Today’s Prayer Focus

The Man with the Iron Fists

MPA Rating: R-Rating (MPA) for bloody violence, strong sexuality, language and brief drug use.

Reviewed by: Pamela Karpelenia

Moral Rating: Extremely Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:
Primary Audience: Adults Teens
Genre: Martial-Arts Action 3D
Length: 1 hr. 36 min.
Year of Release: 2012
USA Release: November 2, 2012 (wide—1,800+ theaters)
DVD: February 12, 2013
Copyright, Universal Picturesclick photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Universal Pictures

FILM VIOLENCE—How does viewing violence in movies affect families? Answer

Who is actor/director RZA?

RZA is a primarily a Hip Hop music producer and rapper. According to Wikipedia (Nov. 2012), “Rza is affiliated with the Nation of Gods and Earths and usually wears the NGE Universal Flag as a necklace. … He also has taken on various aspects of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Islam, and Christianity as stated in his book The Wu-Tang Manual as well as Hinduism… Qur'an, The Bible, and Lotus Sutra are three of his favorite books…”

answers about RELIGION


Why I stopped following Buddha and started following Jesus Christ? Answer

Ten Questions I’d Ask If I Could Interview Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha) Today

Can mysticism lead to God? Answer

personal story: Jesus Christ 2, Buddha 0


sharing Christ with Hindus

an open letter to disciples of Hinduism

What is Monism and Pantheistic Monism? Who believes in Monism? Is it biblical? Answer

MYSTICISM—Can mysticism lead to God? Answer

REINCARNATION—Does the Bible allow for this possibility? Answer



gold in the Bible

money in the Bible



slavery in early America

conditions in feudal 19th century China

lone outsider hero

courage, bravery, self-sacrifice

Featuring RZA … The Blacksmith
Russell CroweJackknife
Lucy LiuMadame Blossom
Jamie Chung … Lady Silk
Osric Chau … Blacksmith’s Assistant
Dave Bautista … Brass Body
Pam Grier
Zhu Zhu … Coco
See all »
Director RZA
Producer Arcade Pictures
Iron Fists
See all »

“Seven clans, a fortune in gold. Let the battle begin.”

“The Man with the Iron Fists” is modern Kung Fu flick about weapons, lust and lust for power and gold. This movie opens with the narration by the lead, Blacksmith (RZA) he gives bits of a backstory that feeds in the murder of the great leader of China’s Jungle Village by one of his own. The scene changes to the son of the murdered leader with his future wife. The son receives the bad news of his father’s death and vows revenge.

The acting by the lead is horrible, really horrible. Sadly, it is the lack of acting from the lead that turned me off for most of the film, that among other things, which I’ll get to later. Russell Crowe’s character “Jackknife” is a depraved and crude hero type, and it is conveyed well, due to Crowe’s acting skills. Madame Blossom’s (Lucy Liu) acting deserves a slight nod. The story is okay, at best, and felt as if it was either not fully thought out or just a poor leading man that couldn’t fully persuade the viewing audience of the film’s meaning or the intent of the story/plot. The best parts of the film are the Kung Fu fighting scenes, especially the ones including the character Brass. If there is any redeeming quality, it is in the masterful choreography that is obviously in place for each fighting sequence.

There were many reasons why I couldn’t enjoy the film, besides the leading actor. The violence is just (pardon the pun) overkill. When I learned that Quentin Terontino had a hand in the film, I kind of knew what to expect, but, by all accounts, even with violence in the film, it may be considered tamer if one is familiar with his other films.

The movie’s major scenes take place in a brothel run by Madame Blossom, so sex and nudity are present and have a running under theme throughout the picture. Finally, where would any secular, Hollywood film be without bad language? There are about a dozen swear words with a couple of N words in the mix.

Trying to pull any truth from this film is a challenge. There is a failed attempt to mix Biblical Christianity with Buddhism. Even though Buddhists tend to deny a Creator God, among other things that contradict Scripture. That aside, I did recall a couple of verses that I thought rang ever true.

Romans 12:19—Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord

1 Timothy 6:10—For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

I highly recommend that people avoid this film. It is an insulting, self-indulgent, violence-soaked canard—think a D grade “Kung Fu Hustle” and an F grade 70s Kung Fu flick.

Violence: Extreme / Vulgarity: Heavy to extreme—f-words, s-word, hell, ass / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: Heavy to extreme—prostitutes, brothel, sex acts

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Negative—I am motivated to write this because of the damage that viewing just a few minutes of this flick has inflicted. So, it’s movie night for us, and we settle in for what we thought would be a kung-fu movie. The movie begins, and it seems amateur, with poor production quality. As the titles roll, a man narrates, introducing us to the characters. We are busy fiddling with the remote, thinking that we have to adjust the settings. Nope—still looks pretty bad. We start questioning our decision to watch this movie. The acting is sub-par.

At first, I thought it was a foreign film that was dubbed, it’s so awful. But the reason we pressed “Eject” is not the extreme gruesome bloodshed depicted onscreen in just the first few minutes of the movie. It is not even the fact that a respected actor enters a brothel and announces his intent. It’s what is shown (rather graphically) after that. We were shocked. It was sudden and unexpected, and we were taken aback—“can they show this in a movie?!”

I am actually writing this the next day, and I still feel violated that I was exposed to such pornography. This was recommended to my husband as having a “good review.”

Normally, I check out both and Plugged In before watching a movie. I failed to do it this time. Whether it was in my haste to try out our new TV, or just plain laziness, this movie has left my mind scarred with visual images as a reminder to never do THAT again. I am utterly dismayed at myself for this bad decision. Please do yourself a favor and stay away from this. I still am reeling.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: ½
L Miyamoto, age 45 (USA)

PLEASE share your observations and insights to be posted here.