Iron Monkey


Sometimes the only way to become a hero is to be an outlaw.


Jurassic Mark

SCORE: 4 Stars

I'm usually willing to ignore the martial arts genre. With an average of 6-8 new features each week at my local cineplex, I'm not willing to invest much time in Asian "B" movies. I've seen the best of Bruce Lee. Yawn. Jackie Chan is a sensational stuntman (really!). Most of his movies suck (really!). John Woo is the most overrated filmmaker working today.

Then (upon suggestion from Buzz and DM) I rented Iron Monkey on DVD. Iron Monkey was originally released in 1993. Hands down, this is the best martial arts movie I've ever seen. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a great drama, but if you are looking for pure action, Iron Monkey is my pick. Iron Monkey begs comparison to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon because both movies feature the choreography of Woo-ping Yuen. Iron Monkey is more grounded than the high-flying Crouching Tiger. Neither movie is believable, but Iron Monkey is as successful an action picture as Crouching Tiger is a fantasy picture.

I'm willing to go out on a limb here. Iron Monkey is as good or better than any of the Die Hard films. For me this is high praise. I consider the Die Hard films second tier only to Spielberg films such as Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Jurassic Park (from whence my name was born).

Sure, Iron Monkey is campy. Yet, the film never strays far from a focused storyline. The characters are compelling. 

The strongest thing I can say about Iron Monkey is that the movie almost made me lift my moratorium on the purchase of DVD's. With ever increasing rentals at my disposal, I have found it unnecessary to buy discs. But, Iron Monkey fits a rare niche that is missing from my 100+ DVD library. Iron Monkey is relentless martial arts entertainment with a brain and inspired choreography. I'm ready to watch Iron Monkey again.

Drunken Master
SCORE: 1Beers

This movie defines Kung Fu......If you want to see a movie that is just about as bad ass as bad ass can get then this movie is the bar that all others strive for. Donnie Yen and Rongguang Yu fucking rock! I can't think of any other kung fu movie ever made that was so god damn awesome  my dick gets rock hard just thinking about Jean Wang's Miss Orchid, and they got a kid actor that can act and do kung fu. Jake Lloyd I hope you 
have another career in mind. This movie is very loosely based on a ancient Chinese mythical character that can to be a long long long time ago in a land some 3000 or so miles away. He was the "Iron Monkey"......a man who fought for the common man while trying to keep his identity a secret from those he walked amongst. However a Monk tired of the celibate ways and being poor decides to use his skills to gain wealth and power and the two end up face to face in a death match at the climax. The choreography for this movie is fantastic and the village in which it was filmed is perfect. Now when I think about movies that I could watch over and over at anytime....this movie is right up there.