Writer: RZA, Eli Roth (Screenplay) RZA (Story)
Starring: RZA, Rick Yune, Russell Crowe, Lucy Liu, Dave Bautista, Jamie Chung, Cung Le, Byron Mann
Story: Jungle Village part of a fictional ancient Chinese time has a string of characters who want control. After fierce warrior Gold Lion is betrayed by Silver Lion (Mann) and Bronze Lion (Le), all hell is about to break out in Jungle Village. When news of Gold Lion’s death reaches his son Zen Yi or The X-Blade (Yune) he travels across China for vengeance. After feeling guilty for creating the weapons that killed Gold Lion Blacksmith (RZA) helps a wounded X-Blade build a new suit after Brass Body (Bautista) proves too hard to beat being due to his body unable to take blade damage. Along with Jack Knife (Crowe) can they bring peace back to the village before it is too late?
Verdict: Grindhouse meets martial arts to make an effect ride of a film
Story: It follows the paths of many characters all affect by events; it is all told in a way over the top style with plenty of blood splatter. Granted you will have to switch off any part of your mind that will want to see anything real. The fight scenes are brilliantly put together with each character having their strengths and weakness. Each character has strong motives for the actions be it greed, redemption, revenge or vengeance. (8/10)
Actor Review: RZA – Plays the Blacksmith with a dark past who the warriors of the village think can walk all over. Doesn’t shine as much as he could, but does end up an unforeseen threat when it comes to what he is capable of. Struggles to be the main lead would look a lot more comfortable in a supporting role. Poor Performance Award (6/10)
Actor Review: Rick Yune – as the warrior son out for vengeance performs well in the fight scenes. Good performance knowing he has a task to complete without letting emotion conflict him. (8/10)
Actor Review: Russell Crowe – Fighting for the Emperor to retrieve the missing gold, has a unique weapon that inflicts maximum damage. Has a lot of fun with this role soon becomes the most interesting character due to some air of mystery about him. Star Performance Award (9/10)
Actor Review: Dave Bautista – The muscle fighter makes it impossible to beat him with blades. Typical henchman role showing the former wrestler has a chance at a career in the bodyguard role business. (7/10)
Actor Review: Byron Mann – After stabbing his leader in the back for power his greed will soon take him lethalness to a new level. Also takes pleasure from killing people. Creates a very creepy psychotic villain, which really pushes the good guys to the limits. Favourite Character Award (9/10)
Director Review: RZA – Directorial debut shows how he can put together good ideas for characters, makes the film fun rather than serious which works for the material. He will be one director to watch out for in the future. (9/10)
Action: Great fight scenes which a huge body count, potentially a bit too violent for some. (8/10)
Special Effects: With a Brass body character the special effects to create that work well, but what does the film down is the clear use of ropes/strings in the fight scenes you can almost see the characters stop in mid-air before starting again. (6/10)
Music: All the rap music is trying to mix East with West but I feel it doesn’t work and unnecessary for the back ground music. (4/10)
Settings: The ancient Chinese village is a good setting with authentic looking building to create the fight scenes in. (9/10)
Suggestion: It is clear that inspiration has come from classic Grindhouse films and the new modern take on them. If you like those films you will definitely enjoy this film. If you want just martial arts you may get put off by the over use of blood and if you don’t like violence find something else. If you just want a fun over the top action film check it out. (Give It A Go)
Best Part: Final Battle is great, but honourable mention is Jack Knife introduction.
Worst Part: Over violent.
Favourite Quote: Jack Knife ‘I always bring a gun to a knife fight’
Trivia: The first cut was Four hours long but was cut down to 90minutes.
Similar Too: Kill Bill, Machete
Overall: Rampage of fighting mixing a range of fighting styles.