If our unquestionably qualified, highly esteemed leaders are right, and movies inspire violent crime, there would be legions of perpetrators silently descending from rooftop shadows shouting, "Buddhist palm!" and "Rod that sweeps away injustice!" before beginning their assaults. Iron Monkey is the sort of movie that would inspire such behavior, or would be if its fight scenes weren't so beautifully choreographed and performed. Drawn from 19th-century Chinese folklore, Iron Monkey's titular character is an elusive masked thief who steals from corrupt merchants and politicians, delivering the spoils to the poor and oppressed. When a mysterious stranger and his son appear in town, both in possession of large cans of whoop-ass, the cruel governor kidnaps the boy, holding him until his father can capture the Iron Monkey. Directed in 1993 by Hong Kong action god Yuen Wo-Ping, known to American audiences as the choreographer of The Matrix and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Iron Monkey is a joyful distillation of the best of modern action movies: brisk plotting, light comedy and the breathtaking, wire-effect action sequences that are all the rage with kids in Hollywood nowadays. Go see it on the big screen while you've got a chance.
Director: Woo-ping Yuen
Cast: Donnie Yen, Ronggguang Yu, Jean Wang and Yee Kwan Yan