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Iron Monkey

Starring Donnie Yen
Screenplay by Tsui Hark, Cheung Tan, Pik-Yin Tang, Tai-Muk Lau
Directed by Yuen Wo Ping

IN SHORT: An A-level B-movie. [Rated PG-13 for martial arts action/violence and brief sexuality. 89 minutes]

In Chinese, English subtitles.

Stunning visuals and a pair of incredible martial arts battles kind of make you wish that more of these flicks were commercially released here. Thank Quentin Tarantino for pushing this one, which crosses the very fine line dividing story-free fighting flicks and, uh, fighting flicks with any kind of story. Simply, we're at the age where it doesn't take a lot to satiate our need to see fists and feet and bodies flying through the air. And that, dear friends, is why God invented the concept of Rental.

The big push, of course, is that Iron Monkey is directed by Yuen Wo Ping, the fight choreographer of The Matrix which is why you see words like "Matrix"and "better than The Matrix". It's called running a comparison down into the ground and it doesn't do this flick any good, considering that you've been able to get it on tape in its native Chinese for at least a year. If all you want is to see Matrix style fighting, who the heck cares about language or lack of subtitles?

Iron Monkey has one drop dead killer fight scene, involving its heroes on top of burning bamboo poles, and one more with a kidlet wielding a stick twice the size that he is. Given that Iron Monkey was dumped into theaters to grab extra cash in a lousy movie season, we covered most of this in the message boards.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Nine Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Iron Monkey, he would have paid . . .


kidlets can date to this. Grownups can get pay per view.

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