I saw this on sale - NEW - at my local store for $6 and said "hey! an
action film with that guy from Bloodsport and Enter the Dragon,
directed by the guy who did Enter the Dragon - and it's cheap!" So I
bought it. Oops! This is possibly the worst film I've ever seen, and
I've seen some doozies.
You know how movies which are intentionally campy, like Evil Dead II
and Dead-Alive, are AWESOME? You know how movies that are supposed to
be serious but turned out so awful that you have to laugh out loud, and
watch them again, like Lionheart (an old Van Damme film) or John
Carpenter's Vampires, are pretty cool? This film, Ironheart, manages to
be NEITHER of those. I don't know what the filmmakers were thinking,
but it looks as if this movie was made with no time to shoot, no budget
for anything, and no script to speak of. (While I'm on the script note,
I should point out that Bolo Yeung has NO LINES in this movie - the
only reason he gets first billing on the box is the fact that he's the
only actor in the film that you'll ever recognize (unless you're a
Jackie Chan fan, in which case you'll recognize the bad guy - and
you'll want to call him Giancarlo!).)
What's also sad is that this film is from '92. By that time, T2:
Judgment day had come out, so you know that the era of 80s campiness
was over... but not quite. After this, you'll think 80s Chuck Norris
films, high-school comedies, and Jason/Freddy sequels were works of
Things to know:
1) Nobody in this film can act for beans. The closest you get is
Richard Norton looking appropriately rich and cocky, and Bolo Yeung
looking appropriately mean ... and cocky. Everything else is dreadful.
2) The martial arts scenes are forgettable - just many instances of
white guys with lots of muscles taking off their shirts, yelling,
running at Britton Lee, getting kicked by Britton Lee, getting punched
by Britton Lee, then falling down. Even the final showdown against Bolo
is disappointingly short, and about as creative as the design of my
running socks (and equally stinky).
3) The rest of the action is pathetic, too: the guns look like they
came from the toy department at K-Mart, and indeed they fire with the
sound of a capgun. When someone gets shot, they bounce around a little
bit, then lie still with splotches of brownish-red liquid on their
clothes. Britton Lee apparently gets shot in the side, but you don't
see it at all, then later that day you see the wound ... I've had paper
cuts that were worse than that!
4) Of course then the girl dresses the wound, then they kiss, then next
thing you know they're lying in bed talking after sex. Huh? What?
Believable development of the love interest, as well as any kind of
character development at all, are overlooked completely in this film.
Remember how Bruce Lee's characters didn't need to have sex with
anybody to be cool?
5) The car chase is by far the worst I've ever seen. It looks like the
director was sitting on the curb with a hand-held camera as the two
cars weaved down the road doing, oh I don't know, about 30 miles an
hour? Don't try this at home, kids, these people are professionals!
6) Really bad writing. Here's a scene for you: Lee is being followed,
so the girl follows the followers to "warn" Lee, but her car is too
slow. So by the time she catches up, Lee and the bad guys are out of
their cars and there's a gunfight in progress. Lee has killed two bad
guys, but the third is shooting at Lee when the girl almost runs Lee
over, so the bad guy runs away. (Huh?) Then the girl's car stalls and
she can't start it. She tells Lee she's involved now and she's coming
with him. He points out to her that they can't leave her car there
because the bad guys will trace it to her. She somehow convinces him
that he should decide how to deal with this problem - so he shoots the
gas tank and blows up her car. (And remember, later that same night
they have sex.) Huh?!?
7) If you look closely, in more than half of the nightclub shots, the
dancers are very much out of sync with the music. The dancers are also
all way too co-ordinated with each other (apparently in the '80s all
people at dance clubs took dancing lessons). There is a girl in the DJ
booth with a microphone, but she never does anything except dance. The
bouncers tell people who are fighting to "take it outside" - without
moving their lips. In one scene, the only bouncers Lee and Stevo pass
by are just inside the entrance, but with their backs to it! Also,
apparently, if you're a major character in the film, you can go
straight to the head of the line.
8) Lee notices the first time he is being followed, but he doesn't
notice the second time - even though it's the same guy in the same car.
The girl, however, notices. Bad guys get followed twice, but they never
9) Lee is worried the bad guys will trace the girl's car back to her,
even though they have already seen him show up where she works twice.
The girl proceeds to leave her child at work, in the care of a friend,
while she is off having sex with Lee. DO NOT learn parenting from this
Can't think of more gripes right now ... you get the idea ... Ironheart
is so bad, it ain't even funny, it's SAD.