It's an unlikely place to find a kung fu movie: Redbelt is written and directed by revered playwright/filmmaker David Mamet, shot by There Will Be Blood's Oscar-winning cinematographer Robert Elswit, and features a cast so impressive that the film's opening credits feel sort of braggy: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Joe Mantegna, Emily Mortimer, David Paymer (and, uh, Tim Allen?). But all the same, the ghosts of the Shaw Brothers haunt this tale of Mike Terry (Ejiofor, awesome as usual), a painfully noble Los Angeles jiu-jitsu instructor who, through a series of increasingly unlikely occurrences, gets sucked into a world of sketchy movie producers and unethical mixed martial arts fighters. Like every kung fu movie, Redbelt follows the familiar template of a fighter with honor finding/beating his way through a mass of those without it, and also like most films in that genre, Redbelt's villains are a simplistically evil lot. Those other characters are where Redbelt starts to get creaky, actually: While much of the film focuses on the troubled, earnest Mike, things fall apart when Mamet brings in a slew of less interesting characters, forcing everyone together with increasingly strained plot devices. Redbelt's certainly smart and well-intentioned and engaging, but one can't help but think that Bruce Lee never needed to work this hard to justify punching somebody in the face. Which maybe is the point.