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.
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.
Extra Tidbit: Thankfully RZA didn't make a commentary track...I'd have probably hung myself.