Iron Heart (1992)

Posted in Reviews by - March 20, 2020
Iron Heart (1992)

It takes a special kind of directing talent to take a taekwondo expert like Britton K. Lee – and genre heavyweights Richard Norton and Bolo Yeung – and create a film so thunderously dull that you will want to throw your TV out the window. It was fortuitous for Robert Clouse that he would find himself associated with someone as talented as Bruce Lee¬†and on the receiving end of two of the fight genre’s biggest international triumphs: Enter the Dragon and Game of Death. In this plodding, clumsy cop thriller, Clouse – directing his last film before his death in 1997 – seems more preoccupied with long takes of the Oregon landscape, or girls at an aerobics class, than establishing any sense of character, jeopardy, or originality. Lee (who also acts as producer) is clearly a consummate martial artist with a great look, but he’s given a bad script and a charmless role as an LAPD taekwondo instructor who heads north to Portland to avenge the death of his former cop buddy. Norton and Bolo play crooks who seem to be kidnapping girls from nightclubs and lacing them with heroin – just for a laugh, by the looks of things – although neither of them are in it much. Bolo, who last worked with Clouse nearly 20 years earlier on Enter the Dragon, gets to take part in the final showdown with Britton, and every second he’s on screen the film lights up. Norton is left to negotiate some very cliched tough guy dialogue before dying in an hilariously over-the-top decapitation routine. Dismal.

AKA: Ironheart.

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Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a laptop in London, UK.

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