Iron Monkey

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: -1/2

With the popularity of Oriental action stars like Jackie Chan and Jet Li as well as films such as CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON, American audiences are being introduced to other Chinese productions. Fans of the Western genre will recognize familiar elements in this re-released 1993 Robin Hood/Zorro-like tale. A mysterious hero hides his identity as he battles corrupt officials and greedy merchants in China of the 1850s. Stealing gold from the government thieves and leaving it for poor peasants at a metal idol earns him the name of Iron Monkey. Dr. Yang (Yu Rong Guang), the town physician and his nurse, Miss Orchid (Jean Wang), hide the Monkeys secret. When Wong Kei Ying (Donnie Yen) and his son, Wong Fei Hong (Tsang Sze Man), visit the city, a fight with street thugs gets them arrested. To save his son, Wong promises to bring in the Iron Monkey. But after the Iron Monkey rescues Fei Hong, Wong joins the masked hero to battle a traitorous priest turned royal emissary. The combination of athletic and ballet-like choreography in this martial arts film, along with a familiar tale, will intrigue both action fans and those looking for an entertaining story.

Like the morality tales of the old west, IRON MONKEY combines elements of good and bad. Although battling corrupt leaders, the hero must hide his identity and break laws. When the townspeople shun him for hunting Iron Monkey, Wong discovers that Iron Monkey is not the lawbreaker he believes. But Dr. Yang and Miss Orchid, in helping Wong and his son, turn an enemy into an ally. And they discover friends against corruption even in the government ranks. Some crude terms appear in the sub-titles along with one obscenity, but the frequent martial arts violence is occasionally more graphic than necessary. Some gruesome images include bloody wounds, one character with a steel ball stuck in an eye and a burning man. The corrupt governor is shown with multiple wives and suggestive references are made about women as entertainment but sexual material is limited. Despite the more positive aspects of this story, the frequent battles and graphic violence slightly dent IRON MONKEY.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
Miramax (Disney), 375 Greenwich St., New York, NY 10013

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (9) times - Mild 1, moderate 8

Obscene Language: Once - S-word

Profanity: None

Violence: Many times - Moderate and severe (bird shot with arrow, many martial arts hits/ kicks, bloody wounds, branding threat, spikes stuck in foot, man beat with sticks, needle stuck in bruise, metal ball stuck in eye, burning man)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Several times (man in bed with several women, comment about refugee girls for entertainment/ man being oversexed, man in bathtub surrounded by women, reference to woman not being virgin, men accost woman)

Drugs: Few times - cigar, pipe smoked

Other: Doctor treats poor free, people shun man seeking hero, greed punished, corrupt priests beat people, men battle corrupt officials, honest policeman turns on corrupt leaders

Running Time: 90 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and older

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