The Man with the Iron Fists 2 is an improvement over the first movie and is a lot of fun; have a few beers first and there are worse ways to spend a Saturday night.
Plot: When a stranger, Thaddeus, is found badly wounded near the village, miner Li Kung and his wife Ah Ni offer him refuge. As he heals, he becomes entrenched in a conflict that pits the townsfolk against the evil Master Ho, his nefarious Beetle Clan and the terrifying Lord Pi.
Review: The first Man with the Iron Fists was mildly entertaining fun but was pretty forgettable and I think we were all surprised when they announced that a sequel was in development. The RZA once again returns as Thaddeus, AKA The Man with the Iron Fists and I have to admit that I enjoyed this more than the first.
The story was more straightforward and although it’s nothing new, it does have an old-school kung-fu movie feel about it. The RZA isn’t going to win any acting awards any time soon but Thaddeus is a likeable hero and watching him pound on bad guys with his iron fists is incredibly satisfying.
Directed by Roel Reine, he once again proves that he is one of the best indie directors working today with his work on Dead in Tombstone and Death Race 2 & 3 under his belt. His films are beautifully shot with coherent action scenes and this movie is no different. It also has plenty of over the top violence which is hilariously fun; prepare to behold one of the best exploding bad guy deaths of all time…
Dustin Nguyen gives a controlled performance as Li Kung; a man who refuses to engage the Beetle Clan in combat, however when his hand is forced it’s worth waiting for.
The fight scenes are well shot and it’s refreshingly filmed on real locations with the interior of the mines creating a genuine sense of scale.
Carl Ng is clearly enjoying himself as the smug villain Master Ho and you hate him from the second he comes on screen. He’s basically a cartoon villain with no depth at all but that’s what makes him so entertaining. Sometimes villains don’t need back stories and you just enjoy watching them be mean.
I’m always pleased to see Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa who plays The Mayor and his role is quite pivotal to the story.
Speaking of the story, there are a few twists and turns which I didn’t see coming so credit is definitely due there; the script from The RZA isn’t the best ever but it’s adequate to tell the story and the dialogue isn’t clunky.
I noticed during the opening credits that one of the Editors was one Chuck Norris but it’s a different guy, sadly.
I enjoyed the music when it was just the instrumental score but the hip-hop tunes felt totally out of place and I could have done without them.
It is a little slow in the first half and there is the odd piece of ropey acting but I’d be lying if I didn’t say this movie was a bloody good time.
The final twenty minutes has action galore with plenty of inventive violence and satisfying fight scenes.
Overall, The Man with the Iron Fists 2 is an improvement over the first movie and is a lot of fun; have a few beers first and there are worse ways to spend a Saturday night.