THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS: Movie Review

Go see The Man With The Iron Fists, I guarantee it will surprise you. There's laughter, plenty of action and an abundance of old school kung fu nostalgia that combine to make a film that's simply pure entertainment. Read on for my spoiler-free review.

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By Mark Julian - 11/4/2012


We didn't cover The Man With Iron Fists on the site but in hindsight, I'd reverse that decision. This is the type of movie that should appeal to most of the people that visit a site devoted to movies based on comic books. If you're familiar with the Wu-Tang and RZA then you won't be surprised by what Iron Fists accomplishes. For those unfamiliar, RZA while obviously a hip hop producer, is a true believer of kung fu and trains under the legendary Shi Yan Ming -- master of the 1-inch punch which was measured to have the impact force of a 30mph car. That sentimentality is certainly reflected in the film which has a respectful reverence for old school kung fu cinema blended with a pulsating hip-hop soundtrack which combines to make for one exciting action movie. If you like Daggers 8, The Loot or the all-time classic Snake in The Eagles Shadow, then you'll love this modern spin that was clearly made in their likeness. As soon as the camera begins to roll, the action explodes and doesn't let up till after the the credits start playing. However, the film isn't without its flaws, RZA opted to play it safe and as a result he's rather uncharismatic as the lead actor and the plot can sometimes get lost when the action moves to the forefront. But with lead characters named X-Blade, Jack Knife, Silver Lion and Lady Silk you shouldn't walk into the theater expecting Cloud Atlas.

By far, Lucy Liu and Russell Crowe outstrip their fellow thespians, outshining even the main characters when they share screen time. However, it's Byron Mann that steals the show, his performance as the subtly over-the-top villain Silver Lion will become one of those cult phenomenons that's talked about for years. Martial Arts cinema purists will appreciate the recognizable names in many of the supporting roles with marital arts legends such as Chen Kuan-tai, Bryan Leung, Gordon Liu and even some cool cameos from Eli Roth and Pam Grier.

While I'm not too keen on RZA's acting performance, I'm thoroughly impressed by the script and his obvious directorial skills although I have to note Roth provided some support in a secondary capacity. There are definitely a few Quentin Tarantino sensibilities as well, especially in the nuances of the characters and their individual peculiarities particularly with Liu's Madame Blossom and Crowe's Jack Knife; those two characters would be right at home in a Tarantino film. Along with RZA comes a predominately hip-hop soundtrack that is a tad bit uneven, resonating well at times with frenetic fight scenes its distracting when the weapons are sheathed. As for the SFX, the use of wires is very limited as the decision to go with traditional fight choreography is the only way to maintain any credibility. The lone hiccup is when Brass Body goes full-on bronze which looked unfinished in a few shots. Aside from that, the SFX's were predominantly reserved for weapon fights and even those were limited to the few fighters that used cords, chains, etc. The amount and complexity of practical fighting on display brings a sense of realness that's sadly a rarity nowadays with the overuse of CGI and clever camera angles.

While The Man With The Iron Fists is not without its flaws, the film doesn't take itself too seriously, supplying pure entertainment from start to finish. The film certainly won't appeal to everyone but if you like martial arts films then this is a must-see movie.





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29 Comments
Gr8Frappe - 11/4/2012, 9:52 PM
This is absolutely a movie that I want to see.
CrashTest - 11/4/2012, 9:58 PM
41/2 huh? Good ish.
jimpinto24 - 11/4/2012, 10:02 PM
The Man with the Iron Fist was awesome! 8.5/10.
SageMode - 11/4/2012, 10:09 PM
95 - 11/4/2012, 10:09 PM
My mind's on Skyfall and Cloud Atlas. But I really like movies like that — it looks like a great Friday night film with the friends. It'll be on the top of my list for Redbox later, I promise.
BrownandYellowWolvie - 11/4/2012, 10:15 PM
hey CRASHTEST, it's 3.5/5 not 4.5/5 ;)
HAILHYDRA - 11/4/2012, 10:37 PM
Photobucket
HAILHYDRA - 11/4/2012, 10:38 PM
Now that's a movie I would see
damntree - 11/4/2012, 10:54 PM
Coming soon to Netflix...
loki668 - 11/4/2012, 10:59 PM
Would have been great to see a zombified Ol' Dirty Bastard lumbering around moaning "craaaaaaaaack!"

Lord Loki has spoken
Ichaos - 11/4/2012, 11:25 PM
@Scorpion8125 No feathers ruffled but all the same if you have issues with suspending your powers of disbelief your clearly on the wrong website given its a website about superheroes on the movies. I think you might be best sticking to documentaries.
TheGothamKnight1939 - 11/4/2012, 11:30 PM
Ugh. Watched this the other day. I'm glad I bootlegged it instead of paying for this garbage.
TheGothamKnight1939 - 11/4/2012, 11:33 PM
I'll rewatch Paranormal Activity 4 again before rewatching this garbage. Jail bait: The Movie vs RZA Shoved Down Our Throats? Jail bait every time.
SageMode - 11/5/2012, 12:26 AM
SCORPION8125

Given your comment, you come off as being a pretentious, snobby, and condescending person. And why would you give a look at a movie that embraces two genres of entertainment that you never really cared for in the first place? That like going into a restaurant, ordering a food you never liked, eating it, and then complains about how bad it tasted.

And the way you generalize rap/hip hop is just one sided and borderline racist at the most. There's plenty of positive hip hop artists that doesn't make you feel like a "ghetto bad-ass" for the "weak-minded". Trying doing some research. But you wouldn't bother since you don't care about it.
SageMode - 11/5/2012, 12:28 AM
And might I add, you sound very uneducated
loki668 - 11/5/2012, 2:25 AM
@Scorpion

Those same people who "do meth and sleep with family members" may find your comments to be informative and educated. Since I have more than two synapses to rub together, however, I find your comments to reflect an effete snob who comes on here to try and sound superior. Your ill-conceived words attempt to make a connection between people who like a good "chop-opera" and meth users and incest victims. Nice. Very classy. I'm sure that your journalistic skills serve you nicely when you write about "Bat Boy" escaping the sewers. As always, it appears that your journalistic integrity may need to see a doctor as it looks to be suffering from jaundice.

Your comments about rap (don't get me wrong, it's not my favorite genre of music) are so elitist and bigoted, that it makes it clear to everyone that you have no knowledge of the subject. That makes you an uninformed source and, therefore, you should see yourself out of the argument, until you can present something that doesn't sound like a recruitment speech for white supremacists.

In closing, you may have a hard time "checking your brain at the door" when it comes to movies, but you clearly have no such issue when it comes to writing what passes for your thoughts.

Lord Loki has spoken
loki668 - 11/5/2012, 4:51 AM
@Equinox
You're giving this hack more credit than he deserves. There are many short-sighted imbeciles with blogs who refer to themselves as "journalists", when they're nothing but bucket-mouthed buffoons exhibiting a powerful sense of self-delusion. If scorpion was truly a "journalist", as he claims, then I'm sure he wouldn't mind providing the name of his publication (I'm sure it's called something like "Small-Minded Quarterly"). Print is not dying because of the likes of this fool, but because of technological advancement. Reading his idiocy, however, reminds me of why I may not miss it.


Lord Loki has spoken
manofsteel1942 - 11/5/2012, 6:04 AM
@loki668 - your first post "craaaaaaack" = HA HA HA HAAAAAAA. That was just funny.
As for the movie the fight scenes with RZA were craaaaaaap.
FirstAvenger - 11/5/2012, 6:11 AM
I just want to see Iron Fist!
RobbieDigital - 11/5/2012, 7:00 AM
It was cool for what it was.......the fight with the "Gemini Killers" was the highlight I thought......

Cool to see RZA and the Wu-Tang giving back and paying homage to the genre that they based their music careers around though......if you've ever listened to a Wu-Tang cd you will catch a ton of comic book and sci-fi references throughout all their lyrics...

In fact as a young kid that at one point thought he couldn't tell people he read comic books because he thought he would be made fun of....it was cool to listen to them because by their lyrics you knew they read comics too....so it was cool and accepted outside of the area you were at.......this was the mid-90's when not everyone owned a comic book t-shirt....
Talontd - 11/5/2012, 7:52 AM
Everyone who fed the TROLL should be ashamed of themselves!!!

;)
HonestFan - 11/5/2012, 9:47 AM
Okay... doesn't look like many actually saw this movie, yet will comment on it. Funny.
I DID go watch this. It was truly horrible. I get that it's a genre film, I do, however... multiple times during the movie I wanted to simply get up and walk out. I haven't felt that way about a movie for a very long time. Entertaining? Uh... no.
I'm not a Troll, I'm seriously an optimist on these boards, nevertheless, this movie was a waste of my time and hard-earned money. Very disappointed... mostly in myself for staying until the end. Should have gone to see Wreck It Ralph.
slickrickdesigns - 11/5/2012, 11:28 AM
I saw the man with the iron fists, Good build build up, just wish they had a longer ending fight scene. I felt like the movie came and i didnt:(
But a great first movie for the RZA.
alekesam - 11/5/2012, 3:01 PM
@Scorpion8125: Everyone's entitled to their opinion (which is what your post is, not a true critique, no matter how you may think differently) so if it doesn't float your boat it doesn't float your boat.

However...

Given that this movie isn't your cup of tea nor you being the target audience this movie is tailoring to, why even watch it then? Let alone tell others about it?

It'd be different if you actually liked kung-fu flicks because you'd be speaking from a position of knowing the subject matter better to compare Iron FIsts to. But since you don't, it's a waste of bandwidth and time to even bother with a post stating how you feel about the movie.
Bandrews1 - 11/5/2012, 4:16 PM
Saw it yesterday and it was suprisingly better than I thought it would be, and not a bad directing debut for RZA.
nhalden - 11/5/2012, 4:21 PM
I saw this film knowing it was going to be a fun time waster and it was...as a movie, I could see what Rza was trying to do. Unfortunately, he didn't execute that well. NOT that bad either, just MEH. The background and context of characters wasn't built very well. Byron Mann was NOT a show stealer he was awkwardly over the top. Maybe the timing was just off. I thought Bautista's character was pretty cool on screen. Some cool imagery, and action sequences...but at the end of the day RZA may have just tried to do too much and it showed...I mean he could have at least been awake to say his lines.
kirbyfan - 11/6/2012, 1:02 AM
You know it's a sad state of affairs when a person can't share their opinion!

You don't have to agree, but don't tell someone they can't share an opinion!

Scorpion is entitled to his opinion, from what I read he wasn't trying to offend anyone. Everything these days is so politically correct, that people can't even have honest conversations anymore.

You're called a bigot or racist at the drop of a hat these days. Everyone is so freaking sensative. It seems people can't handle honesty anymore?

I absolutely hate rap, I think it ruined music, play a instrument then I'm impressed. Some guy on stage with a record player, I have that at home why on Earth would I spend hard earned money to see some no talent having guy on stage yelling!

I do want to see this movie though!
GetsugaTensho22 - 11/6/2012, 7:43 AM
Iron Fist has by far the Gayest costume in comics.
SexyResults - 11/8/2012, 12:01 PM
@ Getsuga
You've Never Seen Jack of Hearts Costume, Have You?

@ Kirbyfan
I Agree That Scorpion is Entitled To His/Her Opinion and That There is Too Much Political Correctness going On, I Myself Don't Accept That, however this Situation with Scorpion isn't an Example of That. He/She Really Did Come of as Ignorant and Bigoted. It's One Thing To Say You Don't Like or Understand The Appeal of Something, No One Should Fault Him/Her For That. But To Say That It's For Weak-Minded People and That White People Doing It Is Pathetic is a Whole Other Thing and Just Beyond Offensive. Even What You Said In Your Last Paragraph Demonstrates That You Both Know Nothing of That Genre Beyond Some Possibly Bad Examples of Them and Not What Really Goses Into Making Them Memorble and a Great ExperienceFor Some of Us. At The Least Educate Yourself on Something Before Man Strong Geneizations Like That, It's The Least You Can Do.

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