“The Man with the Iron Fists” falls short of hype
“The Man with the Iron Fists,” the latest work from artist and Wu Tang Clan ringleader RZA, makes a wholehearted attempt to resurrect the kung-fu genre of the ‘70s and ‘80s while combining a similar hip-hop style RZA mastered in other projects. But despite involving figures like Eli Roth and Quentin Tarantino, the movie becomes lost on viewers through bad casting, production and mediocre screenwriting.
“Man” is the story of a humble blacksmith (RZA) who manufactures weapons to supply gangs and villagers of Jungle Village China, an outlaw town where anything goes. But throughout the movie, the blacksmith finds himself getting caught up in a massive gang with groups wanting to control shipments of gold, which leads him to make his own weapons in order to protect himself from the looming war. Lucy Liu, Russell Crowe and Dave Bautista are also assembled into a cast of characters which aim to protect the Jungle Village community.
It seems the movie has an advantage of a decent big-name cast, but this is lost in “Man’s” primitive storyline, cheesy dialogue, over-the-top violence and aside from Russell Crowe, bad acting. The only saving grace is the soundtrack, which is a blend of hip-hop and neo-soul and features artists like Ghostface Killah, Kanye West and RZA himself. But the movie really misses the mark. Excellent choreography and effects are wasted on shoddy storytelling and bad acting, and while the film had a lot of potential, “Man” just jumped the shark.
Rotten Tomatoes critics gave this movie a 53% rotten rating. I can’t help but wonder how any audience could enjoy this film. I went in with high expectations and nothing was delivered — the equivalent of opening Christmas presents to find fruitcake and salmon eyes. Since “The Man with the Iron Fists” appeals to a small demographic of moviegoers, I would suggest not wasting an afternoon or a good buck on seeing it.