x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

The Man with the Iron Fists: joyful for fans of violent action movies

This absurdly over-the-top martial arts actioner owes more than a little to Tarantino in tone and style

Russell Crowe as Jack Knife in The Man with the Iron Fists. AP Photo / Universal Pictures
Russell Crowe as Jack Knife in The Man with the Iron Fists. AP Photo / Universal Pictures

The Man with the Iron Fists
Director: RZA
Starring: Russell Crowe, Lucy Liu, RZA, Cong Le, Byron Manny
***

Better known as the front-man of the American rap group Wu-Tang Clan, RZA (Robert Fitzgerald Diggs) co-writes, directs and stars in this lively, violent gang-related tale set in 19th-century China. RZA stars as the local blacksmith who has been forced by tribal factions to create nasty weapons of destruction.

When the tribal wars boil over, matters naturally come to a head. Wearing its influences proudly on its sleeve - it's an absurdly over-the-top martial arts actioner that owes more than a little to Tarantino in tone and style - the film is unlikely to convince non-believers of RZA's talents either behind or in front of the camera.

Essentially, it offers a familiar sequence of set pieces that, while enjoyable enough, hardly deliver anything radically new. Fans are likely to lap it up with glee, even if others remain nonplussed.