Man With The Iron Fists is Wu Tang Clan founding member, RZA's writing and directorial debut. He also stars in the film. Normally someone taking on those three major roles for their first major film isn't necessarily a good thing (Exhibit A: The Room). But RZA had a good team around him. Eli Roth helped him with the script. Tarantino "presented" the film (essentially added his name for publicity). Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu joined the cast and added some street cred. As much as it kills me to say so, I dont think all that support was quite enough.
It just took me so \m/ long to get into it. I'll admit, some of that was on me. I had other things occupying my brainspace, but it was something that I could have put aside if the right story drew me in. I also thought RZA was a lil out of place. I couldn't quite figure how his character fit into things, I didnt think he was strong enough to carry a lead role, and I didnt quite buy his chemistry with his romantic leading lady played by Jamie Chung.
There was a cheese factor to the film that I kinda liked. I'm not sure how much of it was intentional, but I think most of it was. Loved the blood, which I'm sure we can thank Mr Roth for. There were also some _really_ cool and creative weapons. My favorite was the special armor one of our heroes wore that was booby trapped with spikes and projectiles. Some of the fight choreography was incredible. However, there were also a lot of really quick circular pans that made me dizzy. I guess that balances out. And yes, I did catch and appreciate the Enter the Dragon homage.
I actually did like seeing Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu. Both of these actors have kinda moved past this level of film, but you could see that they were doing it for pure fun. Besides giving the aforementioned street cred, they also significantly upped the quality. Not enough to make up for the unengaging plot, but a much needed contribution.
The Man With the Iron Fists - \m/ \m/