Hey folks Valkor here. When it comes to making a video game into a feature film, well the success rate hasn't been all that high. It gets even worse when you try to take a fighting game and make it into a feature. Mortal Kombat was the only real success, but try watching it now… it will make your stomach ache as the film definitely doesn't hold up. Street Fighter bombed… TWICE, and then there's DOA: Dead or Alive: The Movie, which was ok in my book, but lacked in the uhhh… essentials. So recently another hit fighting game got the chance to make it theatrically, though you'll probably see it on the small screen before the big one, "Tekken" is definitely one to check out.
The story of Tekken revolves around Jin Kazama (Jon Foo), who is a runner for the Anti-Tekken establishment.
Wait… what? Ok let's get some clarity.
The world of Tekken is a dystopian future where the planet is divided into eight sections, each controlled by a corporation. The United States being the largest, is controlled by a corporation known as Tekken, which is run by Heihachi Mishima (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) and his son as his second Kazuya Mishima (Ian Anthony Dale). Back to Jin; after a night of almost getting shot up, Jin heads home to his mom Jun Kazama (Tamlyn Tomita).The two get into an argument about what Jin is doing with his life, to which Jin tries to break out. Jun attempts to stand in his way, but that's a no-go. Jin meets up with his hottie gal pal Kara (Mircea Monroe) And while he's getting a nice piece of ass, Tekken forces lock in on his area. They capture his mom and under the orders of Kazuya, well… she's blown to bits. Now Jin wants some payback against the higher ups at Tekken, namely Heihachi. And the only way he feels he can get that revenge is to fight in the Iron Fist Tournaments where only the strongest survives. He makes it past the auditions taking out Marshall Law (Cung Lee), who was one of the Iron Fist's most popular characters. Now Jin is "The People's Choice" and he's going against some stiff competition in the form of Raven (Darrin Dewitt Henson), Nina Williams (Candice Hillebrand), her sister Anna Williams (Marian Zapico), Bryan Fury (Gary Daniels), Sergei Dragunov (Anton Kasabov), Eddy Gordo (Lateef Crowder), Christie Monteiro (Kelly Overton), Miguel Rojo (Roger Huerta) and finally Yoshimitsu (Gary Ray Stearns). Jin has to fight his way through each of these opponents to reach the top, become the winner of Iron Fist and get his revenge. Can he do it?
Of course he can and he does. It's how he gets to that point that makes the film fun to watch. Tekken is like a darker version of DOA. The film even goes so far as to (attempt) to have different fighting backdrops. Ahhhhh so what do I think of the Tekken film overall?
You know out of all the video game to films I've actually watched, I rank Tekken being just above the DOA film. To me DOA didn't take itself too seriously and really it shouldn't because what made DOA popular wasn't just the fighting, but the bouncy breast… which strangely enough the film lacked. In Tekken, you have a dark story about revenge, with a small but obvious twist towards the end. Visually the film is impressive, definitely easy on the eyes even with the dark backdrops. I thought the acting was pretty solid, not Academy Award great, but passable enough that it helps to move things along. The fighting, which is the core of the film, I have to say, I was really pleased. I went in thinking the editing on the fights would be quick, the camera would be up close, and it would be a mess to watch, but imagine my surprise when I see that the fights were edited quite nicely, the camera held a decent position, and it wasn't as big of a mess as I thought it would be. Finally to the women of Tekken, all of you get TOV PerfectView in my book; you can't pick just one.
First off the overall story, while deserves praise for keeping the tale locked in on Jin, it's still rather mediocre. I guess that's the case as the story moves along rather quickly, where we as the audience don't have time to become attached to Jin and feel his plight. Then again this is a simple actioner and there shouldn't be any attachment, we just wanna see heads get busted! If that's the case, tell another story besides Jin. Second are the flashbacks of his mom giving him advice that connects with the person whom he's fighting needed; Obi Wan she is not, and the scenes should have been omitted. Finally I'm not a fan with the overall editing of the film. The action bits are nice, but there's other stuff that seems to happen that has no being on the story. For instance, after Heihachi is killed, Kazuya walks towards the screen and announces his death… to whom? And why? Jin's love interest should have been cut right out after that brief love scene, but they toss her in at the end as to say "oops! We totally forgot about her. Let's bring her back in some brief shots of her cheering on her man". And that's not the worst for Kara, because after Jin wins, and is walking along the streets with the people, Kara pops up… and that's it! No run to your man hug and kiss scene, nooooooo! Just get to the credits. *sigh* Wanna go even better than that? How about during Jin's Iron Fist battles, we get a brief cut to a bar, which is a local hangout, where they're watching the tourney. And by the way it was edited; you'd think these people never left the place!
Jun after getting pounded by Yoshimitsu. I mean yea he still won, but damn!
Tekken, for what it's worth, is still a great action title that's a cut above the rest in terms of past video games being made into films. If you're a fan of the game series, hell if you just want a decent actioner, then definitely give Tekken a try. And out of TOV 5 stars, I give the film 3.5 stars and it's been Valkor tested, TOV Approved!