Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Christopher Varney
    Despite my ignorance of Hong Kong, I'm convinced that Iron Monkey could be the best, most entertaining martial arts film I may ever see.
  2. Where it really counts, though, it's the same good old comic action fantasy.
  3. If Asian martial arts movies interest you even a little bit, you're going to want to see Iron Monkey. Not only that, you're going to want to see it more than once.
  4. 90
    It's funny, heroic, exaggerated and, most of all, energetic; the film speeds along as though afraid to lose the audience's attention for even a moment.
  5. Now the movie can be seen for what it was all along, remarkable by any standards.
  6. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    A rollicking, comic-book Robin Hood plot and more furiously entertaining fight scenes than the ones in Ang Lee's solemn martial-arts art movie.
  7. Viewers impressed by the fairly standard martial-arts action of "Crouching Tiger" will really be wowed after seeing this film.
  8. 88
    The characters may be speaking Chinese, but such rousing entertainment needs no translation.
  9. This superficial plot, almost devoid of characterization or weighty emotions, is an excuse for ferocious, fast and frequent combat.
  10. Gravity-defying kung fu choreography.
  11. 83
    Lacks the poetic and romantic resonance of "Crouching Tiger," but it's got kicks aplenty -- of both the physical and the sensational kind -- and it lands them again and again.
  12. 80
    Saving the big number for the climax, like any good musical director, Mr. Yuen finishes up with a spectacular variation on the traditional kung fu pole fight.
  13. Not only visually brilliant, it's funny, too.
  14. 80
    A guilt-free, no-fat dessert from start to finish.
  15. 80
    Scenes of ingenious slapstick violence.
  16. Reviewed by: Cody Clark
    High drama this ain't. And yet, anyone looking for a hearty banquet of gymnastic, kung-fu tomfoolery won't walk away hungry.
  17. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    They're as special as special effects get.
  18. 75
    Basically aimed at audiences who want elaborate fight sequences and fidget at the dialogue in between. It's for the fans, not the crossover audience.
  19. 75
    The creative vigor of its originality, distilled in a pure and unadulterated form, is simply exhilarating.
  20. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    A long-on-video 1993 release now restored to its original Cantonese with different music and more audio pop.
  21. 70
    A pure font of high-flying kung fu artistry, the likes of which has since transformed the way Hollywood's good guys and bad kick the crap out of one another.
  22. 70
    Showcases its cast's athleticism and Ping's kinetic high-wire artistry. But unlike similar Western-made fare, it doesn't take itself seriously.
  23. The requisite set piece, which will remind you of the treetop sequence in "Crouching Tiger," involves a fight atop a forest of burning poles, exactly the kind of thing you want in a movie like this.
  24. No "Crouching Tiger." It lacks the richness of theme and performance that made Ang Lee's film so emotionally satisfying. In fact, watching Iron Monkey makes you realize just how Western and literary the sensibility of "Crouching Tiger" was.
  25. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    Martial arts spectacles don't come more spectacular than this, and Yuen bestows a quality of grace on the entire production.
  26. 60
    Anyone expecting the decorous serenity of the Ang Lee film should be aware that Iron Monkey strives for no more or less than comic-strip thwack and thump.
  27. The movie is never engaging on anything but a superficial level, and it gradually gets decidedly tiresome.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 29 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. [Anonymous]
    Nov 23, 2005
    Yuen Wo Pingis an ace choreographer, as he helped bring the Matrix trilogy, Kill bill and Kung Fu hustle to the top of the action genre. When Yuen Wo Pingis an ace choreographer, as he helped bring the Matrix trilogy, Kill bill and Kung Fu hustle to the top of the action genre. When he directs on his own, he pulls out all the stops and breathlessly packs tons of his fight sequences into one explosive package. If you like his fight choreography, there's plenty of it here, and it dominates most fo the screen time. THere's little, if any, filler in these intense 89min. Full Review »