19th century China. When his village is threatened, a blacksmith (RZA) leads a group of fighters, including Russell Crowe's opium-addled soldier and Lucy Liu's brothel owner, against the menace.
Wu-Tang's RZA makes an assured directorial debut with this gloriously violent grindhouse martial arts fantasy, about an American slave who escapes to China. Stand-out villainy comes courtesy of Byron Mann as Silver Lion and Dave Bautista as Chi-master Brass Body. But if the details are Eastern, the film also works as a Western, through characters like Lucy Liu’s whorehouse madam and Russell Crowe’s Jack Knife, who looks like The Man With No Name and sounds like English Bob. Some of the dialogue is thick-eared, but that comes with the territory. You’re here for Corey Yuen’s fight choreography anyway.
Don't let the 'Quentin Tarantino Presents' tag deceive you, this is a mixed bag of lumpen dialogue and martial-arts magic that never quite coalesces into the delirious mayhem we'd hoped for.