The idea of an ultra-violent Kung Fu movie from the same creative team that brought us Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 is a promising enough prospect. Too bad both the gore and the Kung Fu sequences are few and far between. Fist of the North Star also happens to be one of the most boring “action” films I’ve ever seen. In fact, I nodded off four or five times during this mess.
The movie is set in the apocalyptic future that’s sorta like Mad Max except nobody has cars and the most precious commodity is water instead of gas. Kenshiro (Gary Daniels) is this guy who fights for one karate school but chooses not to put up his dukes cuz he’s so Emo. His most hated enemy is Shin (Costas Mandylor), some asshole whose karate school is more badass because they have flags and stuff. After Kenshiro restores a blind girl’s eyesight, he reluctantly agrees to help a bunch of homeless people in their endless war against the tyranny of Shin.
Fist of the North Star could’ve been OK; however Gary Daniels’ awful performance absolutely kills the movie. I thought he was bad in American Streetfighter 2 but nothing could’ve prepared me for his monumentally shitty performance in this colostomy bag of celluloid. Even the performances by the usually reliable I’m-not-as-famous-as-my-sibling “stars” Chris Penn and Clint Howard aren’t up to snuff. I guess my first tip off that this was going to suck was seeing the name Downtown Julie Brown in the opening credits.
This flick was based off of a popular Japanese manga and it tries to recreate the same level of over-the-top violence those kinds of comics are known for. While I enjoyed the exploding heads and dislocated jaws, I have to say that the effects were weak for the most part and got pretty repetitive near the end. As far as Kung-Fu-Movies-Based-on-Japanese-Mangas go, it’s not a hair on the nut sac of The Story of Ricky.
I give Fist of the North Star… Fist of the One Star.