Going to see Martial Art (or as we called them Kung Fu) movies was one of the highlights of my childhood. Bruce Lee on the big screen was amazing. Then as I got older there was always a selection of low-budget martial art delights on Saturday afternoons before the sport of the season would invade. So from the moment I saw the previews I knew I wanted to see The Man with the Iron Fists. First I know RZA, writer and director, is a martial art movie enthusiast, secondly Quentin Tarantino who is the presenter of the film, is all about the 70’s homages. I didn’t go see it in the theater though, mainly because of lackluster reviews. I forgot that most people probably don’t get that all the cheesiness and over-the-top action is what makes these movies great.
This movie is an excellent homage to the time-period with so many elements; the usual plot of the reluctant fighter, the betrayal, the avenging of the murdered parent, the mysterious stranger, the juggernaut, that white haired dude with way too much eyebrows, wire-fu, and of course lots of martial art action. Add to that lots of bloody violence. I watched the extended non-theatrical release so the theater version may have less blood.
RZA stars as the Blacksmith. A simple man trying to make a living in a feudal village in China. There is an explanation as to why a black man is in China, don’t worry. Things are good, unfortunately a load of gold treasure is being brought through town and many different factions want to possess it, putting the villagers in the crossfire. The blacksmith through circumstances is forced to into this whole mess and shows everyone what he is truly capable of.
If you like this genre of old school kung-fu movies I think you will like this one. Otherwise you may find it a bit slow in parts and over-the-top in others. The fight scenes are good and sometime funny a the same time. It is amazing how easily you can take someone’s head off. But there are some really inventive weapons particularly near the end.
This movie employs a lot of modern music and dialogue so don’t go looking for historical accuracy, but I thought it fit well. I thought it was a good effort and wouldn’t mind seeing a sequel or some other movie in the same vein in the future