In feudal China, several warrior factions battle over a hidden treasure, the battle leads to a small village where a local blacksmith must defend the love of his life against the chaos.
With a screenplay co-written by Eli Roth, production credit to Quentin Tarantino, staring Rick Yune, Lucy Liu and Russell Crowe in leading roles, you might believe this has got a lot going for it! But, its written, directed and features RZA as its lead star. Don’t know who RZA is? He is a hip-hop music icon. Acting is not his fortay.
The film does not have story, acting or structure as strong points, in fact I was getting a little tired of it after a while. I don’t know, imagine Kill Bill mixed with… Black Dynamite?
Russell Crowe looks like he is having a lot of fun here though; introducing his character in the middle of a brothel fight by shouting at the top of his lungs: “MY NAME IS MR KNIFE!” Yes, all the characters have ridiculous names, but I grew to like them: Lady Silk; Bronze Body; The X-Blade; Poison Dagger. It was an entertaining leap of distilled silliness.
The action and the creative weaponry is the reason to watch this film otherwise. We have a duo who throw each other around, a woman with guns on her thighs, spinning gun-daggers, the golden brother of X-Man Colossus, tongue daggers, its pretty lively in its methods of killing people.
But for all its ridiculousness I found the dull, droning narration from RZA ill fitting, and the story cannot linger on one character long enough to really appreciate them (except Russell Crowe’s Jack Knife, who probably steals the show) as such I would rather watch Kung Fu Hustle, Kill Bill or even Sucker Punch, which all feel like they truly grasp what they want to achieve.
It is brainless and predictable, but somewhat unique in its attempts. Not one-hundred percent sure about feudal-China mixed with a hip-hop soundtrack though, and I’m sure that was one thing Mr RZA was banking on.