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"IRON MONKEY"
(1993/2001) (Yu Ruang-Guang, Donnie Yen) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
None Moderate Extreme Mild Moderate
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None Moderate None Mild
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Minor Mild Mild Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Action/Adventure: Various forces try to apprehend a masked vigilante who robs the corrupt government and distributes food and money to the poor.
PLOT:
It's the mid 19th century in China's Zhejing province and Governor Cheng (JAMES WONG), the corrupt ruler of the land, has hoarded food from the masses. In response, a masked vigilante known as the Iron Monkey has become a folk hero by robbing the government and distributing food and money to the poor.

This infuriates Cheng who orders his constable, Chief Fox (YUEN SHUN-YEE), to apprehend or at least unmask the intruder who's highly proficient with martial arts. Fox, his forces and even some mercenary Shaolin monks try, but are unsuccessful at doing just that.

Among those amused by Cheng and Fox's attempts are Dr. Yang (YU RUANG-GUANG) and his assistant, Miss Orchid (JEAN WANG), who run the local clinic and treat the poor for free. They become concerned, however, when Cheng - upon hearing of the imminent arrival of the Royal Minister - orders that anyone who might be the Iron Monkey be arrested.

Among them are Wong Kei-Ying (DONNIE YEN) and his young son, Wong Fei-Hong (TSANG SZE-MAN) who are on their way home. The Iron Monkey exonerates everyone by showing up while they're all incarcerated, but Cheng is so impressed by Kei-Ying's martial arts skills that he holds Fei-Hong hostage until his father can capture or kill the Iron Monkey.

Yet, Kei-Ying soon realizes he's working on the wrong side of the law as no one save for Dr. Yang and Miss Orchid will help him as everyone views the Iron Monkey as their hero. From that point on, Kei-Ying and others assist the Iron Monkey in his battle against the corrupt government that includes the arrival of the all powerful and very dangerous Royal Minister (YEN YEE KWAN).

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're into martial arts films, they probably will.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For martial arts action/violence and brief sexuality.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • YU RUANG-GUANG plays a compassionate doctor who's also skilled in the martial arts and is critical of the corrupt government.
  • JEAN WANG plays his assistant who's also proficient in martial arts fighting.
  • DONNIE YEN plays a visitor who soon finds himself forced to hunt for the Iron Monkey lest his son face peril at the hand of the corrupt governor. A strict disciplinarian, he's also proficient at martial arts.
  • TSANG SZE MAN plays his young son who's also quite good with martial arts fighting.
  • JAMES WONG plays the corrupt governor who hoards food from the masses and frolics with his harem of wives.
  • YUEN SHUN-YEE plays the chief of police who follows most of the governor's orders in trying to capture the Iron Monkey. He also uses some profanity.
  • YEN YEE KWAN plays the evil Royal Minister who battles the Iron Monkey and Kei-Ying.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this action/adventure film that's been rated PG-13. All sorts of martial arts fighting and mayhem is present throughout the film, with many punches, kicks and other hitting being delivered to many opponents, while some property damage occurs during the battles. While various attempts are made on certain characters' lives, only a few people are killed (with occasionally moderately bloody results).

    The bad guys/villains in the film obviously have extreme cases of bad attitudes (with a few apparently ready to sexually assault a woman although that never happens), while some of those scenes could be suspenseful to some viewers and/or enticing for some kids to imitate (all of the martial arts fighting and action). Profanity consists of several subtitled uses of the "s" word, while a handful or colorful phrases (also subtitled) are also present.

    Some non-explicit, sexually related comments are made, while a corrupt governor cavorts with his harem (including under a blanket, but nothing explicit is seen). Beyond that, some tense family moments are present (comments about or flashbacks to family deaths and a father worries about his boy). If you're still concerned about the film's appropriateness, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed content listings for more specific examples of what occurs in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • None.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see some blood on a bird that's been hit by various arrows.
  • We see a person with some blood on their shoe from where a thrown object has impaled him there.
  • A female assailant's hand is bloody during a fight.
  • We see some blood coming from the Iron Monkey's mouth after a fight. Orchid then puts a needle into his back where he's been injected with poison and some bloody liquid runs down his back (nothing too graphic or copious).
  • A man's mouth is bloody after a fight.
  • Fei-Hong has some blood from his nose and mouth.
  • Miss Orchid throws some sort of large ball bearing like objects, with one breaking another woman's sword and impaling itself in her head (in her eye socket), with some blood running down her face.
  • Several more people are a bit bloody during a fight.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • The Governor has both for being corrupt (even taking his employees' salaries when mad at them), as does the Royal Minister who does everything he can to kill the Iron Monkey.
  • Some men try to bribe Chief Fox to help their brothel, and then do so again (but Fox keeps the money).
  • A man comes on to Orchid, saying that his brothel could use a soft touch.
  • A man in a sweatshop type workplace hits a young worker with a rod/cane, telling them to work harder and throwing some food scraps to a dog rather than them (after they haven't eaten for a while).
  • Someone tries to rob another person.
  • A judge orders that Fei-Hong be held in prison to force Kei-Ying to find and stop the Iron Monkey, and gives him just seven days to do that.
  • We see a flashback scene where some men are disrespectful toward Miss Orchid when her newborn baby has apparently died.
  • Some fighting monks break down Orchid's door and come on to her. After some fighting, they throw some sleeping powder into her face, making her groggy. One of them then says that they're going to have some fun and that they hope she's in the mood to "entertain tonight," even going so far as to opening her shirt (but we don't see anything and nothing else happens).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and/or "Blood/Gore" may be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers, but most of them are presented in an action/adventure fashion rather than traditionally suspenseful manner.
  • A judge orders that Fei-Hong be branded with a hot iron, and someone approaches the boy, but contact is never made.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Arrows/Swords/Axes/Rifles/Various martial arts instruments: Used to threaten, wound or kill people. See "Violence" for details.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases (in English subtitles): "Buffoons," "Punks," "Horny," "(You little) Bastard(s)," "Shut up," "Bitch" "Moron," "Imbeciles," "Punks" and "Go to hell."
  • All of the martial arts fighting and acrobatic stunt work might be enticing for some kids to imitate.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A moderate amount of adventurous and occasionally suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 2 "s" words and 1hell (all in subtitles) are used.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see subtitles where a person complains that another person's foot is in their face as we see various people cavorting under a large rug/blanket (and hear women giggling). That turns out to be the Governor and an assortment of young women (all clothed).
  • Some men try to bribe Chief Fox to help their brothel, stating it will a gold mine with the governor's help.
  • Dr. Yang tells a patient that he (the patient) is oversexed and that he eats too much shark fin soup that makes him "horny."
  • We hear that the Governor has nine wives and some comment is made about a brothel.
  • A group of clothed women bathe the governor who's presumably naked inside a tub, but we don't see anything. He then stands up, but covers himself with towels.
  • We hear the Governor asking a young monk that since that's what he is, how can he steal all nine of his wives (as we see the monk running around blindfolded, trying to catch one of the young women - all are clothed).
  • As the Iron Monkey fights with an older woman, he states that she might be ugly, but that he doubts she's a virgin.
  • Some fighting monks break down Orchid's door and come on to her. After some fighting, they throw some sleeping powder into her face, making her groggy. One of them then says that they're going to have some fun and that they hope she's in the mood to "entertain tonight," even going so far as to opening her shirt (but we don't see anything and nothing else happens).
  • SMOKING
  • A man has a cigar.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Kei-Ying mentions that his wife passed away and he worries about his son's safety after he's imprisoned.
  • We see a flashback scene where some men are disrespectful toward Miss Orchid when her newborn baby has apparently died.
  • We hear that Dr. Yang's father was murdered.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The Chinese legend of the Iron Monkey (and how it's similar to Robin Hood) and the real life of Wong Fei-Hong.
  • We hear that the Governor has nine wives.
  • Kei-Ying telling his boy to shed blood before tears.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Various arrows are shot at what guards think is the Iron Monkey, but they hit a bird instead (we see it hit the ground with several arrows in it).
  • Various people try to hit the Iron Monkey with their swords as he punches and kicks them away. Some monks then come out with what look like battleaxes and do the same (trying to hit him with them as he repeatedly hits and kicks them, and bangs two of their heads together). He finally smashes through the ceiling to escape.
  • The Governor slaps one of his men on the head.
  • Fox punches a man for trying to bribe him (but he keeps the money).
  • A man in a sweatshop type workplace hits a young worker with a rod/cane, telling them to work harder. Iron Monkey then shows up and kicks this man backwards.
  • Kei-Ying slaps Fei-Hong on the head when he can't recite a list of herbs (but does so in a disciplinarian rather than just plain mean fashion).
  • Fei-Hong fires something from a slingshot at someone.
  • Fei-Hong slaps someone on the head, causing Kei-Ying to slap him on the head.
  • Kei-Ying fights many men, fending off many of them with an umbrella.
  • A judge orders that Fei-Hong be branded with a hot iron, and someone approaches him, but contact is never made as the Iron Monkey knocks it aside (with the iron hitting someone else). Guards fire rifles at the Iron Monkey who then throws small objects at people, knocking them down with them. We see one such person with some blood on their shoe from where the object impaled him there. Another person then steps on one of these spiked objects with it impaling his shoe.
  • Kei-Ying and the Iron Monkey fight on the rooftops of buildings (punches and kicks, etc.).
  • Kei-Ying fights with two men, knocking them aside, and then fights with others (punching and hitting). Others then come at him with knives and he knocks them aside. Someone then throws a log of some sort at him and he then does more martial arts fighting with an older woman.
  • During a flashback where some men are disrespectful toward Miss Orchid when her newborn baby has apparently died, she comes at them with some scissors. Dr. Yang then protects her when one of them comes at her with a bench.
  • We see a person giving another person many lashings (but that's all played for laughs).
  • Some older boys attempt to pick on Fei-Hong, but he defends himself with an umbrella, hitting them with it in various fashions. He also spills a kettle of hot water on one of them, burning him (nothing graphic seen). An older man then shows up and tries to attack Fei-Hong, breaking a table while trying to hit him. The boy hits this man and knocks him from his ladder.
  • Miss Orchid throws a stone that hits a man in the face, knocking him out.
  • The Iron Monkey fights a man and woman team, with them trying to attack him with swords and other objects as he punches, kicks or hits them with a chain.
  • A more powerful man then shows up, breaking through the building and proceeds to fight the Iron Monkey, going so far as to injecting him with some sort of fast-acting poison. Kei-Ying then fights with that Royal Minister with all sorts of martial arts moves, etc.
  • Some fighting monks break down Orchid's door and come on to her. She then fights with them, breaking one of their hands, delivering plenty of kicking and hitting on them (including possibly breaking one of their necks, but it was so brief and not clearly seen that it's hard to tell). They then throw sleeping powder in her face and kick her and then act like they're going to sexually assault her, but Fei-Hong comes to her rescue.
  • More martial arts fighting then ensues between him and the men, as well as an older woman who shows up (and includes some property damage as things are broken or people are knocked through things). She hits the boy on the head and knocks him out.
  • We see that the Royal Minister has Fei-Hong strung up and has possibly been torturing/flogging him. Various people then show up to rescue him, with the Royal Minister shooting at them but hitting someone else in the chest. Miss Orchid then throws something at the Minister, but it hits someone else and he throws the body aside.
  • All sorts of fighting then breaks out (hitting and kicking, etc.), with Miss Orchid throwing some sort of large ball bearing like objects, with one breaking another woman's sword and impaling itself in her head (in her eye socket), killing her.
  • The Iron Monkey and Kei-Ying fight the Royal Minister atop various poles that are set in the ground that's now on fire.
  • A person falls into that fire and we hear them screaming as they're presumably killed.



  • Reviewed September 27, 2001 / Posted October 12, 2001

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