Fist of the North Star (1995)

Posted in Reviews by - December 16, 2012
Fist of the North Star (1995)

The grisly Japanese comic book and anime Hokuto no Ken was always going to be a tough concept to bring to life, what with its epic post-apocolyptic scope, larger than life characters and extreme violence. Herein lies the crux of the film’s problem. Inevitably, Randel gives us a gory He-Man; a cheap studio based fantasy with shoddy sets and two-bit caricatures. Randel’s lowkey lighting and Malcolm McDowell narration are not nearly as atmospheric as they ought to be, coming across more like crass sci-fi clichés. The film’s singular grace is a collection of semi decent scuffles, particularly near the end. Daniels is Kenshiro, the only warrior capable of bringing down Lord Shin (Mandylor), an evil dictator who kills Ken’s father, kidnaps his girlfriend and tries to take over the world. Kenshiro can make people’s heads explode and Shin’s trick involves penetrating rivals with his glowing hands.

AKA: Hokuto No Ken

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Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a laptop in London, UK.

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