When I heard that the RZA was going to make a martial arts movie, I knew I had to watch it. When I read that Tarantino would be directing it, I knew that I really had to watch it. When I watched the movie, I knew I'd watched it.
So... it turned out to be pretty good! The RZA plays a black blacksmith (Hey!) in some Asian country. You might think that's strange, but wait until they start speaking English instead of Mandarin (or whichever Asian language it is they do speak). Sometimes they mix in a little foreign languages (like French and that Asian language) to keep it real, but most of the actors are actually American. Apart from American Asians there are a bunch of Asians who speak English fluently, and a minority who don't. The minority who don't are probably the ones who really are amazing at martial arts. Actually, most of the major actors in this movie don't know martial arts at all, it just looks like they do because the movie is filmed so damn well.
The action is a bit like Kill Bill. It's Tarantino after all! You'll see the same kinds of transitions, a lot of blood and just.. generally good filmography. Tarantino always manages that, somehow. This is all mixed up with RZAs narrative, soundtrack, and a story about a shipment of gold and a lot of different clans going to war and betraying each other. There's really not as much action as I expected the movie to have, so I guess I had my hopes set a little too high for this one, but there definitely is a lot of action. It's good action. It's gritty and brutal and bloody and RZA can't act for shit, but it has a grindhouse feel combined with traditional martial arts and a little exaggerated Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon flying-all-over-the-place kind of fighting. If you like these kind of movies, if you like Tarantino's movies, if you like action and you like martial arts and Asian culture, you're going to love this. Check it out!
rated 4/5: fo shizzle