It's been a good year and three months since I posted a review up here. Welcome back if you had a chance to peep the blog out, and peace, blessings and welcome if it's your first time here! I originally planned on dropping a review every week, but shit happens. Anyway I'm back, for now, so yeah.....
Ever since Prince Rakeem aka The Rzarector aka Chief Abbot aka Bobby Digital aka Zig Zag Zig Allah aka Bobby Steels aka Bobby Boulders aka The Scientist aka Robert F. Diggs dropped the video for the joint Tragedy (off the Rhyme & Reason soundtrack), I waited in anticipation for him to drop a full length martial arts flick.
I had the pleasure of seeing The Man With The Iron Fists twice and I wish I could have peeped it a few more times before writing this review. Although the movie is far from perfect, I was thoroughly impressed at The Rza's work as the writer, director, producer and star of his own full length kung fu flick.
The film takes place in nineteenth century China in Jungle Village, a place full of rival clans, fine Asian honeys, and a runaway slave turned blacksmith (Rza) who provides weapons to the clans and his love to one of the finest females in the flick, Lady Silk (played by the up & coming Jamie Chung).
The clans start beefing over a large shipment of government gold, and shit starts to get hectic in Jungle Village. Enter two of my favorite characters, Jack Knife (played by Russell Crowe), a violent outsider with a fetish for group sex and murder, and Bronze Body (played by former wrestler and current MMA fighter Bautista), a brolic fighter hired by the Lion Clan to hold shit down.
I am usually not a fan of Caucasians in martial arts flicks. Usually their either posers:
or some boxer or British solider who just fucks up the movie:
|I'M GOING TO GET MY ASS WHOOPED....JUST BE PATIENT!|
Anyway, the Lion Clan gets salty that the blacksmith is helping out their former leader's son, Zen Yi aka X-Blade (dude had a bad ass suit), and they decide to deal with him in rather grotesque fashion (not going to spoil it, but it's the reason why The Rza gets his "iron fists...hehe). Jack Knife teams up with the blacksmith and Zen Yi for an ultimate showdown with the Lion Clan.
Like I said earlier, this movie is far from perfect. Rza didn't really cast any really talented martial artists in the movie. The fight scenes are cool (my personal favorite is the one with the Geminis), but most of the action is done with wire work. The movie could've used a character with serious martial arts skills a la Donnie Yen, Tony Jaa etc.
I thought it was with the utmost respect that The Rza called on Gordon Liu to play The Abbott of the Shaolin Temple (a role originally made for Rza's real life Shaolin teacher and mentor Shi Yan Ming, who was unable to get permission to return to China). It would have been dope to see some of Rza's training sequences or at least see some of the Shaolin Monks in action.
I have seen a lot of people diss The Rza's acting in the movie. I've seem him in other movies, and I'm not saying dude is award worthy, but he does have acting skills. I think here he was going for the "stoic hero" role and he did kind of overdo it.
I also expected him to be a little bit nicer with his own fighting scenes, seeing as much he has been studying Shaolin Kung Fu for some time with Shi Yan Ming.
I say all that to say this. The Man With The Iron Fists was a solid first offering (and I hope not the last) from the mind of The Rza. Many rappers think they have what it takes and delve into the film industry, and look to add on to the genre's that they grew up idolizing. Most of them fail miserably.
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Peace and Blessings until next time,