Fist of the North Star

Fist of the North Star, a live-action remake of the popular 1986 Japanimation film, remains faithful to the tale of a cosmic struggle between dueling martial-arts masters. Unfortunately, director Tony Randel (Hellraiser II, Ticks) shies away from the Asian brand of manic ultraviolence, proving that flying limbs were the only thing that made the original interesting. Even the talented cast can’t give Fist any kick; the movie wastes Chris Penn, who plays a refreshingly complex bad guy, and Malcolm McDowell gets killed off in the first five minutes (although that doesn’t keep him from contributing extensive voice-over work throughout). Perhaps it would have looked more epic on a theater screen, but this straight-to-cable slugfest ends up as just another cartoony Road Warrior retread. C-

Fist of the North Star
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