(NEW YORK) — Set in 19th century China, The Man with the Iron Fists stars rapper-turned-actor/director RZA as the Blacksmith. His specialty, as it turns out, is making weapons. That’s going to come in handy when Silver Lion and his cohorts set out to rule Jungle Village (where the Blacksmith resides) and use it to hide gold they plan to steal from the emperor. What results is gravity-defying graphic violence, exploding heads and a merciless cruelty so bad, it’s good.
It’s not Blacksmith’s job to stop Silver Lion and company: after all, he’s just a blacksmith. He doesn’t really get involved until he saves Zen Yi, the sworn enemy of Silver Lion, and is consequently disfigured by Silver Lion and Brass Body. Got it?
The man the emperor sends to Jungle Village to get his gold back is Jack Knife, played by Russell Crowe. Jack is a lovable bastard (fans of Wu Tang clan, which is RZA’s group, might call Jack an Ol’ Dirty Bastard), one who takes more pleasure in killing than he does from the four prostitutes Madame Blossom has procured for him.
Who’s Madame Blossom? Why, it’s Lucy Liu, who doesn’t just preside over a house of ill repute. In hip-hop parlance, it’s more like a house of “ill assassins.”
Presented by Quentin Tarantino, The Man with the Iron Fists is a genre-bending, hilarious, exquisite blood fest! I think I’m going to call this genre kung fu-ploitation.
Four out of five stars.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jackie Wattles, CNN
Frank Pallotta, CNN