2 November 2012 | universalparadox
One of the worst films I've seen recently
RZA's film has some amount of imagination,but, simply put, he has no idea how to build, pace, or tell a story. He has made the unfortunate mistake of imitating a genre he loves without understanding what makes it work. The dialogue is half nonsensical exposition, half nauseating one-liners. Lots of clumsy penis and vagina jokes.
The plot is so diffuse...there is not enough time given to any character for them to be read as an actual character. The film fails in tying together any of these frayed threads and also fails to make what happens in any of them significant or sensible. For example there is a "betrayal" plot which happens in the first two minutes of the film, when there is no context to make that betrayal meaningful, make the traitor seem particularly villainous, etc. The acting is very broad and simplistic, which I guess is to be expected given the things RZA expects them to say. He doesn't seem to understand that all of these things, the characters, dialogue, plot points, etc. are pointless without a proper context.
Some people might be inclined to tell me it's the "point" of the movie to not have a story, to be a loose framework on which a series of fight scenes are hung. I'd first suggest that that is not a meaningful effort to make. But even as a visual spectacle or stylistic effort, it doesn't do very well. All of the fights are basically the same knife/sword play... none of the characters really have a specific fighting style, and the CGI gore lopped onto the fights is excessive and silly. The music cues are embarrassingly overdone...any time the film wants you to feel an emotion, the sappiest orchestral music instantly kicks in, to the beat of a hip hop song.
I think it's possible that RZA could make a good film someday, but this certainly isn't it.