Bloody fanboy excess too silly by halfMovies
The Man with the Iron Fists - Trailer
In feudal China, a blacksmith who makes weapons for a small village is put in the position where he must defend himself and his fellow villagers.PT2M11S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-22n1o 620 349 July 24, 2012
THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS
FANS will know that the hip-hop producer RZA has long been fascinated by martial-arts cinema. With his pal Quentin Tarantino as godfather, he's now written and directed a genre mash-up of his own - a mini-epic set in 19th-century China, with a hip-hop soundtrack and mainly English-language dialogue, some of it so stiff you might think the actors were trying to sound badly dubbed.
The chief inspiration evidently comes from classic wuxia films such as Dragon Gate Inn (1967), recently remade by Tsui Hark as Flying Swords of Dragon Gate. Seeking gold or revenge, various warrior groups converge on the Pink Blossom brothel, run by the formidable Madam Blossom (Lucy Liu), where they engage in spectacular battles filled with impossible flying leaps.
RZA himself is relatively subdued in the central role of the Blacksmith, born into slavery in far-off America (in a peculiar flashback, Pam Grier plays his mother). Though he wants to stay out of trouble, his skill at crafting weaponry inevitably draws him into the fray.
In fact, the lovingly portrayed weapons are the film's real stars. Along with the iron fists there are plenty of swords, daggers, axes and other more exotic killing devices.
The Man With The Iron Fists is far more gruesome and sadistic than its models, perhaps reflecting the influence of co-writer Eli Roth, notorious for horror films such as Hostel. Blood gushes, severed body parts pile up, and there's even a quick deployment of the old eyeball-flying-past-the-camera trick, though sadly not in 3D.
Predictably, this kind of gleeful fanboy excess yields diminishing returns. RZA hasn't much sense of storytelling rhythm, and lacks Tarantino's gift for turning adolescent obsessions into something uniquely personal.
Left to their own devices, some of the actors seize the opportunity to have fun. Russell Crowe manages a surprisingly deft Stephen Fry impersonation as Jack Knife, a pleasant old sinner who appreciates orgies and opium. The best scenes belong to Liu. The sillier the material, the more she seems to enjoy herself - instructing her proteges to take power through ''sex and violence'' in just the right high-spirited theatrical tone.