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The Man With The Iron Fists
BLU-RAY disk
Feb 12, 2013 By: J.A. Hamilton
The Man With The Iron Fists order
Director:
RZA

Actors:
RZA
Russell Crowe
Lucy Liu

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A fortune in gold is being shipped to the Emperor via a small village in China ruled by opposing clans out to seize the gold for themselves, but they're not the only ones as news of the gold has attracted the unwanted attention of many throughout the land.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Oh, where to begin? Clearly RZA got ahead of himself after last season of CALIFORNICATION. To his credit, I liked him on CALIFORNICATION, he was a perfect mismatch for brooding author Hank Moody. Now despite playing "himself" on the show, I'm starting to wonder if he wrote his own dialogue or if it was provided and he sort of ad-libbed it. I ponder this primarily for one reason...this movie was mind numbingly awful in every sense of the word.

Okay, I get that RZA is no actor, nor is he a director and that this was supposed to be a campy, over-the-top martial arts extravaganza ala KILL BILL (we got the Tarantino cameos aplenty to prove it), but this doesn't even come close to that level. This thing is the very definition of choppy, confused drivel that has no idea where it is at any given time, much less where it's been or headed. The first cut was over four hours long which blows my mind as there's really no story to tell here, especially one that could cover that kind of ground. I can sum it up very plainly in one sentence. The government's got a shipment of gold en-route to the emperor which becomes the target of rival clans and cutthroat villains. The drama that takes place between such clans is meaningless, as is RZA's blacksmith character who provides all these fools with weapons (that none of them are grateful for I might add).

The story here is shit, and what actually resonates as interesting mirrors one of my favorite anime flicks, NINJA SCROLL. Sigh, I hate using that film as a reference here because it has no place being compared to this polluted mess, but where else would Dave Batista's lummox of a character come from? He resembles a cross between Tessai (NINJA SCROLL) and the X-Man, Colossus. He's a waste of a character and it's laughably obvious why he's there. RZA's character, his background (good thing Tarantino had something to do with this, otherwise we might have a DJANGO UNCHAINED lawsuit on our hands) and his ridiculous love story are all so atrocious, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS was a movie I really wanted to enjoy, even love, in that guilty pleasure sort of way. In the end, it was barely watchable. I literally checked the time fifteen minutes in and continued to do every ten minutes. Russell Crowe tried his damndest to be the comic relief here, but he's more tragic than anything as I wonder what happened to that ass kicking monster from GLADIATOR. Lucy Liu is hardly the name she once was (not that she was ever huge), but even she deserves better than this--and she was the best thing about this movie. There were a couple martial arts "moments" I guess, but everything felt contrived and looked oober fake (I know they're using wires and such, but at least try to hide it guys). Also, I love blood and gore, but it's got to be well done and at the very least look as though some though went into it. I'm sorry, but this was a total failure.
THE EXTRAS
Deleted Scenes: Well, there were no doubt many to choose from after the chopping block cut this back from a four hour crapfest to the (still too long) crapfest we ended up with. Much of this feels again, like it's going nowhere, which of course, lends to the reasoning behind the cuts.

A Look Inside The Man With The Iron Fists: Dear God is it atrociously difficult to listen to RZA speak here. It's like listening to a mentally challenged kid trying to read an advertisement from cue cards that he obviously doesn't understand. RZA has no problem name dropping Tarantino and Roth though.

On The Set With RZA: This is no easier to process, but thankfully it's short. I now realize that no, RZA probably didn't write his own dialogue for CALIFORNICATION. Thank Christ for that.

A Path To The East: RZA babbles about how he just had to shoot this in China (not like it makes a difference), and actually manages to name drop Robert Rodriguez too. Is it over yet?

Previews: There's a few trailers, some BD LIVE content if your rocking the net as well as a DVD, Digital, and Ultraviolet Copy of the film...not that anyone will want them.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
You'd think with a bright and shiny tagline like "Quentin Tarantino Presents" we'd be in for something somewhat entertaining, amusing or at least tongue-in-cheek clever. Nope. Having his, and Eli Roth's names interwoven into this mess was clearly a marketing tool for RZA, but I can't help but wonder if they regret being associated with it now.

Extra Tidbit: Thankfully RZA didn't make a commentary track...I'd have probably hung myself.
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8:11AM on 02/12/2013

Harsh

I expected to hate this movie, and I thought it was passable and had potential. I was a fan of the RZA dating back to when Enter the 36 Chambers. I have listened to countless interviews with RZA and he is a very intelligent person. This is his first feature and this was a great learning experience for hm. He has surrounded himself with vey talented people who like him....whether it is Tarintino and Roth, or using his friendship with Crowe to help get the budget he needed. It is childish
I expected to hate this movie, and I thought it was passable and had potential. I was a fan of the RZA dating back to when Enter the 36 Chambers. I have listened to countless interviews with RZA and he is a very intelligent person. This is his first feature and this was a great learning experience for hm. He has surrounded himself with vey talented people who like him....whether it is Tarintino and Roth, or using his friendship with Crowe to help get the budget he needed. It is childish that his slight speech impediment to be included in the review....you might as well call someone a hippo in your next review.
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11:52AM on 02/12/2013
Had no idea he has a speech impediment of any kind...he was a rapper so I'd have never guessed, nor would it matter anyway as I didn't make fun of the way he talks, rather what he was saying. If THAT's what you've taken away from this review then maybe you should stop reading them.
Had no idea he has a speech impediment of any kind...he was a rapper so I'd have never guessed, nor would it matter anyway as I didn't make fun of the way he talks, rather what he was saying. If THAT's what you've taken away from this review then maybe you should stop reading them.
6:35AM on 02/12/2013
Golly. You did not like The Man with the Iron Fists as much as I did. MIF was no better nor worse than most kung-fu fare that a person finds at the video store or that one used to watch on USA's Kung-Fu Theatre. Furthermore, MIF included an unexpected amount of mysticism to create a kind of superhero movie. People might like RZA's product, or they might find the movie as atrocious as you did. Mainly, MIF provides entertainment with some style, spectacle, (underlying) social commentary, and food
Golly. You did not like The Man with the Iron Fists as much as I did. MIF was no better nor worse than most kung-fu fare that a person finds at the video store or that one used to watch on USA's Kung-Fu Theatre. Furthermore, MIF included an unexpected amount of mysticism to create a kind of superhero movie. People might like RZA's product, or they might find the movie as atrocious as you did. Mainly, MIF provides entertainment with some style, spectacle, (underlying) social commentary, and food for thought.
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