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The Man with the Iron Fists
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The Man with the Iron Fists More at IMDbPro »

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Why Rated So Low?

Author: RbDeraj from United States
21 January 2015

This was not a flawless movie by any means but I surprised that it got so much hate from the viewers. What did they expect from a movie like this? They complained about the action how it was too over the top, too unrealistic. Wouldn't that include almost every kung fu movie ever made? Yes the acting was not the best, but the storyline was at least a new interesting concept that entertained. I felt like the makers of this movie could never figure out what style they were going for. They had an ancient Chinese setting, gangs of martial artists with big 1980's hair, slaves on a plantation, cowboys, rapping and hip-hop background music, foreign speakers with subtitles but 98% of their Chinese characters spoke English with no accent whatsoever. I liked the use of children in the movie, there was something I liked about how there were always innocent happy children running around having fun amidst the chaos and violence that they didn't understand. The opening credits were very cool with the freeze frames in the middle of the action. You could definitely tell that Eli Roth and Quintin Tarantino had a part in this film. It almost echoed Kill Bill in action, theme, and outrageous gore and the nonstop explosive spraying of blood. I was very surprised to see Russell Crowe play a role like this, but it was something different and made sure he won't be put in a type-casted mold. The worst part about the film was the extra scene at the end of the credits giving reason for a sequel. It was awful and after the response of the movie there is a very slim chance of that happening (though there are rumors for 2015). In conclusion it was not great but a descent effort by RZA for his directing debut.

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Head on Kung Fu

Author: Prismark10 from United Kingdom
31 October 2014

The Man with the Iron Fists is a martial arts homage co-written and directed by RZA. The main stars are Russell Crowe, Lucy Liu, Byron Mann, Rick Yune, David Bautista and RZA himself who becomes the one with the Iron Fists.

Set in 19th century China, the story follows a series of lone warriors who are forced to unite to defeat the treacherous Lion family.

There is plenty of action with regular fight scenes and plenty of visceral blood especially as Crow plays a character called Jack Knife.

However RZA is not strong enough surrounded by Crowe and Liu. There might be too much gore but its interesting enough with some charm and full on kung fu.

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"A dog living in a palace is still a dog."

Author: classicsoncall from Florida, New York
16 June 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Hmm, a dog masquerading as a martial arts film may also be a dog. I picked this up when I saw Tarantino's name attached to it and found out only after the fact that he had nothing really to do with it. It seems the definition of poetic license has been greatly expanded.

So the last recent MA flick I watched and reviewed here was 2009's "Ninja Assassin", and one could easily substitute that review for this one. At the time I stated that every succeeding kung fu actioner would attempt to outdo the last in the splashy gore effects and so I was not disillusioned here. However to be fair, this one was stylistically a lot more colorful and extremely well choreographed, especially with the wire work seen in the twirling martial arts effects and the dance of the black widows. Quite clever actually.

But the story always seems to be the same. This time it's a father's death, the Gold Lion, that has to be avenged, and Zen Yi, the X-Blade (Rick Yune) is just the lion cub to do it. But there's also a fellow warrior Blacksmith (RZA) with a back story that positions him to go up against an unstoppable warrior named Kwon, the Brass Body. I dropped out of wrestling fandom some time ago so I never actually saw Batista in the ring, but his name here is strangely reminiscent of another famous grappler named Bruiser Brody. Brass Body/Bruiser Brody? I'm sure it's merely coincidental, but who knows?

And oh my God, what's a fat Russell Crowe doing in a martial arts flick? One of his more literate lines in the picture is "Me likey" referring to some hedonistic pleasure or other, so when he lends his talent at the finale to defeating the Poison Dagger, I felt he could eventually retire from acting knowing he's done himself proud in yet another film genre. Bravo Jack Knife!

As usual, I stuck around for the end credits on this one and was not left disappointed. I think I found what might be my new favorite all time casting credit with Zhu Zhu appearing as Chi Chi. It easily tops Zulu as Kono from the old Hawaii Five-O TV show. Now if you don't mind, I think I'll retire to a dinner of Emperor Sui Duck seasoned with young basil and yangzi grains. See, these movies can be instructional as well.

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Classic Kung Fu

Author: alexanderpreisse from Midwest
29 September 2013

Many people who see this movie do not get the point of the film. A common complaint is the narration, cheesy dialogue and predictable plot. These flaws are namesakes of old kung-fu movies. Take out these flaws and all you would have is a generic action flick. This movie screams classic kung- fu from start to finish RZA did a great job in presenting a great classic genre.

The movie is not without its flaws though. Although there is a great cast in the movie, may of the actor's performances do not meet what you would expect from them. The field of view at times feels to small, especially during action sequences.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

if you crave cartoonish violence

Author: MLDinTN from TN
13 July 2013

then this movie is right up your alley. I thought it was good and very Tarintino-esque. There are tons of kills in this in which blood just shoots everywhere; it's made to be silly, which is what makes it so good.

Two sons murder their father and all that stands in there way to get the gold is the favorite son, Zen Yi. Zen Yi tracks them down after learning what they did. Meanwhile, a man named Jack Knife arrives at Jungle Village and is bad #ss. He slices up this dude in a brothel and then has his fun. The local blacksmith is planning to run away with one of the brothel's girls, Lady Silk. The Lions, the ones who killed their father, want the blacksmith to make them weapons. Something happens and they get mad at him and get this guy whom some how is made of bronze to punish him. He brutally slices his arms off, Jack heals him and makes him Iron hands, and then he's ready for revenge. So the last part is this big battle at the brothel, lots of outlandish gore and so on. So, if you like movies like Kill Bill, then this is for you.

FINAL VERDICT: If you are into ridiculous violent films, then check this one out.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Do you want some Garlic with that scenery

Author: zambonilord
9 July 2013

I've always maintained that movies need to be good or entertaining. This one was by no means good but it was Oh so entertaining! This is cheesy martial arts movies at there finest! Delicious delicious set chewing from beginning to end. Russel Crowe is the only actually talented actor in this movie and clearly is having a blast. Everyone else is overacting with wild abandon and loving every minute of it.

The plot is pretty straight forward, Mix of a heist and revenge story. With plenty of sex, gore, and acrobatic martial arts. None of it is believable and we don't care. And through it all, Bautista wonders on set and they put him in the movie (watch it, you'll swear that's what happened) If you love cheesy low budget martial arts movies with a little T&A and a lot of gore, Or if you like watching Russel Crowe having a good time check this movie out.

PS: Everyone in this movie has such easy to remember names: Jack Knife Bronze Body, Gold Lion, Silver Lion, Bronze Lion etc

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A mess, but at least colourful

Author: IndustriousAngel from Austria
1 July 2013

This is obviously a mess, but an entertaining mess - there's a lot of fat that could be trimmed here (the origin story for a start has to go, absolutely stops the film dead in its track). Plus most of the actors are really bad at comedy - even the Russel-Crowe-lookalike they cast as Jack Knife, he hasn't got a single funny bone in his burly body, why, they could have cast Crowe himself and it couldn't have been worse. And some are not only bad at comedy, but bad overall, like RZA or Bautista. Plus the soundtrack is - OK, it's not as grating as Ladyhawke's but they're playing in the same league. And the storyline is convoluted, with too many protagonists and factions. As is the screen sometimes, those split-screen scenes don't really work.

Now, what's to like here?

- Some really nice and original fight choreographies (for instance the widows binding BrassBody)

- Gorgeous sets, bright colors, fun costumes!

- Silly weapons galore

- Girls, girls, girls, about 50 of them, as pretty as they come and scantily-clad too!

- Byron Mann, playing "Silver Lion". Didn't know him at all but he moves through his scenes with wit and elegance like a Chinese Christoph Waltz - he got the comedy timing everyone else here is seriously lacking. Every scene he's in is saved by his presence.

- Lucy Liu - she's also able to save her scenes. Between them, they save about half the movie!

- btw, this film was snubbed at the Oscars that year; it should have been the front-runner for best hairstyling. Shame.

Conclusion: an enjoyable mess, consisting mainly of cool scenes loosely connected by a sketchy and convoluted storyline with not very likable characters. Very much like "Kill Bill" btw, only it's much shorter and therefore more entertaining. Recommended for viewing under the influence.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Fun Kung Fu Western

Author: mrsprky
17 June 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I watched this film in a room party at a con this spring. It was pretty great.

The plot was reasonable. Clan politics, betrayal, murder, theft, more politics, subterfuge, revenge, the good guys win in the nick of time but with heavy losses.

The fight scenes were well choreographed and characters used styles that meshed well with their backgrounds.

The characters themselves didn't all have solid backstories but if that bothers you then you're taking it too seriously. You learn everything you need to know and more about the history of the Blacksmith but only enough about Silver and Bronze to understand how reprehensible they are. Lady Blossom/Black Widow, Bronze Body, X-Blade, the Geminis, and Jack Knife don't get much backstory but their motivations are pretty cut and dry.

There are plenty of things that you learn you never learn. Like the relationship between Jack and Poison Dagger or why Brass Body is familiar with the implements of Black Widow. It could be the basis for tie-in works or just speculation bait.

You can analyze it all you want but it's still a fun movie that I'll buy if I ever see on the rack.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

For real fans of the classic kung fu.

Author: davidnhewko from Canada
20 February 2013

Mindset before movie: Excitement! After watching Kill Bill and Repo Men, I've seen what RZA can do with a soundtrack, I was looking forward to see what he can do as a director. Especially with Mr. Tarantino backing him up alongside Russell Crowe and a group of Lius?! I was sceptic at the same time. I've seen some of the spaghetti kung fu westerns Tarantino has funded recently, so I kind of braced myself before I hit 'play'. I was also thinking in my head; "Please make Russell Crowe's character a bad-ass...I miss bad-ass Russell Crowe!" But really, expectations were middle of the road at best.

Mindset after movie: I am so jealous of RZA. After seeing RZA in a number of interviews around Kill Bill, I know how much of an addict of kung fu he is. I'm willing to bet that this movie has been a dream of his since he was a kid. He gets to star as a kung fu master birthed into a story in a style that he had the chance to create. How many times have you projected yourself onto the screen as that bad-ass hero who gets to murder a bunch of bad guys that had it coming? He just did that...for real! I really enjoyed this movie. This is the 70's kung fu movie China would have made had they the funding and the resources. I'm pretty sure that's what the RZA intended and I think he pulled it off. It had a lot of over-the-top blood-spattered action, with some cheesy scenes that will make you scratch your head and Russell Crowe wasn't as bad-ass as I hoped he would be but at least he was a little bad-ass. The RZA's acting wasn't that good, but I'm letting that one go because he's fulfilling a dream. If I had the chance I would have done the same even though I'm probably a terrible actor and I would be like "eff you, I'm living my dream!" On another note, the props master was a creative one, the weapons and combat gear in this movie were pretty cool and the fighting seemed more for the look because it's fancy and unrealistic but it doesn't have to be realistic because it's a kung fu movie.

If you're like me and enjoy the kung fu classics for the action and not the realism, you will enjoy this. I saw scenes that reminded me of some scenes out of movies like Enter the Dragon and some classic Jet Li titles that I have watched over and over when I was a kid. On the other hand, if you only said you liked the kung fu movies because you thought it made you look cool to your friends or boyfriends, you're probably not gonna like it.

Guys: Will probably like this.

Girls: Probably won't

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Could Have Been a Good Film in Better Hands

Author: 3xHCCH from Quezon City, Philippines
5 February 2013

"The Man with the Iron Fists" is a complicated story set in feudal China, about a gold treasure, the various gangs going after it, a black Blacksmith (rapper RZA of the Wu-Tang Gang) of fantastic blades, a British mercenary (a very obese Russell Crowe), a superhuman warrior with a Brass Body (Fil-Greek wrestler Dave Bautista), and the Madam of their favorite brothel (Lucy Liu). As you watch, it was rather hard to tell who was the lead character at the start since it seemed to be focusing on all of these people equally. Then at the end, you would scratch your head to figure out what one character had to do with another.

As you may notice, it was rather hard to write a smooth synopsis as this was quite a disjointed story line with so many characters with tenuous unclear connections. However, the elements are there that could have made it a really good film. It was too bad that the project was not handled by better hands. The direction and writing by RZA (his first time, I believe) seemed too haphazard. He seems to be more concerned with pulling off one graphic violent scene after the other, rather than effectively telling a cohesive story. To his credit, his camera angles were all very imaginative though.

It is not as bad as reviews would have you think. It is an ultra- violent martial arts extravaganza as RZA's hero Quentin Tarantino would have done it. This was obviously inspired by the audacity of Tarantino's "Kill Bill" but not done with the latter film's focused storytelling technique. Be ready to see body parts being chopped off, bellies being gutted, blood gushing out like fountains, the works! This was not rated R-18 for nothing. If that type of gory violence makes your stomach churn, then do not watch this.

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