Thursday, February 9, 2012

Review: Tekken

Starring: Jon Foo, Kelly Overton, & Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa
Directed by: Dwight H. Little
Language: English
Rating: R
Running Time: 92 minutes

I swore time and time again when this movie was released that I would never ever watch it. It was during my winter break that I decided to watch this movie on G4's segment called "Movies That Don't Suck", which confused me greatly from all the comments I heard. Since there was nothing else on, I caved in and watched it.

In the year 2039, the world has been altered to corporations controlling certain countries. The most evil and powerful corporation is Tekken ran by Heihachi Mishima and his son Kazuya Mishima. But that's not the focus of this story. Oh, no~ We follow a young man by the name of Jin Kazama who delivers contraband in the slums of Anvil. When he finds his mother Jun killed by the Tekken Corporation, he declares vengeance and joins Tekken's King of Iron Fist Tournament, after obtaining a Tekken ID to enter.

As you can see, I was not quite enthused with this project. I wasn't excited about it in pre-production either. When I heard rumors of a live action movie coming out, I had mixed feelings about it. Depending who was in charge of the project, it could be really good or really bad. Then when I saw the possible trailer for it, after seeing a glorious Mortal Kombat concept, I was in denial that this movie existed. I was honestly hoping and praying that this project would be scrapped. Unfortunately, this movie exists. So, I will review it with two different mindsets: one as a Tekken fan and the other as a movie fan.

I won't go into my history with the game, so I'll keep this brief. I'm very attached to this game to the point that I remember the storyline almost to a T and I even cosplayed one of the characters! Anyway, like most movies that are based off franchises there were tons of inaccuracies. Let me list some of these inaccuracies and, fyi, this might be a bit of a spoiler for those unfamiliar with the franchise. First of all, there's no such thing as Tekken City or a Tekken Corporation. The major corporation of the game is Tekken Force (or Zaibatsu). Also, Heihachi and Kazuya never worked together. They hate each other and that's what makes the story interesting. Jin isn't a contraband runner and he's not in love with Christie Monteiro either. Nor is he dating this random Kara chick that doesn't even exist in the game. Heihachi and Kazuya are not responsible for Jun's death either. Her death is still unclear, but the game vaguely said that Ogre was responsible for her death and that's what fuels Jin to enter the tournament in the first place. Also, Kazuya is no every day pimp that they portray him to be. Nina and Anna do not work for him either. They actually dislike each other as well. The JACKS in the movie are suited guards, but in the game series they are robots. To end this long list of inaccuracies, Heihachi doesn't know that Kazuya and Jin are related in the movie!

Aside from the bajillion inaccuracies, there were just too many characters crammed into one movie. They should've stuck with one game or storyline and went from there instead of pulling random characters from different games that have no purpose other than to create fight scenes.

Alright, pushing aside my gamer mindset, this movie was still bad. The acting wasn't believable and there was just too much going on. If I didn't know these characters were in different games, I still would've thought there was no purpose for having all these people in there aside for the fights. I couldn't attach myself to any of the characters whether it be positive or negative, they just seemed weak and cartoonish.

You're probably wondering if there were any positives to this movie. Well, they didn't completely white wash the cast, which would be difficult to do since the game is very multicultural. Even with that tidbit, they didn't really match the whole multicultural thing either. The costumes were accurate, but seeing them in a live action movie and not a convention or something made the actors look ridiculous. The fight scenes were shot pretty well, despite them being mostly pointless, but whatever.

I guess it's obvious I really disliked this movie no matter what. Doesn't help that I watched Tekken: Blood Vengeance either. Sad to say, but I'd rather re-watch Tekken: The Motion Picture; at least that was entertaining and close to the video game. I really feel sorry for all those people who wasted money seeing this and for the game developer who chooses to ignore its existence. I don't blame him at all. While watching this abomination of a movie, I took some mental notes on what not to do when I have a decent budget to remake it. With that, I highly recommend you to avoid this's just bad.

Rating: 1.5/5

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