Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Man with the Iron Fists, a review

Honestly, do you really need a plot summary?

*reads blogger contract*

K'fine.

There are a lot of people in this that want some gold, and not unlike most Tarantino films, a lot of blood and attitude will be spilled in order to get paid.

TECHNICAL

I went in expecting a B movie treatment of a well-worn genre, and was not disappointed. Let me explain. The cinematography is less chaotic than your average Ritalin induced MTV flick, allowing us to catch each muscle flip and body kick with the average intensity of brushing the dandruff off your shoulder. Title cards announce (to the tunes of rap and strings) the credits, happily inter-cutting between images of fighting and gore and awesome.

As much as I wanted to be annoyed by the film, there is very little that technically pissed me off. The editing is occasionally spotty but lacks any sort of memorable instance of pissedoffery. The set pieces are above standard

NARRATIVE

HAH.

Okay okay. The film puts a modern spin on an ancient genre, giving us a lot of "serious" action mixed in with some truly horrific dialogue. The only real issue is that I kept waiting for a 'wink' to be thrown towards the audience, and none really came. Which isn't a problem per se, except that I prefer being flirted with outright just so I know if approaching the film halfway will result in me spending more time with it.

Anyway.

The writing is pretty awful, but I think this carries a certain amount of charm with it. Russell Crowe clearly has some juicy bits in this, smoking opium, getting frank and frisky with women and gutting people like squishy pigs. He looks like he's enjoying every second of it, and the camera lets him. Seriously, he was my favorite part of this fun little flick.

The rest of the acting is uniformly unimpressive, and I wish a strong female character had been present. The one instance has a minor character die in a pretty mediocre battle. Lame.

THEMES

Try as I might, I cannot remember much. Don't steal gold from the federal government?

CONCLUSION

In all seriousness, think of this as "Kill Bill" meets "Kung Fu Hustle" with 99 Problems playing in the background. Watch it with friends. Enjoy it over drinks. Several drinks. Many drinks. It's as much fun as one can legally have in Southern California at this current time.

3 out of 5.

--Nick

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