Staring: RZA, Russell Crowe, Lucy Liu
Directed by: RZA
Written By: RZA
Rating: R (US) Running Time: 1 hr 36 min
I guess the intention of this film was to create a fun homage to old martial arts movies, but sadly it fails completely. For starters, it needed to pick its central hero. You could argue it was the Blacksmith, but the story keeps leaving him to follow two other contenders for lead protagonist. Russell Crowe as Jack the knife, and Rick Yune as The X-Blade. At least the later two could act. Secondly, it needed to have at least one saving grace. Something it did really well to make up for everything else they got wrong. A lot of old martial arts movies deliver plenty of hammy dialog, and over blown vitriol while telling extremely simple stories. The one thing they nearly always get right is the action. Beautifully choreographed, exciting to watch, and hopefully showcasing the martial artist’s skills without resorting to too much wire work and CGI. Fist’s story wasn’t simple enough. It’s dialog not cheesy enough, and its action set pieces were really badly filmed and edited.
Keep your expectations low and you might get something out of this. Russell Crowe is at least entertaining to a limited degree.
Best viewing format:
The art direction and set design are actually quite good so I’d say a matinee screening might work. A Blu-ray home viewing works too.
Best moment for me: << mild spoiler >>
Jack Knife guts a fellow patron of the Pink Blossom brothel, and then ever so loudly explains to everyone looking on to leave him alone because he’s on vacation. No problem Jack, no problem at all!