Monday, 30 September 2013
Man with the Iron Fists (4¾ Stars)
This is a Grindhouse Hong Kong martial arts crossover film. As such it's very successful. The overlayed parody elements are much more effective than in "Kung Fu Hustle".
The story takes place in Jungle Village, China. The date isn't specified, but I estimate the second half of the 19th Century. Let me quote the plot summary from IMDB, because I couldn't put it better myself:
In Jungle Village the leader of the Lions Clan, Gold Lion, is summoned by the Governor and assigned to protect his gold that will be transported through the village. However, he is betrayed and murdered by the greedy Silver Lion. Gold Lion's favourite son, Zen Yi aka The X-Blade, seeks revenge and heads to Jungle Village, but he is defeated by Brass Body and rescued by Thaddeus, the local blacksmith. Meanwhile, the Gemini Killers are protecting the Governor's gold, but they are vanquished by the army of Silver Lion. The blacksmith is abducted by the Lions Clan and has his arms severed by Brass Body. He is saved by the Englishman Jack Knife, who is acting as the emissary of the Emperor, and he manufactures iron arms for himself. Meanwhile, the Governor sends the Jackal army to fight against the Lions, and they hide the gold in the brothel of Madam Blossom. However, Madam Blossom and her girls form an army of black widows and together with Jack, Zen Yi and the blacksmith they fight against the Lions.
Does all that sound complicated? That's because it is, and yet the film is never bogged down by the details. It's exciting from beginning to end. Just ignore the negative reviews the film has been given by many others. If you enjoy grindhouse action or kung fu films you'll love it.