The Man with the Iron Fists (2012)

The Man with the Iron Fists (2012) 95min | Action | 2 November 2012 (USA)
Director: RZAWriter: RZAStars: Russell Crowe, Cung Le, Lucy Liu
Summary: On the hunt for a fabled treasure of gold, a band of warriors, assassins, and a rogue British soldier descend upon a village in feudal China, where a humble blacksmith looks to defend himself and his fellow villagers.
Countries: USA, Hong KongLanguages: English, Mandarin

A glorious rampage. Violent, sexy, gory, and above all, Kung fu oozing out of every single pore. A montage of homage to Hong Kong Cinema. Packed with stars, lavish sets, lush costuming, and script for every character bang on target. And Dave Bautista, who loves his work, and gives his all to every character he plays.

I could (and in fact, have) watched this beauty over and over, and for that loyal dutifulness, I hereby award it my ‘nearly the best’ tag.

“Whoa! One goddamn, knife-sprouting, mercury-poisoned minute, Suse!” I hear you cry, as if with the voices of the dozens of Rat Clan that were slain mostly off-camera. “You totally adore it, but only ‘nearly‘ the best?”

That’s absolutely right, avid readers. Nearly, but not quite. And some of that is absolutely to do with the fact that it’s a homage to the real thing, all vajazzled and glimmering. I’ve watched too many Kung fu movies now to put out for second best gloss instead of honest stunt work.

Yes, I like a bit of wire work, I’m a sucker for it, but at the same time I also want to see Jackie Chan’s obsession with simple stunts done right. And I want to see a goddamn female lead who cuts the mustard with the male leads. By that I mean equal calibre and doesn’t die before the end of the movie (unless everyone else does).

Nearly the best, but, you know, I’ll watch this again some time.

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