Based on a graphic novel, this apocalyptic adventure centers on a man who must reverse the cataclysmic conditions of his world.Based on a graphic novel, this apocalyptic adventure centers on a man who must reverse the cataclysmic conditions of his world.Based on a graphic novel, this apocalyptic adventure centers on a man who must reverse the cataclysmic conditions of his world.
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Sound format: Ultra-Stereo
Low-budget Americanization of the Japanese manga 'Hokuto no Ken' - already the subject of an earlier anime feature and TV series - in which a mystical warrior (British-born martial arts expert Gary Daniels) defends the survivors of an unspecified global holocaust from an evil warlord (Costas Mandylor) who intends to rebuild the planet in his own image. Photographed by A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET's Jacques Haitkin through layers of murk designed to conceal a multitude of budgetary deficiencies, and 'distinguished' by flashy editing and gymnastic camera-work designed to conceal the lack of a comprehensible plot, Tony Randel's unconvincing future noir trades the visionary outlook of the original graphic novel for the same lumbering, humorless approach which typified this particular subgenre before US producers *finally* learned how to imitate their Asian counterparts. Though brutal in places, particularly during the final confrontation between Daniels and Mandylor, the film actually *downplays* the gory carnage of its source material, which will disappoint those expecting a more faithful adaptation.
A popular figure in this kind of DTV potboiler, Daniels was clearly hired for his fighting skills rather than his acting, and he's upstaged throughout by many of his co-stars (including Chris Penn, Melvin Van Peebles and Malcolm McDowell). Thankfully, Randel makes a virtue of Daniels' handsome face and muscular torso, and there's an unmistakable whiff of homoerotic tension in the aggressive relationship between Daniels and his equally handsome nemesis.
- Dec 29, 2004