“The Man With The Iron Fists” is a nice throwback to the Kung Fu flicks I watched as a boy in the 1980s in NYC during Saturdays at 3 p.m.  The movie is about government gold that has been stolen by gangsters in a village called Jungle; and now all types of shady characters come out of the woodwork to get a piece of the stolen loot.

There is Dave Bautista, who plays a thug who is nearly indestructible due to his brass body.  There is a surprisingly fat, Russell Crowe, who plays an Englishman who pretends to be only interested in whores; but you can tell he’s out for more than the pleasures of the flesh.  There is RZA, the blacksmith who happens to be black, and who also plays the title character who is honest and kind and just wants to earn enough money so he and his girlfriend can move to a better place and live out their lives in peace.  There is Lucy Liu, who plays Jungle’s whorehouse madame who is waiting for the right opportunity to seize power from the men she serves.

There are many more interesting, dirty, filthy characters, most of whom can’t act.  But that’s okay.  They can fight, and that’s what they’re really needed for.  And a lot of fighting is what you get.   Outrageous, high-wire fighting sequences you typically get in Hong Kong martial arts movies.   Not realistic, of course, but the point of this movie and those that inspired it is to entertain; and this movie is entertaining.

My most memorable, movie moment of “The Man With The Iron Fists” is the scene when one of the heroes is fighting Bautista.  The hero punches, stabs, and cuts Bautista only to see Bautista’s flesh immediately turn to brass when it is about to be harmed.  D’oh!  I would’ve turned around and ran, crying like an intern who just got felt up by an old Congressman.   How do you beat a guy like this?  Ah, don’t worry, Grasshopper…everything has a weak point; and no matter how strong one is, there is always another who is stronger.

Finally, for those who are my age and who lived in NYC watching Kung Fu flicks during the weekend, here is the link to a youtube clip of the intro to the 3 p.m. Saturday movies on Channel 5 in NY back in the ’80s: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vg9_RM3z0sk

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