Iron Monkey 2 has a few entertaining fights and an awesome bad guy death but Donnie Yen is wasted in a pointless role and the story makes little sense. Maybe I just wasn’t paying attention but I’d personally stick with the original classic.
Plot: Donnie Yen fights a deadly assassin named Tiger Yu and teaming a band of insurrectionists battling a malevolent gang of weapons smugglers.
Review: The original Iron Monkey is rightly considered one of the all-time great martial arts movies; although quite bad in comparison to the classic original Iron Monkey 2 is quite entertaining and is filled with plenty of fantastical (if sometimes incomprehensible) action.
I’m not normally a fan of wirework fight scenes, in fact I hate them, but in a fantasy style movie it doesn’t really bother me quite as much. Donnie Yen returns albeit in a smaller role than the first but he still eats up the screen and the fight scenes he has are good, if not amazing.
The climactic battle is the highlight of the movie with an awesome bad guy death (trapped in a net and burned to death) giving us a satisfying finale. Some of the action is speeded up which was a poor decision as Donnie Yen is impressive to watch without needing to do that. Billy Chow’s fighting was also pretty awesome but the story is where the film falls down.
It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense and I’m pretty sure they stole music from other movies too! I could swear I heard the music from Interview with the Vampire and True Lies at one point. There is also no real reason for Iron Monkey to be in this story; he just sort of appears and helps people out when they need it but there are other stories going on which aren’t really all that interesting.
The dubbing is pretty rotten and I would love to find a subtitled and remastered version of the film to see if it makes a bit more sense.
Overall, Iron Monkey 2 has a few entertaining fights and an awesome bad guy death but Donnie Yen is wasted in a pointless role and the story makes little sense. Maybe I just wasn’t paying attention but I’d personally stick with the original classic.