So it turns out The Man With The Iron Fists, which I saw this weekend was NOT the kids movie that opened. I never actually thought it was, but there was a moment when I was turned around a little because the target audience for this Kung Fu thriller appeared to be “people with a third grade reading level”. Thus, the confusion.
It’s not like I was expecting grand things. Hell, I wasn’t even expecting a good thing, and that was very lucky because if I had been expecting anything other than a horrible thing, I would have been disappointed. I mean…this movie was stooopid. Like Sucker Punch stupid. I don’t say that lightly. A movie has to make almost zero sense to be on that level of inanity. I don’t know if that’s a word for sure, but if I take the time to look it up the entirety of The Man With The Iron Fists will slip away from me the way the memory of birthing pains or the other songs of the Baja Men disappear for the sake of self-preservation and the continuance of the species.
The movie was directed, co-written (along with the heavily eye-browed Eli Roth and not one of my kids trying to see how many words they could think of that rhyme with “fart”…Seriously, I found a list like that in my bathroom yesterday….but that’s the kind of “writing” we’re talking about here), and starred RZA, which is not an immunodeficiency disease like I thought at first. No. RZA is the guy who has done a ton of soundtracks for a bunch of cool movies and acted in a bunch too, but I can’t focus between this and my IMDB tab long enough so maybe just look him up yourself. I like that he did so much of this by himself, and it troubles me to bag on a film that is not typical Hollywood fare…I mean somebody really went out on a limb here, and to punish them via words for their effort seems unfair. Because if you had read THAT script and still thought this was a good idea…there just isn’t enough cocaine in the world to justify it, actually.
The problem is not that it is a stupid, violent meathead of a movie. I’m cool with that. Meathead movies are typically my bread-and-butter. But come on. There has to be a narrative thread hidden in there somewhere. It can’t just be a weirdly convoluted mess of fight montages and serious looks at the camera. If I wanted to watch dudes just punch on each other in the head for no good reason, I’d go to a dive bar at 1:30am and put “Let The Bodies Hit the Floor” on the jukebox like 20 times in a row. Okay, the guy with the superpunches is mad at the fan lady and has to do…ummm….something…before…uh…. Yeah. No idea.
The fan lady is played by the infinitely beautiful Lucy Liu and the chunky guy with the too tight uniform is played, impossibly, by Russell Crowe. I had to go back and watch A Beautiful Mind after this was over to double-check that Russell Crowe hadn’t been lobotomized. What the hell did he just say? Those words don’t even go together in English I don’t think. RZA (The guy NOT the one strand of DNA that isn’t DNA that I can’t remember), plays the main character “Blacksmith”, and is not a good actor in this movie. That’s absolutely the nicest way I can say that. Again…someone really went out on a limb here. I’m not a dreamcrusher. Also, I would think RZA has a mom out there (MZA?) and I don’t want her to think she shouldn’t be proud of her son, because that is a mother’s right even when the kid is punching girls under the slide in 3rd grade for not showing their junk to him,* or if he’s robbing banks with infected IV needles, or if he’s making derivative and incomprehensible chop-socky movies.
You know the movie you rent when you want to get really stoned and just watch cool shit? This is that movie. Entertainment value-wise, this is on par with buying a baby bunny and chasing it around the house with the vacuum cleaner until its heart explodes.
*Sorry, Tammy L.!