Angry Robot

Iron Monkey

Miramax is giving Iron Monkey a North American release next month. For those of you who have never seen it, please go. It’s directed by Yuen Woo-Ping, who is now well known for having choreographed the fights in The Matrix. For what it’s worth, I would also lend my personal seal of approval to Wing Chun, another film he directed that has mad styles and a great performance by Michelle Yeoh. I wish he would get back in the fancy chair and “helm another picture”, as they say in Variety, as Iron Monkey is really a fantastic piece of action. I first saw it during the Fantasia Asian film fest in Montreal, and you could hear the minds being blown as the screening unfolded. Anyway, go watch the trailer.

By way of segue, the producer of Iron Monkey is Tsui Hark, a Hong Kong legend whose recent film <″>Time and Tide was watched, by me, last night, for the second time in as many months. The plot is almost unintelligible, yet the film somehow makes this seem a strength rather than a weakness. There’s a lot of hand-held camera, but not in the usual “hey, we’re shooting handheld, aren’t we realistic?” way – he gets very close to approximating the movement of the human eye. Constant glancing, very rarely resting on anything for long. And it contains a scene in which it’s clear the cameraman jumped out of a window while filming. Quite a picture.