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RZA's debut feature isn't just a kung-fu film, it's an abstract collection of everything he loves about the genre, from flat-voice acting to gruesome decapitations. It's also an unrelenting, unrepentant mess. Did you expect anything less? We watch as Madame Blossom (Lucy Liu) the Blacksmith (RZA) Jack Knife (Russell Crowe) and a collection of other archetypes battle to steal a cache of gold, but nonstop visual flourishes and film references trump the fight scenes and "story." Crowe is the MVP, gleefully spending most of his screen time in a whorehouse. Unfortunately, for all his audacity, it's RZA who holds the picture back from being anything but a hermetically sealed genre tribute. He's trying too much — too many disparate styles and tones (his reverence often feels like spoof), too many characters, too many CGI effects. It desperately wants to be Kill Bill — Quentin Tarantino even serves as "presenter"— but unlike that picture, Iron Fists never transcends its genre shackles.

  Topics: Reviews , Quentin Tarantino, review, Eli Roth,  More more >
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ARTICLES BY JAKE MULLIGAN
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