Kick'em In The Ghoulies

"It's The Only Way To Survive"

                             Film Review
                           TEKKEN

copyright© 2010 Crystal Sky Pictures/Warner Brothers Japan /Anchor Bay Entertainment

 

TEKKEN ! What does this some up to you?.Well if you know your games and like a good old Beat'em up then it means a roster of fighters each featuring their own style and devastating moves .

When namco(TM) created the series it had a roster of 17 fighters and revolved around  the Tekken Tournament run by the Mishima corporation a financial funding company owned by one Heihachi Mishima.

By the time it hit it's sixth installment the roster had grown to a massive 40  and the story  had moved on slightly with the now head of the Mishima Zaibatsu being one Jin Kazama after he had defeated Jinpachi Mishima in the fifth tournament.

So to make a film of said game would be good if the story was followed and the right characters where used to portray the film.Now here's the problem ,we all know about these video game to movie translations .THEY MOSTLY NEVER WORK.

Now i won't go in to what ones are best here as i will be covering others over the coming months.But upon hearing of this film i thought i may be quite good considering the likes of Gary Daniels ,Lateef Crowder  and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa starring.

As with all Tekken stories the main theme follows that of the Mishima family and how the other fighters are connected to them in one way or another,some want fame and Fortune  while others want revenge or justice.

Each of the Tekken characters has a story behind them and it's this that while interesting is only a part of the reason you are watching this film.

Your here for fight action and the thing is have the makers pulled it off while retaining some continuity to the games ?

For me the bad start was the way the story started with the character of Jin Kazama ,instead of starting at the beginning of the series.I am suddenly thrown in to a plot line in the middle of the games or so .But i thought OK stick with it .

Now Jin is played by one Jon Foo a young martial artist who has appeared in quite a few top flight Martial art films like Tom Yun-Goong,The Myth and Hose of Fury .For me he looked just to baby faced for the character of Jin but if he could put on a show i might get used to him.Jin lives in the slums Running contraband for money dodging the curfews run by the Mishima corporations guards.Anybody trying to go against the grain and damage the Corporation are dealt with swiftly. 

When Jin's mother is killed in one of the raids by the corporation amongst the debris of his home he finds a Tekken ID and plans to use it to enter the Iron Fist Tournament to avenge his mothers death by killing Heihachi Mishima .

To get in he must first beat the preliminary rounds and fight one Marshall Law (Cung Lee) Arriving he is prompted by the fight arranger Steve Fox who is scouting for fighters to enter the tournament.

When he gets his chance Jin takes it and gives Marshall Law the beating of a lifetime.Steve offers to help train and manage him as he once was a top Tekken fighter.

Once in the walls of  Tekken city he is not overly welcomed by the other fighters ,who see him as a one hit pony ,and now he's in the big league won't be able to cut it.

Though he does befriend one Christie  Monteiro a mixed martial artist and beautiful with it to.His first fight is tough and brutal and Jin nearly loses it by being over confident and only wins it by losing self control and nearly killing the guy.

Now Kazuya Mishima does not like the boy and after his win sets out to find out more about him.

When Kazuya finds he is the son of one Jun Kazama he wants him dead .Why you ask .Well Jun and Kazuya had Known each other as Jun was once a Tekken fighter (kept that secret didn't she) And one night Kazuya had his way with her .But not knowing that she had become pregnant he let her get on with her life outside of Tekken.

Oh No ! that means that Jin is the son of Kazuya.Kazuya wants Jin dead as he would be eligable to be a heir to the Mishima empire.And Kazuya has plans for that himself even if it means removing his Father from the corporation (which he does).

Using the Williams sisters to try and kill Jin and try is the word ,they fail of course.Now the only way to get to him is through the tournament ,by getting select fighters to do his work for him.But going up against the likes of Yoshimitsu is not going to be a walk in the park for Jin and Heihachi who does not approve has just been arrested by his own guards by instruction from Kazuya .

Getting away by fluke the place is locked down and all fighters detained ,Jin and Christie are caught trying to get out ,but in lock up manage to escape and get Heihachi out to .But when it all seems OK the whole band are arrested and Heihachi is Killed by Kazuya .

Now Jin must fight one of Tekken's own Bryan Fury (Gary Daniels) a cyborg  enhanced fighter with a passion for pain.And this time the matches are to the death.

Ina  crazy battle of fist / feet and weapons like Chains and anything you can lay your hands on the two clash ,but in a feat of determination Jin comes out on top.Now Kazuya is not having it ,even though Jin has Won and comes out to battle Jin himself along with his trusty axes.

After a while Jin gives the deciding blow and Kazuya is down,Jin is supreme and he is the new Man behind Tekken and one with the people.

So how good was that ? to be honest ,not that much really .Yes the film did have a decent budget thrown at it ,but in the end it was all wasted for many reasons i will outline below.

1) Story wise the film was wrong,Heihachi had killed Kazuya in a previous Tournament  and Jin met Heihachi in the next tournament proclaiming to be Kazuya's Son.

2) The film lacked key characters from the series like King ,Lei Wulong,Hwoarang and Paul Pheonix.

3) Jun Kazuma was killed by Ogre and Jin was also trained by Heihachi to avenge his mothers loss against Ogre.

4) Even though i am sure Cung Lee is a Top artist ,he was so miscast as Marshall Law ,everyone knows he is based on Bruce Lee.Some one with more his looks and a knowledge of Jeet Kun-do would have helped .(Jason Scott Lee would have been ideal)

5) Lateef Crowder ,so under used ,OH THERE HE IS ,ON NO HE'S GONE.

6) All the fight scenes where fast edited and and sick inducing at times.

7) Weapons used in matches ,Did the directer get confused with Soul Calibur.

8) How to make good martial artists look like they can't actually fight ! star in the Tekken Movie.

I could go on but i wont.Once again the powers that be have ruined a good license by not getting people that understand martial arts and video games .Understanding these two things are a must when making a film of a martial arts video game.

I have one thing to say to all film makers who wish to make game related films and be successful and entertaining when doing so.

Paul W.S .Anderson.

 

TEKKEN score out of Ten = 4

Review date: 31-10-10 

Trailer

Alternate Posters

 

 

Cast and Character Bio
  • Jon Foo as Jin Kazama "The People's Choice": A young and talented fighter who is driven by grudge upon the death of his mother, Jun. He enters the contests to exact revenge against his mother's alleged killer, Heihachi Mishima. In real life, Jon Foo is a Wushu martial artist apart from acting.
  • Ian Anthony Dale as Kazuya Mishima: The son of Heihachi Mishima and the supposed heir to the Tekken Corporation. While Heihachi hosts the tournament, Kazuya however has his own plans for it.
  • Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as Heihachi Mishima: The chairman of the Tekken Corporation. He is the father of Kazuya and the grandfather of Jin Kazama. An experienced fighter himself, he holds The King of Iron Fist Tournament to crown the best fighter on Earth and to maintain the Mishima namesake. Tagawa is also known for playing another fighting game character, Shang Tsung, in the first Mortal Kombat film.
  • Kelly Overton as Christie Monteiro: A beautiful, versatile female mixed martial artist who Jin meets during the tournament and develops a bond with.
  • Tamlyn Tomita as Jun Kazama: Jin Kazama's beloved mother and the one who taught him how to fight. After she is killed during an anti-insurgent raid by the Tekken Corporation, Jin enters the tournament to avenge her and learn more about their haunted past.
  • Luke Goss as Steve Fox: A retired boxer from England that was once one of the best fighters in the world but has passed his prime. He acts as Jin's sponsor in the film. Goss was the first confirmed actor in the film, and explained that his character has "some fights out of the ring".
  • Cung Le as Marshall Law: A disgraced martial artist who fights Jin in an Open Call match in Anvil. Le is a mixed martial artist, and his presence in the film was confirmed in 2008 by Kung Fu Cinema.
  • Gary Daniels as Bryan Fury: A cyborg and former Interpol officer and the reigning champion of Iron Fist. Daniels is a former kickboxer himself, which is the same fighting style used by his character in the video games.
  • Candice Hillebrand as Nina Williams: A cold-blooded assassin who represents Eyerdex Corporation in the tournament.
  • Marian Zapico as Anna Williams: Nina Williams' sister, who also represents Eyerdex Corporation in the tournament.
  • Darrin Dewitt Henson as Raven: An international intelligence agent who represents G Corporation and sides with Jin during the tournament. He is considered highly skilled and iron-hearted.
  • Lateef Crowder as Eddie Gordo: A Brazilian Capoeira practitioner. Crowder was offered the role due to his real-life Capoeira skills and resemblance to Eddy. In the film, Eddy and Christie are not related in any way.
  • Gary Ray Stearns as Yoshimitsu: A mystic, Samurai-esque armored swordsman. This version of Yoshimitsu is based on his Tekken 3 appearance.
  • Anton Kasabov as Sergei Dragunov: A member of Spetsnaz, Dragunov is considered the very symbol of fear on the battlefield whose overwhelming fighting prowess has earned him the title "The White Angel of Death".
  • Roger Huerta as Miguel Rojo: A young Spanish brawler, and one of the Tekken contestants.
  • Mircea Monroe as Kara: An original character that is Jin's girlfriend at the beginning of the film.

Source:Wikipedia

 

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