Hey folks, Valkor here. Video games to film have had a really bad track record. To say which one was the worst of the bunch would be totally unfair because most of them are equally bad. However there have been some standouts like Mortal Kombat, to a lesser extent, Resident Evil (hell four films were made so it couldn't be all that bad right?) and most recently for me is Tekken, which I scored a 3.5 out of 5. Now the latest film to hit my desk, "The King of Fighters", I'm gonna tell you right now… it's gonna suck!
The King of Fighters is a live action film based off of the video game of the same name. In this world, fighters wear Bluetooth earpieces, fitted with technology that sucks them into another dimension where the combatants can duke it out, using moves you would only find in a video game. The story itself revolves around ancient Japanese artifacts – two of which can be used to enter this other dimension and the third, a sword, is used to stop a demon. Fighter Rugal (Ray Park) steals the artifacts, minus the sword as the one on exhibit was a fake, enters and takes over the other dimension. While there he calls on other fighters to battle him, essentially he takes over this plane. And if he goes unstopped then that plane will crossover onto our plane and all hell breaks loose.
To try and put a stop to him a select group of fighters will enter the realm to put a stop to Rugal starting with Mai Shiranui (Maggie Q) who is an undercover CIA Agent, who after the artifacts were stolen was put on the case to find the real Kusanagi sword. Next is Terry Bogard (David Leitch), head of the CIA operation whose job it is to discover more about The King Of Fighters Tournament and their link to the artifacts. Next is Kyo Kusanagi (Sean Faris), who is the son of Saisyu Kusanagi (Hiro Kanagawa) and wielder of the Kusanagi blade. Finally we have Iori Yagami (Will Yun Lee), who's family are rivals against the Kusanagis and a friend of Rugal, who gets a taste of the dark side. Together they'll pass through to the other dimension, with sword in tow and battle Rugal to stop his evil plot from taking shape.
Before we move on let me say just one thing, I've barely played any of the King of Fighters games. Not that I'm not a fan of the series, at the point of its rise in the gaming world, I was backing away from fighters as well as shooters – they simply weren't appealing to me. The characters in the film, I'm only familiar with two and that's Terry Bogard and Mai Shiranui. Maggie Q as Mai is "passable", while David Leitch as Terry? WTF!!?
Trust me there ain't much good to be had here my friends. First off I loves me some Bernice Liu in this film as lesbian fighter "Vice". She's just so damn hot it hurts! Next are some of the fight scenes, which are OK. The fight scenes in Tekken were so much better and those of you out there that hated Tekken, needs to see this film to appreciate what real hard work is all about. The editing on the fights aren't too quick and were well coordinated, so the battles were definitely fun to watch, especially when you add in the fantasy element.
Oh yea, where do I begin? For starters, Bluetooth earpieces that zaps you to another dimension? Here's my problem with that. First, this is a film based off of a VIDEO GAME! Let's stop trying to be real and let's stick with the fantasy. So what if fighters can do magical shit like fireballs and electric kicks? It's all about fantasy and fun and until producers or whomever is in charge of putting such films together, realize this then we can have true adaptations and THEN the real fun can begin; that whole other dimension plot? Garbage! Next the dialogue is PAINFUL! Especially Ray Park, who all he needed was a top hat and one of those long stringy moustaches to complete his bad guy image. And adding in dialogue during the fights? UGH! Now my biggest complaint about the film? Who the hell cast David Leitch as TERRY BOGARD!! Did no one ever play the video game? If anything I was excited to see that Terry was in the film, but when I saw who was playing him… I wanted to cry. No wait, I did cry! On top of that I had to watch the Fatal Fury anime just to stop. Look, I think David Leitch is a fine actor and looking at his credits on IMDB, he's a fine stuntman as well. But clearly he was miscast in this film. Thankfully Andy Bogard was saved, though if by some chance there's a sequel, I'm sure he'll be in it. I got my Kleenex ready.
Ray Park as Rugal. I thought nothing could be worse than him playing Toad in the X-Men movie. No nix that, he was actually cool in that film. But Rugal? Totally laughable. Still loved you in Hellbinders Ray.
Why did they screw up Terry??? *sobz!*
You know when it comes to cheesy films, I eats em up like there's no tomorrow. But as for The King of Fighters, this is one cheesy film that's tough to swallow and hands down, one of the worse I've seen this year. At least sexy Bernice saves it from being a complete disgrace. And out of TOV 5 stars, I give the film a 1.5.