"Shouldn't Downtown Julie Brown be in a rehab clinic by now?"
Whew boy, what were they thinking?! What came over the world during the early 90's that made studios think that live action adaptations of anime films was a good idea? THERE'S A REASON THEY WERE ANIMATED TO BEGIN WITH! And why was Malcolm McDowell in this? Did he develop a bad case of ChrisWalkenitis?...because he's actually a good actor.If you haven't seen the ultra-violent japanime (not to be confused with "japornime") film 'Hokuto No Ken' a.k.a 'Fist of the North Star', don't even bother reading this, go see it because it's an unbelievably ass-kickingly good anime movie.
This thing however...imagine if they made a live-action version of 'Transformers: the Movie', but cut out all the good parts like Galactus the planet devourer, the junk planet, etc. due to a low budget. Well, then you'd still have a better movie than Fist of the North Star.
The movie revolves around a weak plot. In the original, it didn't really matter. That would've been like watching 'Drunken Master' and complaining about lack of character development...it's not why you watch those types of movies. But in a low budget live-action remake, without the kinetic powers of japanese animators, it's painfully obvious. The story takes place on a post-apocalyptic Earth, and revolves around Ken (why are so many characters redubbed with the Ken name? Is that like the dubbing-default name?) who has special strength, and is suspected and envyed by various rivals (including his devious brother Jacky) as being heir to the messianic title of 'Fist of the North Star' which is prophecied to give him the ability to restore the Earth from wasteland to paradise.
Well, his rivals and his brother Jacky want that power for themselves, so they ambush him, steal his woman and leave him for dead...pretty standard stuff right? Well, in the original it came off like a good spagetti western, like Eastwood surviving the gallows to gun down his tormentors and piss in their bullet wounds. But in this, it just comes off as standard...and unbelievably goofy.It may be worth it to see a starved-for-work but hardly starved- for-a-meal Chris Penn ham it up with a leather mask on. But Downtown Julie Brown is always a red flag in any film's credits...