The tradition of the Shaw Brothers continues with with the RZA’s second installment in The Man with the Iron Fists series.
The Man with the Iron Fists 2 begins where the first one left off. Thaddeus (RZA) has been injured and washes to shore near a village, where farmer Li Kung (Dustin Nguyen) resides peaceful with his wife Ah Ni (Eugenia Yuan) until a band of savage warriors and warlord Master Ho (Carl Ng) take over. The men are now forced to work the mines, as the women and children are slaughtered.
Little does the warlord know, Li Kung is a retired assassin for hire, and the peace he once believed to have found must be pushed aside to save his family, his village and his honor. In what makes for a classic martial arts movie.
“I grew up in Vietnam and I moved to the states at 11. I was weaned on the Shaw Brothers and Golden Harvest Films and have the same kind of
passion for those films as RZA does. When the first one came out I thought, ‘Oh what a great homage to the original ones’. At the time I was offered another film, but when it came up, it was a no brainer, it was a chance to play. The character was a great character to dive into. It was hardly a decision for me,” said Nguyen, who moved back to Vietnam 3 years ago to focus on making Eastern films.
An Ni is no damsel in distress. The power of her character comes from the lineage that Yuan herself comes from. An Ni stands strong and is really the support that Li Kung needs in order to become the hero his village needs.
“Where as he’s solid and doesn’t show emotion as the driven hard working man in the martial arts way. I’m the only soft part that can only get a smile out of him to show his humanity when he comes home. I’m the one who wants to make him smile, soften him and love him. I’m a very solid force, I have the same amount of force and power that he has.” said Yuan, who reflected on her grandmother walking across China from the southern region to Shanghai.
The RZA co-wrote the film with screenwriter John Jarrell, allowing them to pull together this international cast. RZA even had a fanboy moment when Yuan’s mother, The Queen of Swords, Pei-pei Cheng visited the set.
“When RZA met her, he was really excited. It was like meeting a childhood hero. My mother is always working, I wanted her to relax and have a vacation. Luckily, she came during my light filming week. She’d train by herself and after filming, we would sit and enjoy each other’s company… I never tried to really act because of my mom, but you can’t always run from it. It’s not because you don’t value them, but it’s really hard to follow. There is no other ‘Queen of Martial Arts’ I don’t want to compete with her. I want her to always be that, plus we are two different people,” said Yuan on the legacy she no longer shies away from.
This instant classic had Dutch filmmaker Roel Reiné take over for RZA as director this go-around, allowing the rapper/actor/writer to focus on the story instead of wearing every hat through this production.
“Roel Reiné wanted to keep the integrity of the first film within this one and keeping it grounded in the dramatic premise in the characters and story. It was for for me to do all the action stuff and giving a little bit of weight to a character with a dark past while trying to be a father, battling the inner killer he used to be,” said Nguyen.
The movie is loaded with action. It’s an Eastern Spaghetti Western that will sure to delight fans of the Martial Arts genre.
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Bonus Features on Blu-ray™ and DVD
Chi Warriors: The Making of Man With the Iron Fists 2 – a behind-the-scenes look at the making of The Man with the Iron Fists 2 featuring the cast and crew including director Roel Reiné and star RZA
Feature Commentary with director Roel Reiné and executive producer and star RZA
The Man with the Iron Fists 2 releases on Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital HD Combo Pack, Tuesday, April 14, 2015