There are a lot of kung fu movies in the world, but there’s only one Iron Monkey. It is the quintessential action film with the requisite weak storyline (plot? what plot?) but the old-school fights make the movie mesmerizing.
When his son is kidnapped, Wong Kei Ying (Donnie Yen) is forced to come out of ass-kicking retirement to work for the kidnapper. He is a master of the Hung Gar style of boxing and the kidnapper (who is also a corrupt politician) needs his serious skills to fend off a Robin Hood style thief known as Iron Monkey. See what we mean about the plot?
Luckily the fight scenes more than make up for any lapses in story. Iron Monkey is directed by Yuen Wo Ping, who went on to become the masterful martial arts choreographer behind The Matrix (1999) and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000). Even more impressive is that the fights were all done with no digital enhancement. Instead, the dazzlingly choreographed fight scenes were done with high-wire acrobatics. The action scenes harken back to the classic kung fu movies, including those by Yuen Wo Ping’s father, who served as action choreographer on a series of popular, long-running films centered around the Wong Fei Hung character in the 1950s.
If you are at all interested in kung fu films, you will love Iron Monkey. Watch the trailer below and prepare to be impressed:
Iron Monkey airs on IFC at 4:45 PM and Friday, Aug. 27 at 8:30 AM and at 5:00 PM EDT