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Review Man with the Iron Fists (2012): Not delivering on the stuff that it is supposed to!

genre: action, martial arts

Anyone familiar with the music from the Wu Tang clan know they have a fondness for old school kungfu flicks. RZA prominent member of the Wu Tang Clan therefore seems to be up to the task to bring us this tribute on the film screen. Sadly however the one thing that make the old school kungfu films so much fun is missing from The Man with the Iron Fists which is the fighting. Sure there are enough action scenes that are bloody and full of stunts and wire work, but actual genuine martial arts is barely present. It is edited so heavily that nothing of the choreography from Cory Yuen (brilliant action director, Ninja in the Dragon's Den, Karate Tiger 1 and 2 and much much more) can’t be enjoyed. Sure excessive violence and gore is entertaining sometimes might even be considered humorous within the context. But for a film that takes itself a little too seriously it looses that effect and becomes rather painful at times especially considering that there aren’t that many action scenes. Yes, RZA tries to tell a story that is so thin that you wonder how he managed to stretch it out into 90 minutes. The only time I really started to enjoy the film was at the finale. But come on to wait 70 minutes for decent action is asking too much from the audience especially in contrast to old school kungfu movies.There it only took one insult or murder within 2 minutes of the film to provide non stop action."YOU KILLED MY FATHER,HIS DEATH MUST BE AVENGED, BEHOLD MY CRANE STYLE......."(Got a little carried away here) Ok. I do have to admit that RZA does pay tribute to Shaw Brothers productions several times. Only these scenes are clumsily executed and never taken to the next level in order for them to be counted as good or fun references. In that aspect Quentin Tarantino should have taken over the direction completely. Because he is a master in paying tribute and giving it his own touch. (Let’s ignore the whole plagiarism versus homage discussion for once). Don’t expect too much of the stars. However Russel Crowe and Lucy Lui do help elevate this production since they steal all off the few scenes they are in. Even then there are moments where you ask yourself why they were there in the first place. Lucy Lui I sort of get. Her being in Kill Bill and all. But Russel Crowe. That is a completely mystery. I tried real hard to focus on the good elements and I was ready to be very forgiving but with not many around I have to say that man with the Iron Fists is a huge disappointment.

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