Attempting to follow along the path forged by the likes of Quentin Tarantino, RZA (member of Wu-Tang Clan) pays homage to old school kung fu films with the second installment of The Man With the Iron Fists. Surprisingly the first one worked and entertained with its great fight sequences.
RZA is the only one left from the original and after seeing this one I think everyone else ran for the hills. He is also the screenwriter and there are precious few original ideas here. Plus the fight scenes are also not as interesting or intricate as in the first. That leaves nothing really to sink your teeth into as a viewer.
Thaddeus (RZA – American Gangster, Be Cool) wants to walk away from his warrior days and decides to travel to a temple that will bring him closer to Buddha. Through living a peaceful life he wants to strengthen his chi. Along the way he runs into former enemies who refuse to believe he is looking to give up his fighting ways. The fight results in Thaddeus being set adrift on a river.
He is pulled out of the water badly injured by girls who live near a mining town ruled over by members of the Beetle Clan. He is taken in by a young girl named Innocence (Pim Bubear) who convinces her mother, Ah Ni (Eugenia Yan – Memoirs of a Geisha), and her father, Li Kung (Dustin Nguyen – 22 Jump Street, Heaven & Earth), to let him stay hidden at their place so she can nurse him back to health.
Once he does regain consciousness he learns of how the evil Master Ho (Carl Ng – appeared in episodes of Covert Affairs) has exploited and brutalized the residents of the village. Because of his quest for peace, Thaddeus will not fight with them, but will forge weapons to help in their fight.
The best part of Roel Reiné’s (Death Race 2) film is the scenery as they filmed in Thailand. Some of it is quite breathtaking though not enough to rescue the mess that this is. RZA obviously really wants to be a martial arts star, but his skill does not match his desire. Maybe that is why the action sequences in the film are rather blah. They are limited by his lack of skill. Despite the fact that it is an ode to older kung fu/martial arts films that does not mean that you cannot give us something cutting edge in regards to action. The dull fights along with the paper thin story really sinks The Man With the Iron Fists 2.
-Rated or Unrated Versions
-Chi Warriors: The Making of The Man With the Iron Fists 2