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The Man With the Iron Fists (2012)



Average Rating: 5.1/10
Reviews Counted: 84
Fresh: 41 | Rotten: 43

Messy kung-fu homage The Man with the Iron Fists demonstrates a slavish affection for the genre it mimics, for better or worse.


Average Rating: 4.3/10
Critic Reviews: 12
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 6

Messy kung-fu homage The Man with the Iron Fists demonstrates a slavish affection for the genre it mimics, for better or worse.



liked it
Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 46,742

My Rating

Movie Info

Making his debut as a big-screen director and leading man, RZA-alongside a stellar international cast led by Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu-tells the epic story of warriors, assassins and a lone outsider hero in nineteenth-century China who must unite to destroy the clan traitor who would destroy them all. Since his arrival in China's Jungle Village, the town's blacksmith (RZA) has been forced by radical tribal factions to create elaborate tools of destruction. When the clans' brewing war boils


Action & Adventure

RZA, Eli Roth

Feb 12, 2013


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All Critics (84) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (41) | Rotten (43)

As befits a Tarantino-endorsed production, the anachronisms, one-liners and clashing acting styles are ostensibly part of the fun, but both the martial arts and the slightly dull narrative patchwork are too choppily edited to gain much of a foothold.

November 6, 2012 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Lunatic, slipshod, absurdly violent, horribly acted, and borderline incomprehensible.

November 4, 2012 Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Comments (3)
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There's little happening here except slavish imitation and embarrassing hackwork.

November 2, 2012 Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Comments (5)
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If Iron Fists is sometimes badly made, it is refreshingly badly made.

November 2, 2012 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The blood spurts, the knives shoot out, and the fists fly - but The Man with the Iron Fists never takes off.

November 2, 2012 Full Review Source: The Wrap
The Wrap
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"The Man With the Iron Fists" is the type of movie that feels like you are always coming in half-way through, even if you watch it from the beginning. As an exercise in genre, this is the highest compliment.

November 2, 2012 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Man with the Iron Fists is an off-balanced and bloated martial arts film that barely gets by on its gorgeous set design.

February 17, 2013 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

When you team with Eli Roth, who has the writing talent of a sociopathic thirteen year old boy on Ritalin, what can you possibly expect but swill?

January 11, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

A scrappily authentic and entertainingly bloody tribute to old-school chopsocky films and taken purely on those terms, there's not a lot to complain about.

December 17, 2012 Full Review Source: Scotsman

The movie is undeniably colorful and action-packed, and gorier than a slaughterhouse floor. But something's missing.

December 17, 2012 Full Review Source:

The violence is extreme and preposterous, the fights ingeniously choreographed, the producer Tarantino (his actual credit is "presents").

December 9, 2012 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

The fists, feet and digital blood go flying in this enjoyable, frenetic, largely forgettable chop-socky extravaganza about, well, about a man with iron fists who gets into lots of fights.

December 7, 2012 Full Review Source: 3AW

One is occasionally infuriated by the archness of the exercise. But there is a charming innocence to Fists' faith in the values of 1970s cross-cultural exploitation.

December 7, 2012 Full Review Source: Irish Times
Irish Times

A vacuous but fun exercise in chop-sock style over substance.

December 7, 2012 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine Australasia
Empire Magazine Australasia

Given the talent on board, this registers as a disappointment, but even with the clunky dialogue and subpar fight scenes, it's watchable fun.

December 7, 2012 Full Review Source: FILMINK (Australia)
FILMINK (Australia)

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.

December 7, 2012 Full Review Source: The Age (Australia)
The Age (Australia)

It's so over the top that I just thought it was a hoot.

December 7, 2012 Full Review Source: At the Movies (Australia)
At the Movies (Australia)

Thank goodness for Russell Crowe who gives a sardonic, who-gives-a-damn performance as one of the good guys.

December 7, 2012 Full Review Source: At the Movies (Australia)
At the Movies (Australia)

The Man with the Iron Fists is as limp as last week's wet noodles.

December 7, 2012 Full Review Source:

Rapper-turned-actor-turned-filmmaker RZA is clearly influenced by cohorts Quentin Tarantino and Eli Roth as he indulges in this crazed pastiche of 1970s kung fu action romps.

December 7, 2012 Full Review Source:

Self-defeatingly "Tarantino-esque".

December 7, 2012 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

A one-note pastiche featuring impressive wire-fu, bloody mayhem and CGI mutilation.

December 7, 2012 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

The Man With The Iron Fists definitely isn't the most polished first effort. But if you approach it as a sloppy, OTT martial arts outing, you'll find the fun.

December 7, 2012 Full Review Source: SFX Magazine
SFX Magazine

As long as you accept some magnificently bad dialogue, this is silly, fun and ludicrous beyond belief.

December 6, 2012 Full Review Source: Sun Online
Sun Online

Psychopaths will love it.

December 6, 2012 Full Review Source: Daily Mail [UK]
Daily Mail [UK]

It's leaden, boorish and dull.

December 6, 2012 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

Audience Reviews for The Man With the Iron Fists

Seven clans, a fortune in gold. Let the battle begin.

Good Movie! The score was great. An interesting mix of hip hop, symphonic and other genres. The costuming, weaponry, set design were all great and looked great on film. This film had a lot of funny moments. As an adult, I can appreciate the humor from a dirty joke and they did them well. The fighting and action were awesome. The acting was okay, but I think the best job goes to Lucy Liu and Russell Crowe because they gave the best performances. Overall, the movie is just a fun flick to go rent on a Friday night. Lots of blood, decapitation, fun martial arts, subliminal dirty jokes, sarcastic humor, special effects, and a unique, urban take on the classic Kung Fu films we've learn to love over the years. This is not a movie you waste your time dissecting. You either love it or you hate. I took the movie for what it was and I loved every minute of it. It had everything an action flick should have, great action, great costumes, great weapons, solid plot and good actors.

In Jungle Village, the leader of the Lion's clan Gold Lion is summoned by the Governor and assigned to protect his gold that will be transported through the village. However he is betrayed and murdered by the greedy Silver Lion and Bronze Lion. Gold Lion's favorite son Zen Yi, a.k.a. The X-Blade, seeks revenge and heads to Jungle Village, but he is defeated by Brass Body and rescued by the local Blacksmith Thaddeus. Meanwhile the Gemini Female and the Gemini Male protect the Governor's gold, but they are vanquished by the army of Silver and Bronze Lion. The Blacksmith is abducted by the Lions and has his arms severed by Brass Body. However he is saved by the British Jack Knife, 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. 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.
October 11, 2013
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

I'm struggling to decide: was this a decent movie with some really bad parts, or a terrible movie with a couple of awesome parts? "Uneven" is the best way to describe RZA's directorial debut, in which a plot resembling an inner-city gang war (and vaguely reminiscent of 70s blaxploitation films) is transposed to 19th century China, and the director plays the blacksmith arming both sides and caught in the middle. The supporting cast is so-so - I've never thought Lucy Liu much of an actor, but Russell Crowe acquits himself well - and though Tarantino put some money behind the picture, it comes off looking sorely imitative, using a lot of Tarantino's stylistic calling cards but lacking his smoothness and never quite confirming whether it's tongue-in-cheek or whether we should take it at face value. It was an interesting departure and its flaws can teach you a lot about film-making, but it's far from essential viewing.
September 11, 2013

Super Reviewer

Writer, director, screenplay, actor...awful, awful, awful, awful. I really can't decide which one RZA was worse at. The hip-hop soundtrack was out of place also. Shame on Russell Crowe, and Lucy Liu for even being involved in this fiasco...
August 17, 2013

Super Reviewer

It's easy to see what RZA has in mind with The Man with the Iron Fists, but the execution just isn't there.The story is prime for violence and martial arts antics, but the 100 minutes of screen time isn't as enjoyable as it sounds. The dialogue is poorly written and the fact that nearly all of it is in English doesn't blend well with the style and setting of the film.The action is highly stylized and the violence is over the top bloody; however, the editing is a huge disappointment during these segments.RZA provides the narration with an unconvincing voice and his acting skills are just nowhere to be found. Russel Crowe looks to be going thought the motions and the rest of the cast just get by with what they are asked to do.The Man with the Iron Fists lacks the direction to be anything spectacular, thus leading to a film not worth recommending.
March 23, 2013
JY Skacto

Super Reviewer

    1. Jack Knife: Unfortunately, Dagger, the gears of life move inexorably in only one direction.
    – Submitted by Typhon Q (13 months ago)
    1. Jack Knife: I always carry my gun [looks at his knife] to a knife fight.
    – Submitted by Mayank A (16 months ago)
    1. Jack Knife: I always carry my gun [looks at his knife] to a knife fight.
    – Submitted by Serenity D (17 months ago)
    1. Silver Lion: Kiss my ring.
    – Submitted by Bradley B (17 months ago)
    1. Poison Dagger: In the morning, we'll kill all of these whores.
    – Submitted by Jason S (17 months ago)
    1. Poison Dagger: I'll see you in hell.
    2. Jack Knife: I suppose you will. Save me a seat by the fire.
    – Submitted by Trey M (17 months ago)
View all quotes (9)

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Foreign Titles

  • L'Homme aux poings de fer (FR)
  • El hombre de los puņos de hierro (ES)
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