the potential,but didn't live up to it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I've read some of the reviews that people have left on this movie and
it's clear that they have no idea what they're talking about,
especially the point where they mistake the main villains name but I
At the start it's believable that it shall be a good movie, the action the jokes, even the death scenes all pretty good... at first
Silver Lion was the ultimate bad guy IMO. Betrayed his Leader and even tried killing the kid so that he can't take revenge
But the issue?
the movie doesn't know who they want the focus to be on
At first they introduce Jack Knife but it was obvious he was just a background characters. I can't explain it but you'd know if you seen it
After that they introduce Gold Lions son, Xblade who seems like he's the main focus of the story seeing as how he's going for revenge but he gets knocked out 10 minutes after his introduction and is out for most the rest of the movie
and then they start focusing on the blacksmith... the narrator.. they could have really done without that. Would you really care if a background character suddenly start getting all the focus? I mean all of a sudden he gets his arms chopped off he gets a back story and flashback too? and they really had to chop off his hands? i mean he makes their weapons.. and he chopped off his hands of all things
The ONLY constant thing that was easy to understand about it was the fact that they were going after the gold..
please for gods sake do not go see this movie
first of all after watching the trailer i was really looking forward to
this film...and after suffering it i honestly believe this is the worst
film i have ever watched in my life..i would have awarded it zero
points out of 10 on this site but the minimum has to be one point.
the acting is diabolical, none more so than the fella who directed it... the story is all over the place the dialog is embarrassing... the action is laughable and far too hurried and blurry.. the music is out of place, and felt like rza was only putting it in the film to sell his records.. it had every cliché in the book not once do you feel for any of the characters...the whole film is just one big ego trip for RZA which fails in every department
it is not a fun movie like the director deluded himself is...it's not cool either as you haven't got a clue what is going on!..let alone understand half the actors..
don't waste your time on this garbage, and god forbid RZA ever gets the chance to do another film....AVOID AT ALL COSTS
Okay, I've never reviewed movies but I'll give it the old Jr. high try.
This movie with it's solid effects and even nicer fighting is still
flawed. Maybe a review is too strong of a word here's my bad/ good
list. I've left a grade to give a better Idea of my disapproval.
The bad: 1. Focus the dang camera (C-), I'm not an expert but who the hell is focusing? Lucy Liu during a big speech has her helper in focus and she just off focus. If I spent $2000 on a wedding video I'd like the bride in focus, geez. The focus was out of control in a lot of places which was distracting.
2. Rza (D-) although I do really think this is a work of love and it shows, WTH was he thinking staring in this? If he's too afraid of what his friends think of him if he stops doing his best droopy impression, don't be the lead actor! I mean it's 10-20 minutes, or however long he's in this, of him looking emotionless. I mean grimace man or look sad when bad things happen! How hard is it!!
3. Flashbacks (F)There's an origin flashback an boy is it misguided and uncomfortable! It's just so underdeveloped, maybe the extended version would make sense of it but it really could have been shot better. I imagine this is to Southern Americans (not South America, the Hey Y'all kind etc), what bad American war movies are to Germans. If you're gonna deface us do it with a little finesse.
4. Character motivations sucked(big ol' F), I mean really sucked! I would have been happy to give this a 7 if the characters would make a little sense. Somethings could have been resolved easily I think by just a few lines of dialogue but nope it's all thrown at you with no solid direction.
5. The "almost" makes it a crime(F), like where was everyone's head? You have an almost great movie and no one could ask for help or give it??
6.Split screens (F), Why? Was action happening at the same time?, nope. Bad call, again in the right hands maybe. Here 4 minutes of film that wasn't worth the editing time.
1. Costumes(B+) were cool, I liked them even the goofy ones, had no problems really. The wigs were really fun and funny.
2. The action(A-), was really great. Fun and funny with no real let downs you get into it and the end battle to me wasn't disappointing except for rza's acting but he was actually passable here(sort of).
3. Effects(A), yup solid, don't care if it looks Kill Billish. Come on, I've actually watched anime since forever and that's how blood sprays in most of those. Dumb to even bring kill bill into this(sort of).
4. Weapons(A+) lots of great gags and deaths. You can tell a lot of time went into conceiving these and the deaths.
5.The villain(A++), Silver Lion and Bronze Lion are great and eat up the screen, none of the heroes come close to these two guys charisma on screen! I mean why the heroes played it so straight without any wink wink moments is beyond me. Did they really think this was a serious movie?
Which comes to my overall review! 5/10 C+, basically there's a lot going right here enough to be watchable, enjoyable even become a classic b movie. But it was so close to being more it's a little sad.
nuff said, MEMO Art
I was very excited to see this movie both because of the style of the
film and because of Tarantino's endorsement of the film. After much
anticipation I saw the film and was more than disappointed. The entire
film just felt like it lacked a director.
The movie begins with an hour long introduction of the plot which has nothing to do with the character it is named after. It was extremely cheesy and not in the fun obvious sort of way but more like it was done by mistake. The movie felt like it was filmed in a month and all of the characters were never given an opportunity to develop. It was a very busy movie, especially when it came down to the action scenes. Although there is plenty of action, I felt like I was watching a "Bourne" film due to the constant shaking of the camera and the sloppy transitions.
The fighting was not technical. The typical Kung Fu-esque flying through the air was clumsy instead of smooth and elegant. All of the lines in the movie were awe full. The plot was stupid and forced. The Chinese David Bowie villain could not be taken seriously.
And the worst most annoying part of the movie was the digital blood splatters. Every time someone was stabbed, digital blood would squirt out of the wound completely enveloping the screen in red but not getting on any of the characters or furniture in the movie.
I hated this movie a lot and others in the theater seemed to feel the same way as throughout the movie people constantly kept walking out and not coming back. Please don't watch this movie.
I wanted to like this movie from what i saw in the trailers... the
trailer looked awesome... and I ran to the cinema to see this. Even
took my girl to see it hoping we'll have a good time...
guys... this sucked... it REALLY REALLY sucked... my God it was terrible...
bad acting, bad fighting scenes (let's be honest), stupid story, crappy lines, lame characters... over-hyped soundtrack...(besides maybe 1 tune) it was terrible... if you can see it as a JOKE, it could be a fun little turd to watch on cable... but as far as movies and a cinema experience..it was BAD. they could have done so much more with this... but.. no... CRAP
for those comparing this to KILL BILL: you are retards... Kill Bill was a good film.. it had style, good action scenes, good dialogue, carefully set up, stylistic, cool, good lines, good actors, great soundtrack (RZA did a great job there)... but this film... oh God... BAD
don't waste your time, don't buy into the hype.
RZA has talent no doubt, but this movie sucked... maybe his next film will be better... or maybe this was intended to be a BAD movie.. who knows. For 15 million USD i'm sure it will sell tickets and make it's money's worth from all the unfortunates like myself who will be lured in from the fantastic trailer... anyway..
I'm out- Peace
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