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Iron Monkey

4.5 out of 5 stars 275 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

With sensational, nonstop martial arts excitment supplied by the acclaimed choreopgraher of THE MATRIX and CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON, IRON MONKEY is the spirited tale of a mysterious and mythical Chinese legend. In a desperate and unjust land, where government corruption rules the day, only one man -- known as the Iron Monkey -- has the courage to challenge the system and fight back. Under the shadow of night, in the silence before dawn, he fights to give hope to the poor and oppressed. Although no one knows his name or where he comes from, his heroism makes him a living legend to the people ... and a wanted man to the powers that be! Presented by Quentin Tarantino -- don't miss the exhilarating action adventure that critics everywhere have called one of the greatest martial arts films of all time!

Special Features

  • Quentin Tarantino interview
  • Donnie Yen interview
  • Score medley

Product Details

  • Actors: Rongguang Yu, Donnie Yen, Jean Wang, Sze-Man Tsang, Shun-Yee Yuen
  • Directors: Woo-Ping Yuen
  • Writers: Hark Tsui, Elsa Tang, Richard Epcar, Tai-Mok Lau, Tan Cheung
  • Producers: Hark Tsui, Quentin Tarantino
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Chinese (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG-13
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: Miramax
  • DVD Release Date: March 26, 2002
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (275 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005V1Y2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,761 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Iron Monkey" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on March 24, 2002
Format: DVD
Iron Monkey is definitely one of the best (if not THE best) kung-fu movie ever made. The story is nice and simple enough to follow with ease and the fight scenes are nothing less than breathtaking.
This American version of Iron Monkey totally downgrades the movie. OK, so they added to the story at the beginning and also remastered both audio and video. They even kept the original Cantonese language. Sounds like the best remastered kung-fu movie? Well, not exactly. Though what they added is great, what they took out was totally uncalled for. First, they deleted scenes. I would understand deleting irrelevant scenes but why delete fight choreography? I don't understand why some of the fight scenes were cut short, especially the final fight as it's the best one. It doesn't make sense at all. Secondly, they deleted dialogue. A big part of kung-fu is actually calling the attack one is about to do. Donnie Yen's character (Wong Kei-ying) has this signature move called the "Shadowless Kick" which he yells out when he executes it. They completely took that off along with other called attacks for some reason and that just takes the flavor out of the fighting. Finally, they changed the story with the subtitles. If you don't speak Cantonese (which I don't) you won't get what the characters actually say as the subtitles are NOT actual translations. This really feels like a dumbed down version for the American audience.
I've seen two other versions of this DVD. One is the original Region 0 version from HK and the other is the Region 2 Collector's Edition that I bought. The Region 2 is a perfectly remastered version of the ORIGINAL movie with crisp sound and video with REAL subtitles. The only thing about this version is that it's PAL video format whereas the Region 0 is NTSC.
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Format: DVD
Why can't the people at Dimension Home video get it right for once??? They messed up every single martial arts movie release by not providing the original language tracks and cutting scenes. This time with Iron Monkey, they were wise enough to remaster the original chinese language track, but they still decide to cut. For me, cutting a fighting scene, especially if its the last one, is a no no...and I, like another reviewer here, love it when Wong Kei-Ying or Wong Fei Hung call out their special move (Shadowless Kick) before they actually do it. Anyways, for those that don't know, this movie was made in 1993 and it took long enough to come over here. This is a story of a Robin Hood like character who steals from the rich corrupt govt officials and gives to the poor towns people. He goes by the name of Iron Monkey (played by Rongguang Yu), a hero to the townspeople, and a wanted man by the officials. The officials are arresting anyone that looks suspicious. While in town to shop for medicine, Wong Kei-Ying (played by the awesome Donnie Yen) and his son, the very young Wong Fei Hung get in a quarrel with some thugs and get arrested for suspicion. The chief official learns of Wong Kei-Ying's great martial arts, and by force sends him to take out the Iron Monkey while his son Wong Fei Hung is held in custody. To make it simple, Wong Kei-Ying and the Iron Monkey will eventually team up and fight some interesting govt officials. Donnie Yen pretty much steals the show in this film as Wong Kei-Ying, and he is the reason why I watched it. His kicking ability and speed are just awesome. Yeun Woo Ping once again lends a hand in making a decent choreographed film. I must admit there is more wirework here than I would want to see, but thankfully Donnie saves it here.Read more ›
1 Comment 66 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: VHS Tape
The Iron Monkey is evidence why the martial arts choreography in The Matrix thrilled the American audience. Director Yuen Woo-Ping delivers an impressive punch with this 1993 film which features an easy-to-follow storyline, good acting, stylish cinematography, and amazing fight scenes. Highlighted in this film is actor Yu Rong-Guang whose acrobatic and hand-to-hand combat skills are at their best. The inclusion of the legendary character Wong Fei-Hung (depicted in this movie as a child) makes this movie appealing to the younger viewers as well. All in all, the Iron Monkey is a great film and, perhaps, deserves a big screen showing here in the U.S. Until that happens, whether you buy or rent this film, watching it would definitely be time well spent.
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Format: VHS Tape
After several years of watching old Run Run Shaw kung fu movies on late night local TV, I was able to find a laserdisk from the UK of this movie, and man was my world rocked.
In terms of bang for buck, no other martial arts movie comes even close to capturing the savage ballet exhibited in Iron Monkey. Other reviews will tell you about the simple story line, and how it is mostly a Chinese variation of the Robin Hood story. This review is just to reiterate the sheer number of incredibly high quality action sequences. Highlights of this amazing martial arts film rank high in the top CHK fight sequences of all time. From hand to hand battles, to weapons kata, including swords, chains, staves and even an umbrella, the choreography by Yuen Wo Ping is brilliant, and the speed of the battles is mind-blowing. The production values (lighting, photography, etc.) are pure Tsui Hark.. absolutely beautiful.
If you're a serious martial arts film enthusiast and do not have this movie in your personal library, you should be hit with flying sleeves, the king kong palm, and no shadow kicked in the groin all at the same time. Turn in your badge and go back to renting 'American Ninja' and 'Karate Kid' videos. Shame on you.
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