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West Volusia Beacon Movie Review — The Man with the Iron Fists
Rated R for strong violence, nudity, sexual situations and language
posted Nov 9, 2012 - 2:43:29pm
The Man with the Iron Fists is better than it has any right to be. The acting is, shall we say, less than stellar and the directing and editing are a little too chaotic at times, but it’s still an awesome movie and an absolute delight to watch.
It’s an amazing homage to the classic Shaw Brothers films that every true kung fu fan loves, and best of all, it’s easy to tell that writer/director/actor RZA is a true fan. This is a flick that would fit right in the kung fu catalogue with unique characters, beautiful sets and costumes, and mystical “wire-fu.”
The film's plot is a bit of a jumbled mess, throwing together as many characters as it can into as many fight scenes as it could fit into 96 minutes. All that you need to know is that RZA is the good guy, a blacksmith in a small village who forges weapons for the clans all vying for control of the area. Things come to a boiling point when the Emperor sends a shipment of gold through the territory en-route to his troops. This leads to an all-out war involving the blacksmith, a sadistic Englishman (Russell Crowe), a young leader avenging his father (Rick Yune) and the madame of a whorehouse (Lucy Liu).
The movie is filled with performances worthy of Twilight at best (including those of the two leads, Yune and RZA). However, there are also plenty of gems in the film, including Crowe and Byron Mann, and of course Liu delivers a solid if uninspired performance. But the film's real beauty is that it gets right down to business. It knows that the audience is there to see action, and it delivers. It’s quite Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, but it’s a down-and-dirty version of kung fu with plenty of blood and gore (appropriate, considering the co-writer is Eli Roth). The pacing is a little break-neck, but it works for this film, because let’s face it: We’re not here for the plot or dialogue.
Popcorn represents how fun a film is to watch—how funny it is, how exciting the special effects are, and how enjoyable the story is on repeated viewings. The perfect popcorn movie would be one that never got stale regardless of how many times you’ve seen it.
The Man with the Iron Fists is artistically a bit of a mess, and the characters are all one-dimensional, wearing their motivations on their sleeves. But if you're a fan, it’s an absolute blast to sit through, although it requires a very specific audience to show it the love it deserves. So, if you’ve got the slightest inclination in seeing this flick, by all means, race out and see it today.
Stars & Popcorn grade: 2 stars, 5 popcorn
— Born and raised in the sunshine state, Patrick grew up loving movies. He’s currently attending the University of Central Florida and is a Cinema Studies major. Along with being the president of Stars and Popcorn, he’s a player in the independent comics scene.
Sponsored by Liebe Entertainment Group, Marketplace 8. Click here to see showtimes for The Man with the Iron Fists
Visit Stars and Popcorn at www.starsandpopcorn.com
Patrick Sessoms — Born and raised in the sunshine state, Patrick grew up loving movies. He’s currently attending the University of Central Florida and is a Cinema Studies major. Along with being the president of Stars and Popcorn, he’s a player in the independent comics scene.
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