They could have totally fixed this movie by decreasing the role of RZA's blacksmith character. Get rid of Batista, as his colossus power doesn't really make sense in the context of the movie, and keep the blacksmith as the narrator, because his perspective with building all the weapons of the various warring clans works in that context. Plus, Russell Crowe (what is HE doing in here?), and the guy with the blade armor are cooler characters with cooler villains. The movie should have been about them, with the focus being on the feud between the x-blade and the lion clan. Russell Crowe's antagonist should have been established more, as he kind of comes out of nowhere as a main villain in the 3rd act. so, keep RZA in the movie, keep him as the narrator, just don't make him a main character, and get rid of his feud with batista.
now, the good...
-Silver Lion was awesome... he was like chinese david bowie from labyrinth. He was silly and entertaining, but still a credible villain.
-Lucy Liu was good. i know it's a bit of type casting, since she's sort of playing o-ren again here, but she could have used more screen time. her army of prostitutes subplot had the potential to be interesting.
-the x-blade guy (i forget his real name) SHOULD have been the main character of the movie. he was a badass character with a badass armor full of knives that pop out, and had consistent and defined motivation throughout the film. he pretty much disappears in the 2nd half though, as the movie then shifts to RZA's character.
-Russell Crowe was really entertaining. some of the best stuff was him high on opium in the brothel.