Fist of the North Star
Fist of the North Star (Live Action Movie)
-From Rage Quitter 87's Fist of the North Star site


For a detailed overview of this movie, click here
.

1995 saw the first and so far only official live action adaption of Hokuto no Ken. With a rather small budget of around seven million dollars, this
film was released straight to video in America and was met with many bad reviews. The film is about Kenshiro trying to find Julia, as he lost her to Shin, who defeated him in a previous battle. Along the way he meets Bat and Lin, and has to fight against Shin's forces.


Contents

1) Synopsis
2) Box office performance and reception
3) Cast
4) Notes


Synopsis

Nuclear war has devastated the Earth, but there have been many survivors. Shin, a master of Nanto Seiken, locates Ryuken, the previous successor of Hokuto Shinken. Considering him dangerous, Shin kills Ryuken by shooting him. One year later, in a village called Paradise Valley, Bat helps his blind friend Lin by stealing food for them. Their village is then attacked by one of Shin's gangs, known as the Crossmen. A man called Jackal leads the assault, and several villagers are killed.

Out in the desert wastelands, Kenshiro, the current successor of the Hokuto Shinken style, travels from place to place with no purpose. He is given a small place to stay by a husband and wife, but the next morning he sees that the two of them are being threatened by punks. Kenshiro kills the three guys.

In his city of Southern Cross, Shin kills another master of Nanto Seiken, as he does not want any other masters of the style left alive. Meanwhile, Ken ends up meeting Bat and Lin, and he hits pressure points on Lin's head to make her see again. Later on, Kenshiro has a strange nightmare where a zombie version of Ryuken tells him that it is by his own hand that he set his destiny in motion. He is now the Fist of the North Star! This makes Ken snap, as apparently he doesn't want to be the successor to the style and takes his anger out on a car. Zombie Ryuken vanishes and as Ken calms down he sees that he is alone again, and that night has turned to day.

The next morning, Ken saves Bat from a couple of punks, and sees something on the back of one of the men he just beat: a picture of his beloved Julia! Meanwhile, Jackal gets his army together and they invade Paradise Valley again, this time taking it over completely. Lin is nearly executed via guillotine, but when she mentions Kenshiro's name, Jackal stops the execution and tells his men to take her back to Southern Cross, and to mention what she said to Shin. Kenshiro was the one who badly injured Jackal some time a go.

Bat and Ken arrive at Paradise Valley and see that the village has been invaded, and now the Crossmen have put an electrified gate around the place. However Bat knows a few tricks and takes Ken into the village via a hidden underground tunnel network. Meanwhile, Julia is trapped in Southern Cross and thinks about what happened some time a go. Kenshiro and Shin fought each other, but Ken lost and was given seven scars on his chest. Julia had to admit she loved Shin to save Ken's life, and she was then taken away to this city.

Kenshiro finds that Lin hasn't been taken away yet and finds where she is. As he fights the guards, Bat tries to help Lin, but is stabbed by Jackal. Ken eventually stops Jackal, but Bat dies from the injury he received. Ken tells Jackal to go back to his master in Southern Cross, and to tell him that the North Star has taken back Paradise Valley.

Jackal gets back to Southern Cross and is put on guard duty, with his mission being to protect Julia. However, she manages to get away from him and attempts to escape. Meanwhile, Kenshiro enters Southern Cross and starts to fight anyone who challenges him. He eventually makes it into Shin's fortress, and the two start to fight.

It seems Shin is still too powerful for him and Ken receives several painful injuries. Meanwhile, Julia manages to get one of Jackal's head straps stuck in a cog, which removes his head gear and causes his already damaged head to bulge up and explode, killing him. Meanwhile, Ken gets stronger by seeing a flower in the floor (seriously) and defeats Shin.

Shin tells Kenshiro that Julia is already dead, before he dies himself. Ken wanders through the fortress, looking for Julia, when he finds more of Shin's forces coming to kill him. However, Julia then appears and all of the army stops and kneels before her. Ken is reunited with Julia, and the movie ends.


Box office performance and reception

Not much is known on how the movie fared money wise. It is thought that it had a budget of around $7 million, but figures on how much it made are not so clear. It was never given a cinematic release in America, instead going straight to video (and later DVD). Most reviews, professional or not, are generally negative and most fans see this as a so bad it's good kind of thing.


Cast

Character
Actor/Actress
Kenshiro
Gary Daniels
Shin
Costas Mandylor
Julia
Isako Washio
Jackal
Chris Penn
Bat
Danté Basco
Lin
Nalona Herron
Ryuken
Malcom McDowell




Notes


-Contrary to popular belief, this film was released in Japan. Toei (who animated the anime) dubbed the film into Japanese, using many of the same voice actors in the anime -such as Akira Kamiya for Kenshiro and Toshio Furukawa for Shin.

-Jackal, who was originally a leader of a separate gang in the manga, has a different background story in this film, and his past is quite a bit like Jagi's. The Japanese version of the film even changed Jackal's name to Jagi.



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