First Hit: Spoof or not – who knows but generally I couldn’t wait for it to be over.
I like spoofs and I like interesting, artistic, and fun kung-fu films. This film is none of these things. Why start an older Chinese time period film with a swear-word ridden rap song?
OK spoof, but then it doesn’t spoof enough so I think, OK not a spoof. Oops, wrong again, Jack Knife (think Mack the Knife and Jack the Ripper) played by Russell Crowe back to spoof. Nope, wrong again it is a true heart story of a Blacksmith (RZA) saving money by making weapons for bad people, and giving the money to his hooker sweetheart.
Spoof/odd Kung-Fu film/serious story, who knows and I can tell you neither does RZA who writes and directs this hodge-podge mess. The fun part was watching Lucy Liu as Madame Blossom in a nearly mirrored reprise of her earlier Quentin Tarantino film Kill Bill 1 role, O-Ren Ishii.
The overly complex plot with undefined characters, just so RZA can display lots of blood spurting everywhere, eyeballs flying out of skulls, limbs being severed and heads rolling was, in the end, tiring.
Crowe was wasted energy in this role. RZA tried to create himself as a learned man coming from both slavery and a monks training – poorly conceived. Liu was the best thing in this film to watch and stole all scenes she was in. Eli Roth and RZA wrote an ill-conceived screen play because they couldn’t decide what kind of film to make. Direction by RZA, although there were some wonderful shots, didn’t really seemed interested in conveying a cohesive direction and thought.
Overall: I wouldn’t know who the audience is for this film and the small audience in the theater reflected the mess on the screen.