The Man with the Iron Fists

The Man with the Iron Fists has some cool stuff going on. Some of the acting is a little flat, but it's entertaining and it looks great.

It's nice that RZA got to make a movie. The Man with the Iron Fists is listed as a movie "by RZA," and that couldn't be any more true. He directed it, starred in it, and wrote the story, screenplay, and music. Crazy. It's a pretty epic movie. I'm not a classic martial arts movie fan, so it's hard to tell what's an homage and what's just not well done.

The costumes and props seemed a little cheap at times. They shot the movie in 52 days, so I guess it's reasonable to think they didn't have a lot of time for the other stuff, either. I could never get over the Lions' hair, but we'll assume that was on purpose. I think Dave Bautista is just the worst actor on the planet. I don't think there's any "homage" justification that can be made for his lack of performance. I liked the idea of this big guy who's just a total stone block, though.

I loved all the cheesy lines. Lines you've literally heard before, but put to good use again. Some of the weapons were cool. Zen Yi's suit looked a little bizarre/flimsy. I loved Madam Blossom's fan, though. That was the best weapon in the movie. It's a bummer she got killed with it. It was bizarre to have that kid running around, too. She was in a perfectly safe place under the table. It doesn't make sense that she'd be running around, just as a device for Blossom to die saving her. Bleh. It seemed like she was making a miscalculation trying to double cross the Lions, though. I didn't think she'd be able to pull it off.

The role of the kids as a whole seemed overdone, and that one little girl was a terrible actress. It was kind of hard to get into the movie at first, and I wasn't sure I was going to care about it. It brought me in, but Lady Silk stood out as a character that never seemed right. She just wasn't interesting at all. I don't know if it was the writing, the actress, or both. I wasn't even sure she was loyal to Thaddeus. She seemed pretty cold.

RZA really packed a lot of big characters into the movie, almost too many. It was just one right after the other, all these characters that were supposed to be so bad ass, like bosses in a video game. It was cool seeing the different variations, but maybe they should've been staggered a little differently. I liked the explanation that people could fly around by manipulating chi. At least it's something. The music ranged from original to distracting. It definitely didn't always work.

I liked that it took a break from being a fight movie to spend some slow time about 2/3 of the way through explaining Thaddeus' background. And I liked when Knife started doing something other than whoring. He was pretty funny in his "disguise." Zen Yi getting strung up by ropes in the forest was another great scene. I liked all the different animal clans, and how they were represented.

I liked how RZA took his time with the action shots, and really showed them to us. So many action scenes move faster than you can watch, but this one slowed down to show everything that was going on. There was some innovative stuff going on with the camerawork, too. RZA said he was always trying to keep fun in mind, and I think the movie succeeded at that. It was entertaining to watch, and there were a lot of beautiful things to see. Even some of the blood shots were artistic and pretty. A lot of them were gorier than I like, though.

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