RZA challenges film with ‘Iron Fists’

Still of RZA in The Man with the Iron Fists (Arcade Pictures).

By Janella Bunda, Contributor


RZA, hip-hop pioneer of the Wu-Tang Clan, stretched out his directing and acting skills into untouched heights in the new film The Man with the Iron Fists (released November 2). The film deals with three warriors: Jack Knife (Russell Crowe), Zen-Yi (Rick Yune), and The Blacksmith (RZA himself), all with their own objectives, until they must battle a force that threatens their village.

It is everything one would expect in a surrealist Chinese martial artsy film, with some heavy rap and bluesy rock as the music score. Clearly the strength in this feature was the fight choreography. The visual intricacy of the weapons each character uses reveals the details RZA had brewing in his head. Madam Blossom (Lucy Liu) and Brass Body (David Bautista) serve some aggressive action goodness in particular. Each scene is action-packed and definitely will not disappoint—though beware of the sometimes-shoddy CGI.

Where the film falls flat is in the execution of the plot. The tone takes itself too seriously, where flashbacks are all too brief and character relations are wrapped up in a rush. Some personalities rely on clichés, but who watches kung fu movies for character development anyway? If you’re into violence, be prepared for this fast-paced gore ride to the sounds of Cantopop singers and Kanye West.