Iron Monkey

release year: 1993
genre: martial arts
viewing setting: home DVD, 12/31/04

synopsis: His martial arts and acrobatic skills are extraordinary; he steals from the rich and gives to the poor, and the corrupt authorities are determined to catch him. He is...the Iron Monkey!

impressions: This is a real (i.e. not made in the U.S.) martial arts film, and much more watchable than Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. It's got incredible fight sequences (both actual and using wires etc) which are amazing to watch. It's also got a strong story involving the secret identity of the Iron Monkey, the dirty politicians he robs and evades, and the stranger who is tricked/forced into fighting him. Last but not least, it's got a lot of genuinely funny comedic bits.

things to watch for: Any of the fight scenes.

something this movie has that no other movie has: A kid beating the crap out of a gang of attacking adults.

acting: It's tough to really rate the acting, since this movie's subtitled. Rongguang Yu is the double-identitied Iron Monkey, and conveys his peaceful and combatitive personalities very well. Donnie Yen is the highly-skilled stranger who alternately fights and allies with the Monkey. Jean Wang is the Monkey's sidekick, who can also fight. Sze-Man Tsang plays the stranger's son, who can ALSO fight (basically, most people in this movie have some level of fighting skill.)

final word: Good martial-arts drama, well worth watching.

back to the main review page