MOVIE REVIEW: THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS (2012)Posted: November 7, 2012
Running time: 1 hour, 36 minutes
Cast: Russell Crowe, Lucy Liu, RZA, Byron Mann
Photos from official website.
Quick summary: The movie takes place in China’s Jungle Village, where the town’s blacksmith (RZA) has been commissioned by two rival tribes to develop destructive weapons. He gets embroiled in the chaos and as a result his hands are chopped off. He replaces his hands with iron fists and he kicks ass to save his village.
After watching this movie I now understand the importance of the Razzie Awards. I’d like to put in nominations now for Worst Picture, Worst Director and Worst Supporting Actor (Byron Mann), and if I may, let’s add a new category for Worst Costume Design.
RZA wrote the screenplay and directed this movie, and although it’s admirable it just doesn’t mesh well. Let’s dig in.
Worst Picture: I was bored during much of the movie. The dialogue was uninspired and flat. The only time this movie came to life was during the fight scenes, but even then I felt that I’ve seen these moves and techniques before in other kung fu movies. Some of the plot takes place in a brothel, so there were awkward scenes of scantily-clad girls rolling around in beds. Sounds sexy, right? Somehow it didn’t feel that way, especially when the Overweight Lover Russell Crowe appeared. Yuck!
Worst Director: You’d think that if a movie is titled ‘The Man with the Iron Fists’ you’d actually get to see the man with the iron fists. Surprisingly, he was rarely shown during the first hour of the movie, and he didn’t make a significant appearance until the last 15-20 minutes. Much of the screen time is dedicated to Lucy Liu (as Madame Blossom, the owner of the brothel) and Russell Crowe (Jack Knife, a British soldier), along with the rival tribes that are tearing the village apart.
The movie was incoherent as well. Characters just seemed to pop up and kill someone, and then later, in passing, they are given an introduction to the audience. I’m not entirely sure why Crowe’s British soldier had to be in the movie. Yes, he was present during the building of the Iron Fists, but there was also an apprentice there who could’ve done it by himself.
Worst Supporting Actor for Byron Mann, as Silver Lion- the leader of the Lion clan.
Talk about overacting at its finest. He was HORRIBLE. His exaggerated facial expressions, his body language, and even the way he spoke his lines were cringe-worthy. RZA’s acting was worse, but he’s a rapper and after this performance he’ll surely go back to music. Mann gets my Razzie nomination because he works as an actor and he should know better.
I don’t know which is worse: the awkward pauses he took while speaking (I guess to put emphasis on what he was saying?) or his weird ‘This is my tough guy look’ which looked more like facial tics.
Worst Costume Design: Party City wigs and costumes do not belong on a set of a Hollywood movie. The wigs were stiff, shiny, and very oddly styled. Most of the characters had the top of their hair styled upward with a weird flip at the end that looked like the tip of an ice cream cone. The costumes looked cliche, uncomfortable and cheap. And for some reason, Byron Mann’s character was the only character wearing sunglasses.
Was there anything that I liked about this movie? Yes, the music was awesome and so was Batista, former WWE wrestler!
The scenes with Batista as Brass Body were pretty cool, and since he has experience with fighting and hand to hand combat he seemed like a natural fit for the movie.
For bad movies I usually tell people to wait for a dollar theater showing, or maybe wait for it to hit Redbox or Netflix. In this case, I’d say don’t bother to watch it all, or just put it on as background noise while you clean the house.
Did you see The Man with the Iron Fists? What did you think of it?