The third and final chapter of the new Hokuto No Ken is a crushing bore and a staggering disappointment for fans. The one thing that you could always depend on the '80's original for was a ton of ultra-violent martial arts action in each installment, and those responsible for the current version have completely forgotten forgotten that golden rule. The final hour-long segment is virtually nothing but a festival of talking heads engaged in uninvolving and boring dialogue, and the raison d'etre of the series, the fighting, does not turn up until the last five minutes, by which time the audience has lost both patience and interest. Adding insult to injury is the fact that the battle that is supposed to offer a satisfying climax is a stone-cold dud in which the villain is no challenge for Kenshiro whatsoever.
The bottom line on this one is that even if you, like me, are a hardcore North Star fan you should avoid this DVD at all costs; by the end of this installment my eyes were fighting to stay open (a far more compelling fight than anything found in the story) and when it was over I napped out for a couple of hours despite having had a full night of sleep. If this crap is what may await fans in future entries, I sincerely hope that just let Kenshiro stay dormant until someone has a decent idea for any continuations.
Seriously, folks, SHIN HOKUTO NO KEN is a massive failure all around; from the ugly character designs and dearth of action to the awful soundtrack and sheer boredom of the plot, this just plain sucks. Next to the obscure Chinese live action version from the late 1980's (not the version where Gary Daniels plays Kenshiro and Malcolm McDowell whores himself out yet again), this is the darkest chapter in the history of HOKUTO NO KEN adaptations. AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!
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