Time for a throwback to the 90’s when the funny action movies were in their prime and the direct to video genre was flourishing.
Ladies and gentlemen, today we are revisiting Gary Daniels in ‘Fist of the North Star’ – one of the most popular actioners starring the underground British martial arts star.
The manga fans know that the ultra violent and sadistically hilarious fantasy action flick is loosely based on the celebrated manga series “Hokuto no Ken” (say what?!), or, to make it more understandable -“The Fist of the North Star”.
Be certain that it is a fist of laughter coming from the goofy directing and the overall poor execution of the film.
Gary Daniels enjoyed so much his role in the preposterous movie that he named his first-born son after his character Kenshiro.
Cast and Crew
The presence of some really good known actors in the cast except for Gary Daniels is, I admit, surprising, even disturbing.
The British action film star shines in the leading role as Kenshiro.
Costas Mandylor, another famous name in the straight-to-video genre stars as his nemesis Lord Shin.
The presence of the brilliant English actor Malcolm Mcdowell as Ryuken is inexplicable to me given the fact that he is a critically acclaimed character actor.
My wild guess is that he lost a bet, which obliged him to take part of this unimaginative sci-fi, fantasy, action mash-up.
The otherwise talented Chris Penn, the deceased brother of Sean Penn plays the right hand of Lord Shin – Jackal.
The director Tony Randel, mostly known for his work on cheap horror movies (“Children of the Night”, “Thicks”) has barely adapted the original story, seen in the manga.
The plot revolves around the revenge-driven Kenshiro-a martial artist from a school called “Fist of the north star”.
In a post-apocalyptic world, he searches Lord Shin-a ruthless dictator who wants to master the universe and who has kidnapped Kenshiro’s fiancée and killed his master.
This is a Funny Action Movie Because
Hm, ugh…from where to start?
At the very beginning of the film, Kenshiro’s muscular, perfectly shaped body is showed at a close camera shot, the only goal being to impress the audience.
In this devastated, chaotic world, the wanderer finds time and resources to build a body similar to the forms of a Greek God statue.
I know that the main action hero needs to have a Mr. Fitness body.
It is just very strange, given the ruined surroundings, the lack of buildings and the fact that the end of the world has come.
And from where the hell did he find the protein shakes, the amino acids and all the sports supplements needed to shape such a killer body?
I start to think that the only reason Gary Daniels didn’t participate in the 1995 Mr. Fitness contest was because of scheduling conflicts related to the shooting of the film.
For all the love I have for the actors, one has to admit that the acting is painfully bad.
Gary is acting as if he is doing it for the first time, again giving us his emotionless gaze that by the way, every funny action movie fan adores.
Another thing, that strikes the attention, is the first appearance of the handsome Australian with Greek ancestry Costas Mandylor.
Costas glazes at the camera with a very dumb face and tries to look scary.
With his long hair, he looks as frightening as the sympathetic kid Macaulay Culkin in “Home Alone”.
He rather resembles a harmless curly sheep.
Some of the action scenes are so bad that they end up being absurd.
The characters master a bizarre form of a martial art, which includes a lot of screaming, funny noises and weird moves.
It’s like they are doing some crazy dance flash mob.
That’s why, instead of following a serious tone, everything becomes a parody or a tragedy it depends on the point of view.
The fight sequences are a far cry from a decent fight choreography.
Sometimes, it is clearly visible that the kicks and the punches slightly touch the body and often, even, they miss their target, even though the characters pretend to be seriously hurt.
Which is more absurd is the fact that at the end of a fight, one touch on the forehead is enough to kill an opponent.
How geniously invented! Pure magic.
Like the “Red Hot Chili Peppers” sing-“ Blood sugar, baby, sex magic”…Just no sex, only magic and blood.
In one of the fighting scenes, Kenshiro kicks a bad guy in the face and his jaw ridiculously tilts at one side, making him look as a plasticine toy.
In fact, similar scenes are not rare and they make you questioning the genre of the movie.
Is it an action flick, or maybe a pathetic parody, made for (or from) the inhabitants of a mental sanatorium.
Also, the Jackal’s head looks super funny.
Several years ago, Kenshiro has touched him on the forehead and now he wears a mask in order to keep his head not to explode.
It is full of disgusting bubbles that make it look enormous and he is like a character from Mars in the ‘Total Recall’ movie.
The charade continues with the intense training that Kenshiro goes through for his final one on one fight with his archenemy.
At one point, he is so into it that he gets madly enraged and he breaks a huge rock with his bare hands, sweaty and pumped like Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The final fight between Kenshiro and Lord Shin is stunning, bloody and surprisingly worth watching.
For conclusion, it is fair to admit that with a budget of 7 000 000$, the director Tony Randel has successfully managed to create a dark and apocalyptic fantasy world.
‘Fist of the North Star’ is undoubtedly a bad movie but it doesn’t mean that it is not worth watching.
It is exactly the contrary.
It is a great action-packed experience full of amusing scenes.
Gary Daniels delivers some spectacular martial arts sequences, even though his acting is bad to the bone, which by the way is very funny and it is among the reasons to watch this fantasy flick.
Stay tuned for more!
What do you think about the movie? Am I too rude? Leave me a comment below and share this post!