The Man With the Iron Fists was reminiscent of authentic Chinese Kung-Fu movies, with overly dramatic and violent action scenes. It debuted on Friday, November 2 in North America, and grossed 13.2 million dollars. Generally, film critics did not like it, as they found it confusing and random.
Andrew Barker, a film critic on Variety.comwas not kind to the film: “The Man With the Iron Fists withbears strong resemblance to a hyperactive puppy: sloppy, scatterbrained, manic and migraine-inducing, but possessing an earnest sense of excitement.” Barker also criticized writer/director/lead actor, RZA (Robert Fitzgerald Diggs), saying: “RZA is too withdrawn an onscreen presence to carry the film.”
It did seem that RZA was largely aloof, but one can easily tell that he was completely devoted to the making of this film, paying close attention to the smallest details. RZA created a whole world of characters, and complex mythologies. He created many different clans, playing both minor and major roles contributing to the enrichment of the film, and he drew inspiration from classic Kung-Fu films.
The film did seem too complicated for the story to be understood completely. The plot kept thickening, with many twists added to the storyline, and new antagonists and protagonists constantly being added. At times it got hard to tell what was happening. To say the least, the film lacked a professional touch.
The Man With the Iron Fistswas truly a work of art for RZA, who went into incredible detail to make the movie seem that much more authentic. RZA trained in martial arts for 1-2 hours a day over the course of 2 months to prepare for his lead role as the Blacksmith. RZA first rose to fame in the rap group Wu-Tang Clan,which began in 1992 and still continues to make music.
Sophomore Lucio Botello, a fan of RZA and Kung-Fu movies, said: “The Man With the Iron Fists was phenomenal. RZA did very well with his first movie.”
Quentin Tarantino (creator of the Kill-Billseries) mentored RZA to help him make the film that much better. Among the cast of The Man With the Iron Fistswas Lucy Liu, who also appeared in Kill Bill.David Batista, MMA fighter and WWE wrestler, played the role of Brass Body, the main villain. Russell Crowe, lead actor of Gladiator, was introduced seeming like an antagonist, but later transformed into one of the main protagonists.The Man With the Iron Fistswasn’t well received by most critics, but it was loved by many movie-goers.