December 12, 2013
Man with the Iron Fists is simply overplotted
In Jungle Village, the leader of the Lion’s clan Gold Lion (Kuan Tai Chen) is summoned by the Governor (Terence Yin) and assigned to protect his gold, which will be transported through the village. However, he is betrayed and murdered by the greedy Silver Lion (Byron Mann) and Bronze Lion (Cung Le).
Gold Lion’s favourite son Zen Yi (Rick Yune), a.k.a. The X-Blade, seeks revenge and heads to Jungle Village, but he is defeated by Brass Body (Dave Bautista) and rescued by the local Blacksmith Thaddeus (RZA).
Meanwhile the Gemini Female (Grace Huang) and the Gemini Male (Andrew Lin) protect the Governor’s gold, but they are vanquished by the army of Silver and Bronze Lion.
In turn, the Blacksmith is abducted by the Lions and has his arms severed by Brass Body. However he is saved by the British Jack Knife (Russell Crowe), who is the emissary of the Emperor, and he manufactures iron arms for Thaddeus. Meanwhile the Governor sends the Jackal army to fight against the Lions and they hide the gold in the brothel of Madam Blossom (Lucy Liu). However, Madam Blossom and his girls form an army of black widows and together with Jack, Zen Yi and The Blacksmith, they fight against the Lions.
RZA’s The Man with the Iron Fists (great title, yet don’t get your hopes high) is determinedly overplotted. But the story is not intricate or zigzagging in a thought provoking fashion.
It’s not complicated because it must be so in order to tell the story it wants to tell.
On the contrary: it’s overplotted precisely because it has nothing to tell. It’s a martial arts movie, therefore it should contain some kind of homage to traditional Kung Fu movies (don’t expect a wonderful story).
But you don’t expect it to have a needlessly confusing one either. And you certainly do expect decent action sequences and visual effects. There must be some adrenaline and as many thrills as possible. It’s the energy that counts.
Too bad none of these things are found in this movie produced by Eli Roth (Hostel, Hostel II and Cabin Fever) and presented by Quentin Tarantino.
Only God knows why a filmmaker of his stature (like him or not, he’s got a true career) would want to present a film this amateurish.
Almost every element in this film has been mismanaged in some way and the result is laughable. Every single line in the script is bad. There’s no other way to put it. It’s poorly paced and the characters are one-dimensional and underdeveloped. Most of the cast make a mess of their poorly penned one-liners, which makes this movie even more difficult to watch.
The gimmicky action sequences and the special effects look cheap. Costumes, hair and even sets look cheap throughout.
It’s clumsily shot, awkwardly put together and riddled with continuity problems. Furthermore, the music is jarringly out of sync with the movie. It feels like there was no-one to tell the director it was not a good idea or that something didn’t work. A steady, experienced hand in screenwriting or cinematography would have yielded a watchable movie. Instead, an average idea has been turned into an idiotic production. Don’t let Quentin Tarantino’s tagline fool you, this movie is appalling
The Man With the Iron Fists / El hombre de los puños de hierro. US, 2012.Written and directed by: Eli Roth. Cinematography: Editing: Howard Drossin. With: RZA, Russell Crowe, Lucy Liu, Byron Mann, Jamie Chung, Rick Yune. Distributed by: Distribution Company. Running time: 96 minutes.