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Customer Review

78 of 93 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun, Tarantino-esque movie, but overextends itself, December 3, 2012
This review is from: The Man with the Iron Fists - Unrated Extended Edition (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) (Blu-ray)
The Man With the Iron Fists is a movie that was 'presented' (not produced) by Quentin Tarantino and directed by RZA. It centers on the story of a black blacksmith in China, who is trying to leave his hostile home village that's entrenched in between good ol' clan wars.

If you are seeking to be entertained, look no further. RZA blends the 'hip-hop samurai' type of music and feel -- prevalent in a lot of anime in recent years -- with the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon-floating-around-style of fighting to create a high-flying (no pun intended) and adventurous parody of the genres with a Spaguetti Western flare. Needless to say, visually this movie is great in many respects.

However, beyond that, the movie suffers from more than a few noticeable stumbling points. The first being dialogue. Not only is the writing over-simplified, but the fact that some of the Chinese characters have Oriental-English accents while others speak perfectly clear English is something that will distract some viewers from the already simple plot. In addition, the main antagonist Silver Lion is portrayed as the funny one-liner villain, but there are times when his role feels overdone and out of place during the more serious scenes. Perhaps this harkens back to the older Kung-fu movie time other reviewers mentioned, but for me it was distracting.

Another caveat is the characters. They didn't feel very memorable, which is again probably due to the dialogue. The exception here is Russel Crowe's character, who exhibits wit, style, and the fact he sticks out like a sore thumb in a charming way. While I feel he did an extraordinary job in executing this role, I'm not exactly sure how his career will be affected in the long-run from this... You'll know what I mean.

Lastly, there were gaps in terms of the suspension of belief. While these types of movies are going to exhibit combat and visuals that are uncanny, a few of the developments toward the end, including one bad guy in particular, just felt like huge leaps of faith without any sort of explanation at all. I don't want to spoil anything, but again I think you'll know what I mean as you watch.

Now before I sound overly critical, let me tip my hat off to RZA. Not only did he direct the movie. He wrote it, helped compose the soundtrack, and starred as the blacksmith. This truly is RZA's movie in every sense of the phrase.

With so many responsibilities on one person, I can't help but critique this movie with admiration for it. It may not be on the Tarantino level, but if this is a beginning path for RZA I am excited to see what he comes up with next. Watch TMWTIF with the right expectations. If you're expecting Kill Bill or Pulp Fiction, take it down a good notch. If you're expecting a parody of exaggerated, oriental combat and hip-hop anime with Spaghuetti Western tropes, you're in for an entertaining ride. It's worth a watch, even if it doesn't etch itself into your soul.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 28, 2013 9:54:44 PM PST
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 29, 2013 5:00:04 AM PST
B. Cravens says:
Indeed, you are correct about Tarantino not producing. I appreciate you pointing that out to me! I got confused as he "presented" the movie.

Posted on Jan 31, 2013 8:24:57 PM PST
Syrsly says:
I actually enjoyed certain moments in the film, but it was overall very disappointing. Good review.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 31, 2013 8:30:27 PM PST
B. Cravens says:

Posted on Feb 25, 2013 3:37:09 PM PST
A waste of money. They must have paid Russell Crowe a bundle to get him to play in this failed attempt to entertain. RZA should have hired Tarantino with the money he spent on Crowe et al.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 15, 2013 10:25:44 PM PDT
Jeremy P says:
It's a rip-off of Robert Rodriguez and Tarantino films. Use creativity RZA....the over-the-top action Samurai films have been written, directed, and produced. Nothing new here.
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