Fists that hardly pack a punch

The Man With The Iron Fists
English (A) ¬¬
Cast: Russel Crowe, Lucy Liu, David Bautista
Director: RZA

When one thinks of a martial arts movie, one pictures solemn bearded men who are capable of being ruthless in the face of the enemy, focussing all their inner “chi”. The Man With The Iron Fists is a movie that focusses less on the solemnity and more on the chi for the execution of brutality. 

The producer and director of the movie, RZA, also features as the narrator and protagonist. The movie begins only after the seemingly proud statement that is “presented by Quentin Tarantino”, who is RZA’s mentor director, which is understandably the only reason for the credit.

An African American hard-working blacksmith (RZA), is sometimes faced with his death at the hands of two rival clans in a place called Jungle Town in China. Forcing the blacksmith to forge their weapons, the wolf clan and the lion clan are ready to kill if their needs are not met. A tortured soul, the blacksmith’s only solace in Jungle Town is Lady Silk, a prostitute in Madam Blossom’s (Lucy Liu) brothel.

Jack Knife (Russell Crowe), a strung-out lone traveller who is “looking to have a good time”, arrives at the doorstep of Pink Blossom brothel. Jack Knife is no beautiful mind and is perhaps the most perverse and dangerous guest the brothel has seen. With a large shipment of the emperor’s gold moving thro­u­g­h China, there are more than a few hands reaching out for it in the darkness. The plot ought not be spoken about anymore, because if this movie can be appreciated, it is all in how the plot comes together.

The Man With The Iron Fists has the soundtrack, the gore and even a story line that is arguably worthy of a Tarantino film. However, it fails to be executed with Tarantino-like perfection. While Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill had the impeccable and highly sought after Hattori Hanzo sword, this movie’s weapons are impr­e­ssive, state-of-the-art and in plenty. However, it distracts a viewer from its impressionabi­l­ity.

The movie has several gravity-defying, action seque­n­ces. But unfortunately, the graphics, too, look like it came out of one. RZA seems to have worked in quantity as opposed to quality. If mindless action, sex and violence is enjoyable, this is a movie to watch.

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