I've never been much of a fan of martial arts films. There have been a few that have some charm, but most are cheesy and rather simple. Circle of Iron attempts to raise the bar in terms of quality in the genre, but fails mostly.
The film starts with a lone wanderer named Cord who participates in a martial arts tournament to win the right to go on a quest for a book that supposes to have all knowledge. After being disqualified from the event Cord seeks it out anyways. After the winner of the matches dies Cord takes his place and faces the trials set upon him to find the book.
Along the way Cord meets various eccentric characters including a blind, flute playing David Carradine who seems to have a cryptic answer for everything. There's an old guy who submits to sitting in a tub of hot oil to punish himself for having lustful thoughts. Oh and there's death and some rich eccentric baron of sorts.
Playing numerous characters Carradine is the highlight of this movie as his acting is above and beyond the rest of the cast. Not that that's saying much though, but his part in playing dual roles makes him seem like he's having fun with it. The work of the main character is phenomenally bad. The fight scenes are poorly shot and the plot is often disjointed. Slow moving and with an ending that's hardly satisfying, Circle of Iron's attempt to entertain is disappointing considering the story was created by the legend Bruce Lee. I guess Bruce wanted to bring about his Zen philosophy to the big screen before he died, but too bad he this was all they could muster. The only bright spot is seeing some of the references made in Kill Bill 2.
Thanks to Jeff for submitting this. Wanna see a film reviewed by Wiwille? Drop me an email or comment and you'll see it soon on Erik's Ramblings. Rules are posted here.
"Without Lee's charisma or guidance, the movie never sparks to life." - Jeff Anderson