When I first saw the trailer for this I went so spare that I blacked out for over an hour and when I woke up I was naked in a wheelbarrow filled with straw, there was a dead horse next to me and there was clumps of bloody hair all over my bellend. Well, as I do with most occurrences of this ilk, I put it to the back of my mind and went home and had a wank.
So yeah, I was chuffing excited about The Man With The Iron Fists. How could you not be? Hip-hop, Russell Crowe being an absolute badass, fit yats everywhere, sweet wire-fu action, mental weapons, hip-hop, a character called ‘Brass Body’ who can turn his body into metal on command, Cung Le, co-written by Eli Roth, hip-hop, Daniel Wu and all of it directed by a bloke who knows a fuck-load about martial arts flicks and has based a good deal of his music career around this fact.
It couldn’t really fail to please me right? I’m particularly easily pleased, as you all know. I mean only last night I found a bubblegum-flavoured ice-pop down the back of the freezer and I was so pleased I punched myself in the head until I knocked myself out. Woke up next to a dead cow this time. Back of mind. Trousers up. Walk home. Wank.
Well, you’ll be pleased to know that I was pleased with The Man With The Iron Fists – it pleased me, does this please you? Please let me know, this would please me. Unfortunately, I was not as pleased as I should have been, I mean, considering the subject matter, I should have been as pleased as PUNCH. Alas, I was not. Let me tell you why.
The main thing wrong with The Man With The Iron Fists is that there just isn’t enough fighting – this is a cardinal sin for any martial arts film. I suppose you can let off modern crime thrillers like Flash Point for not having loads of action, but for a throwback to old school kung-fu flicks, Fists should have been packed to the rafters with punching and kicking – just like the ’70s films that RZA is clearly aping were.
There’s a huge stretch near the end WHERE NOBODY IS GETTING PUNCHED IN THE FACE AT ALL FOR AGES FUCK and it starts to drag a bit. Fair enough, it sort of makes up for it with a huge battle sequence at the end, but it was a tad too late. Especially when you can tell RZA clearly revels in the over-the-top blood and gore that make up such a big part of the chopsocky scenes. Oh well.
The other main problem seems to be that the tone is entirely uneven – it doesn’t know if it’s a straight-faced throwback to classic martial arts films, an updated restyling of the genre with added ingredients (a hip-hop soundtrack) or a full-blown comedy pastiche of sub-par cult kung-fu movies. Well, it ends up being all three. It seems that RZA, either through lack of experience, studio interference, or ‘too-many-cooks syndrome’ has been unable to settle on a coherent approach and this throws the whole film off a bit.
Actually, while we’re on the subject of coherence, I’ve got to admit I had no idea what the FUCK was going on for half of the movie. Although I suppose that’s most definitely in-keeping with the plots of the classic movies that influence this – I never know what the sod is happening in any of them either. So I wasn’t really bothered with this.
Onto the good parts now (I’ve said this during sex, I’ll let you figure out at which juncture). Firstly, it’s got some neato fight scenes in it – RZA films them nicely enough, and packs them with enough mental and impossible special moves to maintain even the most reluctant of erections. They LITCH make no sense either, which I quite liked – the movie makes no bones about the fact that what is happening is completely ludicrous. For example, they never explain how the man who can turn his body into fucking BRASS does it.
Brassbody: “Oh hi mate”
Man: “Hi Brass Body”
Brassbody: “Hi. Oh by the way, shut your fucking TRAP because I’m gonna turn my sodding body into brass”
*Turns body into brass*
Man: “Fuck me, how did you do that?”
Brassbody: “Buggered if I know, cool though isn’t it?”
Man: “Yeah, sweet.”
Brassbody: “Oh and I thought I told you to shut your fucking TRAP? You have come bottom of the class in this test.”
*Puts metal DICK through failure’s SKULL*
Brassbody: “Fuck, didn’t even realise I could do that either! I’m not asking any questions.”
I like this about The Man With The Iron Fists – it’s unashamedly mental.
OH THE OTHER GOOD THING ABOUT IT IS JAMIE CHUNG IS IN IT AND I FANCY HER A LOT. ALSO VERY GOOD SOUNDTRACK.
So yeah, I liked it overall, it probably needed a bit of ironing out and a slightly more steadfast idea of what exactly it was trying to do, but on the whole, it was a good time. I’d recommend it to fans of the usual bollocks I harp on about. If anything, it’s a definite indicator of what’s to come once RZA gets past his baby steps and hits his stride, and I for one am looking forward to whatever he has up his iron sleeve.
6 18s out of 10
On a side note, if you want to see a better film that does the same kind of thing that Fists set out to do, then check out…erm, oh what was it called? If only I could remember, I’ll need to search for it in the back of my mind, oh there it – OH GOD NO DON’T PUT THAT IN THERE OH GOD NO WHAT HAVE I DONE OH SHIT THE FARMER’S COMING BETTER HIDE UNDER THAT STRAW IN THAT WHEELBARROW OVER THERE-