Picks and Pans Review: Circle of Iron
For better or worse, the kung fu movie did not die with Bruce Lee. This self-proclaimed "mystical martial arts adventure" proves it is still alive—but not well. The martial-arts sequences are capably enough handled by lead players David Carradine and Jeff Cooper. In addition, Carradine has a pleasingly wry screen presence which keeps the picture from going comatose. Cooper plays a naive pilgrim who must undergo survival tests, most of which involve a lot of frenzied leaping and kicking, in his search for "the Book of Enlightenment." It contains—no, not the latest advice from Joyce Brothers or Wayne Dyer—only "all the wisdom of the world." The pseudophilosophical screenplay is often so pretentious that it's funny. (In that respect, the film resembles The Towering Inferno, whose screenwriter, Stirling Silliphant, hacked out this script too.) The title, like so much else about this movie, sounds impressive but signifies nothing. (R)
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