Rongguang Yu, Donnie Yen, Jean Wang
Widescreen; Chinese, English audio tracks; English subtitles; Quentin Tarantino introduction; Danny Yuen interview; score medley.
|Shot and released in Asia during the early '90s and featuring some of the most inspired aerial gymnastics ever committed to celluloid, a subtitled version of Yuen Wo-Ping's rollicking martial-arts adventure "Iron Monkey" recently got its first mainstream theatrical release in America. It's welcome. The belated run logically follows the recent U.S. success of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," which featured the genre's trademark acrobatic fight scenes with actors aided by invisible wires. "Iron Monkey" combines fantastical kung-fu action with 19th century Chinese historical trappings and the exploits of the title character, a nimble, heroic masked vigilante in the style of Batman or Zorro. A kindly doctor adopts the secret identity of the Iron Monkey, and, aided by a lovely female companion, he fights government corruption and defends the lives of the common folk. When a wandering combat expert and his savvy 10-year-old son hit town, local officials capture the kid to force Dad to stop the Monkey.|