On the hunt for a fabled treasure of gold, a band of warriors, assassins, and a rogue British soldier descend upon a village in feudal China, where a humble blacksmith looks to defend himself and his fellow villagers.
In this third installment of the hit Nazi Zombie action horror movie, Outpost: Rise Of The Spetnaz, we discover the horrifying origins of these supernatural soldiers and see them in ... See full summary »
When a stranger, Thaddeus, is found badly wounded near the village, miner Li Kung and his wife Ah Ni offer him refuge. As he heals, he becomes entrenched in a conflict that pits the townsfolk against the evil Master Ho, his nefarious Beetle Clan and the terrifying Lord Pi.
When THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS was first released, I think I was one of the few critics in the nation who gave it a favorable nod. While it was a glitzy martial arts affair, it did boast a few rather impressive fight scenes and a bevy of heavyweight stars including Dave Bautista; Russell Crowe; Rick Yune and Lucy Liu.
THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS 2 lacks all of that. The stars have bolted, with RZA the only hold over from the first. The fight scenes are good, but not spectacular, and the story is culled from the plot lines of many of the original martial arts films that inundated the Silver Screen in the 1970's.
Thaddeus Henry Smith (RZA), after the events of the first film, decides his soul is uneasy as a vigilante warrior. He begins a journey to return to his beloved temple, strengthen his chi (inner strength) and unite his mind and body. Along the way, he is beset by old enemies who refuse to buy his assertion that he is now a man of peace. While Thaddeus thwarts his attackers, he is rendered unconscious and sent adrift in a river. He lands in a small mining village, ruled by the evil Beetle Clan; a gang of cutthroat bullies led by Master Ho, played by Carl Ng and Lord Pi, played by Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, who allows those who disagree with him the opportunity to fight in what appears to be the original octagon of the UFC. The people of the village are mere cannon fodder for the Beetle Clan, but one family, Li Kung, played by Dustin Nguyen and his wife Ah Ni, played by Eugenia Yuan, are secretly members of the Praying Mantis Clan. Why they are in hiding, or why the Praying Mantis fighters are reluctant to reveal themselves to the Beetle Clan is never really explained. I guess if there are too many Beetles and Praying Mantises, the members of the Orkin Clan will appear. Thaddeus doesn't want to become involved in the village's conflict, but obviously, circumstances will dictate that he takes a side and fights for honor and friends.
RZA desperately wants to promote himself as a martial arts star, but frankly he was the weak link in the first film and his sole fighting expertise is pummeling thugs with his iron fists, complete with a multitude of spraying blood packets. The fight scenes in THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS 2 are okay, but there is nothing stellar, and certainly nothing that compares with what Jason Statham and Tony Jaa are doing in FURIOUS 7.
Despite enticing cinematography by Roel Reine and several scenic shots from the Thailand locations, THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS 2 is an average view. It seems RZA is planning more films to highlight Thaddeus' journey back to the temple. Until he reaches his destination, he'll walk the Earth, helping people, like Caine in Kung-Fu. Let's hope his next adventure has better fight choreography and a handful of grade A list stars to help the endeavor.
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