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Iron Monkey
     

Iron Monkey

4.5 9
Director: Yuen Woo Ping, Yu Rongguang, Donnie Yen, Jean Wang

Cast: Yuen Woo Ping, Yu Rongguang, Donnie Yen, Jean Wang

 

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This kung fu classic weaving fact and myth earned a theatrical release in the U.S. from Miramax eight years after it was produced, following a successful retrospective screening at the 2001 Los Angeles Film Festival. Wong Kei Ying (Donnie Yen) is a master of the Hung Gar style of boxing in mid-19th century China. His son, Wong Fei Hung (Sze-Man Tsang), though still

Overview

This kung fu classic weaving fact and myth earned a theatrical release in the U.S. from Miramax eight years after it was produced, following a successful retrospective screening at the 2001 Los Angeles Film Festival. Wong Kei Ying (Donnie Yen) is a master of the Hung Gar style of boxing in mid-19th century China. His son, Wong Fei Hung (Sze-Man Tsang), though still just a boy, will grow up to become a martial arts legend, a nearly mythical figure in Chinese history. When Wong Fei Hung is kidnapped, his father is forced to use his daunting skills in the service of the abductor, a dishonest politician plagued by the Robin Hood-style thief known as Iron Monkey, a mysterious masked avenger stealing from the rich, delivering the spoils to the poor. Wong Fei Hung's only allies are the kindly Dr. Yang (Yu Rong Guang) and Yang's assistant, Orchid (Jean Wang), who are protecting an important secret. Iron Monkey (1993) director Yuen Wo Ping is also the masterful martial arts choreographer behind The Matrix (1999) and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000); his father served as action choreographer on a series of popular, long-running films centered around the Wong Fei Hung character in the 1950s.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Originally released in 1993, Iron Monkey finally arrived in the States on the heels of the success of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Yuen Wo-Ping, who did the stunt choreography for that film as well as for The Matrix, directed this high-flying take on the Robin Hood story, in which an amiable country doctor (Dr. Yang, played by Yu Rong-guong) spends his evenings chasing across rooftops and stealing from the corrupt local lord. Produced by Tsui Hark, the prolific director of, among other things, the fabulous Once Upon a Time in China series, Iron Monkey has all the action of a kung-fu action flick -- as you might expect -- and all the grace and poise of an expertly staged musical. Donnie Yen, as itinerant doctor Wong Kei-ying, plays his role with understated elegance. Wong's son, who turns out to be the Chinese folk hero Wong Fei-hong, is here embodied by Tsang Sze-man with a lively animation that makes her a delight to watch. As is usual for any film where Yuen's involved, the plot here is merely something upon which to hang the nonstop action, culminating as it does in one of those unlikely kung-fu balancing acts for which Yuen is renowned. Not exactly high drama, perhaps, but it hangs together better than most movies of the genre, and it's great fun. Genevieve Williams
All Movie Guide - Genevieve Williams
Originally released in 1993, Iron Monkey finally arrived in the States on the heels of the success of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Yuen Wo-Ping, who did the stunt choreography for that film as well as for The Matrix, directed this high-flying take on the Robin Hood story, in which an amiable country doctor (Dr. Yang, played by Yu Rong-guong) spends his evenings chasing across rooftops and stealing from the corrupt local lord. Produced by Tsui Hark, the prolific director of, among other things, the fabulous Once Upon a Time in China series, Iron Monkey has all the action of a kung-fu action flick -- as you might expect -- and all the grace and poise of an expertly staged musical. Donnie Yen, as itinerant doctor Wong Kei-ying, plays his role with understated elegance. Wong's son, who turns out to be the Chinese folk hero Wong Fei-hong, is here embodied by Tsang Sze-man with a lively animation that makes her a delight to watch. As is usual for any film where Yuen's involved, the plot here is merely something upon which to hang the nonstop action, culminating as it does in one of those unlikely kung-fu balancing acts for which Yuen is renowned. Not exactly high drama, perhaps, but it hangs together better than most movies of the genre, and it's great fun.
Los Angeles Times - Kenneth Turan
The climactic duel, fought on wooden poles over a sea of flames, is audaciously choreographed. This is formula raised to the level of art, and the results are simply exhilarating.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/15/2011
UPC:
0031398137658
Original Release:
1993
Source:
Miramax Lionsgate
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:25:00
Sales rank:
38,610

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Yu Rongguang Dr. Yang/Iron Monkey
Donnie Yen Wong Kei-Ying
Jean Wang Miss Orchid
Tsang Sze Man Wong Fei Hong
Yuen Shun-Yi Chief Fox
James Wong Governor
Yen Yee Kwan Royal Minister
Yam Sai-Kun Actor
Lee Fai Virgin Assassin
Wong Tsing-ying Actor
Hau Yin Chung Scarred Assassin
Yu Wing-Kwong Actor
Cheung Fung Nay Governor's Favorite Wife
Chun Kwai Bo Monk #1
Chan Siu Wah Monk #2
Yip Choi Nam Monk #3
Ko Man Dick Monk #4

Technical Credits
Yuen Woo Ping Director
Ringo Cheung Production Designer
Yuen Cheung-Yan Consultant/advisor
Chan Chi-wai Editor
Mak Chisin Editor
Raymond Chow Executive Producer
Cinefex Workshop Co. Special Effects
Wong Chun Fai Makeup
Celia Hallquist Producer
Tsui Hark Producer,Screenwriter
David C. Hughes Sound/Sound Designer
Chan Kwok Hung Makeup
Lai Kai Keung Asst. Director
Angie Lam Editor
Raymond Lee Associate Producer,Co-producer
Bo Bo Ng Costumes/Costume Designer
Tang Pik-yin Screenwriter
Chu Yen Ping Set Decoration/Design
Ho Lai Sheung Production Manager
Lau Tai-Muk Screenwriter
Cheung Tan Screenwriter
Elsa Tang Screenwriter
James L. Venable Score Composer
Tam Chi Wai Cinematographer
Mary Stuart Welch Executive Producer
Anthony Wong Asst. Director
Arthur Wong Cinematographer
Wang Ying-Hsiang Executive Producer
Hester Yip Asst. Director

Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Scene Selection
1. Opening Credits: Grabbing the Governor's Gold [6:55]
2. Healing the Sick [5:24]
3. "Bless You, Iron Monkey" [2:31]
4. "Could He Be the Iron Monkey?" [3:58]
5. A Merciless Trial [5:52]
6. "Save Some Room for Soup" [5:58]
7. Shaolin Foes? [5:43]
8. Curing Fei-Hong [2:36]
9. A Cunning Ruse [6:09]
10. Too Small to Fight? [4:33]
11. The Royal Minister Arrives [1:42]
12. Sharing Wisdom and Food [2:49]
13. "Buddha's Palm" [5:45]
14. "Release the Blood and Revitalize the Soul" [6:55]
15. Bullying the Weak? [4:37]
16. Deadly Balance [9:36]
17. "Safe Travels" [1:27]
18. End Credits [3:13]

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Iron Monkey 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
AP_Fuchs More than 1 year ago
4 out of 5 Like Robin Hood, the Iron Monkey robs from the rich and gives to the poor, but instead of wielding a bow and arrow and sword, he wears a mask and uses martial arts weapons instead. By day, Chinese doctor Yang Tianchun (Rongguang Yu) is a physician caring for the poor and rich alike, but at night he’s the Iron Monkey, a high-kicking do-gooder assisting those in need who are suffering beneath the rule of the corrupt governor. Meanwhile, Wong Kei-Ying (Donnie Yen) and his son Wong Fei-hong (Sze-Man Tsang) come into town. Soon after, Wong Kei-Ying is captured on suspicion of being the Iron Monkey after being observed in battle. His son is arrested as well. In an effort to clear himself, he offers to capture the real Iron Monkey, his son being forced to remain in prison to ensure his compliance. Soon Wong Kei-Ying and the Iron Monkey meet and, after going toe-to-toe with no victor, form an alliance that will rescue Wong Fei-hong from prison and bring down the evil governor once and for all. This movie kicks some serious wa-hoo-hoo and I’m not just saying that because of the awesome kung fu sequences, but because of it’s fun presentation of a classic story—Robin Hood—through the lens of Chinese culture, martial arts and fast-paced action. Quentin Tarantino brought the flick over to the West and I’m glad he did. I’m 99% sure I went to the theatre to check this gem out and it soon got a place in my DVD collection once it hit store shelves. What can I say? The fight sequences are over-the-top—wire acts, crazy fast kicks—but those are what make kung fu movies great and give the fight performances that supernatural feel that can’t be obtained otherwise. The superhero fan part of me had never seen a kung fu superhero movie, and when I compare it to the Western version of martial arts techniques that we get in our own superhero flicks, sadly, we come up short every time. I mean, this crazy, fast-paced over-the-top form of fighting is one of the main reasons The Matrix became so popular. There is lots that goes on in this movie story-wise, everything from the simple rob-from-the-rich-to-feed-the-poor angle to Wong Kei-Ying’s tense relationship with his son, to commentary on oppression and what’s fair and what isn’t, to comedic moments, tear-jerking moments, to adrenaline-fueled action—it’s a full experience, something that Quentin Tarantino said in an interview on the DVD that is common in Chinese cinema but not really over here in the West. I think we need to learn a thing or two about moviemaking from our Chinese friends instead of compartmentalizing everything into genres and niches. If you love folk heroes like Robin Hood, or are a superhero fan, Iron Monkey should definitely be on your watch list.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I cannot rate this movies highly enough, it really is a masterpiece. Yuen Woo-Ping's unequalled choreography, combined with a classic plot make for a superb viewing experience. There are plot features recognisable from 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' such as secret identity, the use of poison and the 'powerful hag' character. I enjoyed this because I believe that they connect with traditions found in ancient storytelling, and give the story the resonating power of a legend. The film also satisfies anyone who just likes to see rocking fight sequences. See it, see it, see it...
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is good in its action sequences but while watching it you feel like you've seen the movie about a hundred times before. The action scenes are still good and help make up for the loss of a good story. Some of the actors do a good job while others are almost laughably boring. I would recommend this movie to someone who wants to watch a bunch of awesome fight scenes. It does deserves 3 stars for its action scenes.
Music_Shodan More than 1 year ago
Iron Monkey has a good story, good performances, humor, and great action. It is a classic and a great choice for your video collection.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent movie. I recommend it to everyone! Not just martial arts fans. It is totally better than Crouching Dragon, Hidden whatever! Iron Monkey is a must see...in your car, at home, wherever!
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