The Real Iron Monkey 真假鐵馬騮 (2014) - Hong Kong
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
For fans of Asian martial arts cinema, the words”Iron Monkey” resembles two key landmark films, one is Shaw Brothers Chen Kuan Tai and the other is the famed Donnie Yen’s 90s classic. It’s no surprise that “The Real Iron Monkey” attempts to dwell in on past successes and even managed to provide some screen time to “Iron” Chen Kuan Tai “Monkey” reprising the aforementioned role. The film was filmed in 2014, but only garnered its DVD and Blu Ray release this year, therefore some of the actors may well have matured since then. To compare this film with the classic predecessor would be unfair as they don’t have the same calibre of actors and directors.
Former TVB actor Pierre Ngo Ka Kin (“Ip Man 4”) headlines this film as Iron Monkey’s grandson and impresses in several of the fight scenes. Mo Mei-lin (“Shaolin Soccer”) gets a sizeable action role as a completing Kung fu master and martial arts association President-elect. Stunts-woman Mandy Ho (“Special Female Force”) gets to show some moves throughout the proceedings. Meanwhile veteran Ku Fēng gives the role of the president of the martial arts association some welcome presence. TVB actor Alex Lam Tsz Sin provides the much needed comic timing and martial arts veteran Chen Kuan Tai rounds out the proceedings as Iron Monkey.
All in all, “The Real Iron Monkey” tries hard to go the old school Kung Fu style genre and whilst the action scenes are well shot, the overall story is far too loose for another form of suspense or unexpected moments. We know what will happen next and the anticipated final fight scene between Iron Monkey and his nemesis never quite hit its mark. At the end of the day, Director Ken Yip never tries to reinvent the wheel and adding to his often bland direction, there is nothing new about this film.
I rated it 5/10