Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A dog living in a palace is still a dog.

I don't know how it is with you, but my iPod is loaded with countless songs I immediately skip when they come up in the shuffle. The only reason they are even there in the first place is because they take up so little room and I foolishly tell myself there might be a time when I want to hear it. Certain songs however, are always welcome. For example, the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back" never, ever gets skipped. It's fun, it makes you want to move, and most importantly, everything about it screams vintage, old-school goodness.

Saturday morning, a friend and I caught a matinee showing of The Man with the Iron Fists. I went because I've always been down for the ridiculousness of old-school martial arts flicks, and Chad went to support the directorial debut of RZA (dude has some major love for the Wu-Tang Clan). And while initially this movie was like a classic 70's jam, eventually I think we both felt like skipping to the next number. It's like a great three minute song that happens to run just under six.

Terrible music analogies complete, let's talk about the story. Seems a large amount of gold needs to be transported through China. Along the way, it will travel through Jungle Village, home to various gangs, whores and a whole host of undesirables. Complicating matters even further, are a few epic fights, double and triple crosses, curiously spicy ribs, badass weaponry and the most titty-free brothel ever put to film. Stuck in the middle of all this, is the local Blacksmith, played by RZA. This guy wants two things: 1) to live a decent life with his ladyfriend (she's a whore, but hey - the best whore) and 2) to keep his actual arms attached to his body. Spoiler alert! Oooh. About that...

I'm pretty sure that I went in to this one with the right expectations. I wanted ridiculous dialogue. I wanted ridiculous action. I wanted ridiculous violence. And while I did indeed get all three, in my opinion, it wasn't distributed properly. Too much talky, not enough fighty, though probably the perfect amount of spurty. Oh, yeah and no titty. Which not only tips the scales, but basically lactates all over them. Whatever the Hell that means.

Clearly, this is spiraling out of control, so I'll roundhouse the Yays and sweep the leg of the Boos. Trying to live without their love is one long sleepless night.

Pretty much the coolest Lions ever (minus Barry Sanders).
  • Visually, this one is incredible at times.
  • Pretty sure I pissed myself during the opening credits. The silly action and freeze frames was exciting enough, but then to hear Ol' Dirty behind it all? So there is a heaven after all...
  • Crazy Hippo! You should've probably just stayed seated, bro.
  • The only thing cooler than a boot with a knife in the toe, is what that knife does when you kick someone in the neck with it. 
  • The Gemini Stance. Not only is it amazingly badass (though rather impractical in combat), but extra credit for sounding like the worst eighties dance move ever.
  • Hidden rooms are always fun. So are hidden keyholes to access those rooms. So are statues' vaginas.
  • When a character gets each of his arms savagely cut off, you might assume that it won't be shown in all it's glory. That's why we never assume, children. Never.
  • Ultimately, I'm not sure this is even a Yay or not, but motherf--king Russell Crowe is in this. C'mon. That makes no sense/ is totally awesome.
  • Also, the giant brass guy was very cool. Maybe underused a bit, but awesome nonetheless. Pretty sure Dave Bautista could actually kill me just by telling me how he'd do it.
  • And finally, my favorite scene in the movie: the click-clak scene. It's like the delicately Asian version of Lion-O throwing up the Thundercats logo. Bitches, I mean, Thundercats, HOoooooooo!
  • I know it would have been risky, but I'm thisclose to saying they should have just dubbed the whole thing. Because...
  • The main bad guy sounds exactly like Dave Chapelle's version of Prince. Shoot the jay. Shoooot it.
  • And the RZA? His voiceover work sounds like a marginally more hardcore version of Christian Bale's Batman voice. Goodness! His narration is slightly redeemed by the rare occurrence of muthaf--ka in narration. Suck on that, Morgan Freeman.
  • And, since all dialogue is cliche-riddled and delivered so will know the end of every sentence uttered. It's slightly annoying...
  • Worst Sleepover Game Ever? It used to be, Let's draw a dick on someone's face. Now? Let's pretend we're Catholic.
  • What was with Guy Taking A Shit? An odd scene that went nowhere...
  • BAD MOVIE RULE #36: Cute little kids are the worst.
  • And finally, considering that three-quarters of this movie takes place in a whore house, it is shameful that the only boobies we get belong to a character calling himself Crazy Hippo. We were really striving for an authentic recreation of seventies kung-fu flicks and we skimp on the skin? What would Inspectah Deck say?
Some things are better left in the past, as the latest versions just aren't the same. An adorable and talented young Michael Jackson, for me, will always outshine the creepy, misguided and somewhat pathetic version of his older self. He tried to recapture the magic of the seventies and though there were moments, it never fully clicked.

The same could be said for RZA's The Man with the Iron Fists.


  1. I actually didn't even know this film existed. I'd probably give it a go just for that Asian Thundercats scene!

    1. Yes! Not that I'm recommending wholeheartedly or anything, but that scene was truly badass. Whores fall from the sky. Literally.

  2. Great review M. If it wasn't for the last 30 minutes, this movie would have been terribly disappointing, but since those last 30 minutes were in there, it's fun, exciting, and exactly the type of blood, guts, and gore I was expecting in the first-place. However, the story is a bit of a mess.

  3. It's sad, I already forget exactly what happened in that final half hour...but when the action picked up, I do remember thinking it was a good time.

    Just needed more of it.

  4. Great review! This movie doesn't sound like my thing at all, but I like Lucy Liu so I'm glad she's getting work.

    There is a voice out there more hardcore than Bale Batman's voice? That shit would definetly need subtitles.

    1. Yeah, you should probably give this one a pass. Lucy Liu is solid, but I'm not sure how long she can keep up the role of sexy, Asian lady, which she is clearly better than.

      The voice over sounds like it's all a part of the longest exhale ever, if that makes sense.

  5. Great write-up! Loved the opening credits too! Old school and bad-ass. And the brutal arm\skin ripping in the beginning was very cool.

    1. Damn it! I forgot about that kickass move. Pretty sure that's my go-to next time someone wants to fight me.

    2. Haha! Amazing kill move.

  6. I must see this for myself.

    Although, I really believe everything you said. I just really want to see this.