Maksim's Review of The Man With the Iron Fists
Way over the top, The Man With The Iron Fists is a annoyingly weak attempt for a Quentin Tarantino-style kung-fu movie. The disjointed story, poor performances and boring dialogues could hardly be saved by the ultra violent and wonderfully shot fighting choreography and the multiple references to the old-school kung-fu movies of the 60s and 70s.
Multiple sub-stories and characters are inter-connected by the story of a governor's gold, which is to pass via Jungle Village. Each of the main characters : RZA (as the Black Smith), Russell Crowe (as JackKnife), Lucy Lui(as Madame Blossom) and Rick Yune (as Zen Yi) finds himself involved into The Lion Clan's attempt to steal the governor's gold. Each of them is driven by his own motivation, but you would fail to understand or to sympathize to any of them. The disjointed story-telling jumps from character to character and from fighting sequence to fighting sequence without much coherence, which deprives the audience from getting closer to the main character.
On top of that the directorial efforts of RZA are far from being promising. His obvious attempt to follow the Quentin Tarantino way of direction is a real failure. In fact almost every directorial decision in this movie has been wrong. For example, the beautifully choreographed fighting scenes are extremely violent and bloody, but the sound editing and the music score accompanying them is literary annoying. The combination of hip hop with kung-fu scenes resembling the 70s is a true absurd and far from being stylish. In fact, "kitschy" would be the right word to describe RZA's decision to present the kung-fu sequences with a tasteless hip-hop,downbeat music score. It is very hard to find something positive in this wanna-be-cult delivery. Probably the only bright light is Russell Crowe's cool blooded performance which unfortunately is darkened by the other dull and boring characters in the movie.
The Man With The Iron Fists is an ugly and boring tribute(or imitation, if I have to be honest) to the classic kung-fu movies.It lacks the charm and the ability to make the audience enjoy the mayhem of fights it offers and definitely disappoints. Avoid it, if possible.