Hey gang, Valkor here. Back in 2010 I was given the opportunity to review the first Tekken film and while it had its flaws, it was still one of the better video game to film translations out there. Fast-forward to today and unbeknownst to me, there was a second Tekken film produced and I only got wind of it while working on my review of Gary Daniels’ “Misfire”. The new film is called Tekken: Kazuya’s Revenge and… well… Read on.
Kazuya’s Revenge focuses on… well Kazuya (Kane Kosugi), only he doesn’t know who he is. He awakens one day in an abandoned apartment, when suddenly he’s surrounded by soldiers. He’s able to escape them, but not for very long. Knocked out again he awakens tied up in an encampment – the slums just outside of Tekken City. This camp is run by a man known as “The Minister” (Rade Serbedzija); he gives Kazuya a letter name - “K” (remember Kazuya has no memory of himself). And he gives K an offer he can’t refuse – either he does as he’s told or dies. Well he does and what he discovers is that a) he already has a superior set of fighting skills and b) he’ll use those skills to train in The Minister’s camp as an assassin… for the good of the people. At first K refuses to kill, but later on he does it with ease taking out a known child molester. And after performing a couple more hits, his next target is Bryan Fury (Gary Daniels – Tekken, Misfired); K learns that Fury used to work for The Minister but he got out somehow and now he wants that freedom too. More secrets are revealed, linking back to the Minister not being on the up and up on his agenda. But it all boils down to K getting back his memory and facing Heihaci Mishima (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) – his father, who was responsible for his memory loss in the first place. Why he does it? The reason might seem noble, but the ends of the film doesn't justify the means.
If you watched the first film, going into Kazuya’s Revenge might be a bit confusing. It doesn't say straight away if the film is a sequel or a prequel to the first one. I’ll assume the film is a prequel given how it ends, but it would make no sense since the guy who played Kazuya in the first film was completely different. But that doesn't matter as the film is still a letdown.
Kazuya’s Revenge, what can I say, it doesn’t really have much going for it as a follow up to the first film. The choreography isn’t too bad, it’s not quick or jerky as the camera is well distanced, allowing the fighters – mainly Kazuya, to show off their moves. After that there isn’t much else.
There’s so much wrong with this film that I don’t know where to begin. But my main objection is the lack of connection with the first film, save for a few character appearances. If you’re going into this one thinking you’re getting arena fights, with the cool costumes and multiple characters to deal with then prepare to be disappointed. Kazuya’s Revenge lacks anything the first film had… which wasn’t saying much to begin with, but I could appreciate the effort given in attempting to translate the game for the small screen. Here, we’re given a few familiar characters and a couple of locations that would connect this film to the first, but if you stripped those away, you could have called this film anything but Tekken. The fight scenes were nice but everything else was a slow, boring uneventful mess. The acting is subpar with no real standouts; I was kinda hoping Kane Kosugi would make his mark, but his two dimensional character never shines. Even a Gary Daniels injection doesn’t help and I felt he should have been given more screen time. There’s ultimately nothing that makes this film worthy of its predecessor.
Hearing the words “pain” chanted over and over again by Heihachi through the mind of Kazuya; it’s not so much the chanting as there’s just too much of it.
Tekken: Kazuya’s Revenge is available now and quite frankly this is a film you could easily pass up. Go and watch the first film, which I still found some level of enjoyment. But give this one a pass as its not worth it. And out of TOV 5 stars, I give Tekken: Kazuya’s Revenge one star.