You’ve probably already read my general thoughts on the film, but if it not, please check it out first! This review is basically a continuation of the first one, but with added notes that the hardcore Tekken and fighting game fans might want to know. As such, this contains MASSIVE SPOILERS. You have been warned.
MY TEKKEN BACKGROUND
Anyway, as I’ve mentioned, I’m a huge fan of Tekken but I’m not nearly as into the series as I am with Street Fighter, though. I played it religiously from Tekken 1until Tekken Tag Tournament(the fourth installment in the franchise), but then skipped Tekken 4,and came back only for Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection.I actually haven’t even bought and played Tekken 6,but it has nothing to do with my hatred for the Bob character, I swear. If that was the case, then I wouldn’t have bought and played Street Fighter IVas well, right?
|Tekken Movie UK DVD Box art|
So that’s my Tekken background in a nutshell. Am I any good at the game? Well, I can say that I’m decent, but nowhere near what many would truly qualify as “good”. I just tend to play around and not take it too seriously.
What’s intriguing about the plot is how they managed to combine the stories of Tekken 1, 2, and 3, and make a fan go “yeah, that could work”, but then they botch it up by making the actual story flow really badly. I’ll note down the details as I remember them:
2. As mentioned, the movie takes place in a post-apocalyptic future ruled by a handful of corporations. The problem is, they act more like corrupt governments rather than corporations, so why bother calling them as such?
3. Jin powers up literally every time he fights. Literally. The pattern is like this:
|Marian Zapico as Anna|
b) His opponent counteracts and beats the living crap out of Jin and is extremely close to victory;
c) Jin reminisces about a specific training day with his mom and using his recollection to complexly dominate his opponent and win the fight.
Again, this happens every time he fights. It becomes very, very annoying after a while, but it helps that the fight sequences themselves are well done.
4. The soldiers in the movie are called “Jackhammers”, and they are called “Jacks” throughout the movie for short. Interestingly tied to this is that the slums where Jin lives is called the Anvil, and the high and mighty tournament is called “Iron Fist” (which is also the name of the corporation, but in Japanese), so there’s this whole “Iron Fist from above beating on the Anvil below with the (Jack)hammer” symbolism thing going on there.
|Jon Foo as Jin|
6. Steve Fox is an old, retired fight manager in the movie. And he dies about halfway through the film after being shot. Yeah, that’s right.
7. Christie Montero is there to literally just be hot. Jin didn’t really need a female counterpart inside the tournament because it was established that he already has a girlfriend that could have had more screen time, but whatever, right?
8. Nina and Anna Williams are assassins, like in the video games’ story, and at one point Jin tells them to kill Jin. The scene takes place in the dark is pretty darn stupid.
9. Speaking of Nina and Anna, they just completely disappear in the second half of the movie without explanation. Alright, fine, Nina loses in the competition, so she’s out, but what about Anna? It seems that she was there only so Nina could have her twin sister around (they don’t look at all like twins, though. Also note that I don’t remember if they’re actual twins in the video game, but here they most certainly are).
10. Jin’s costume (his gloves and pants) is fully incorporated and the writers took the trouble to create an origin story for it. The reasons they're there are simple and completely acceptable to me. His pants are there because he needs to be more recognizable in the competition, and his gloves are there because his hands are heavily injured during the night attack by Nina and Anna (either Jin is really good at blocking deadly weapons in the dark or the sisters are just really lousy assassins).
|Dragunov and Christie from the film|
11. Kazuya just whines throughout the entire movie. No kidding. The big badass villain of the series just spends almost the entire length of the movie crying to Daddy because he won’t give hand over the corporation to him (eg: “Why won’t Daddy die so I can inherit the corporation?! I know! I’ll kill him myself! Yeah, that’ll speed up the process!”) And that’s the primary motivation of the main villain of the piece. Yes, that’s very lame.
12. It also isn’t clear why Kazuya is so hell bent on immediately taking over the Tekken Corporation. He’s clearly the second in command and so has a lot of control over the company and its resources already. He’ll also clearly inherit it when Heihachi passes away, which shouldn’t be too long, given how he’s portrayed as very old in the film. So, there’s really no clear reason aside from him being so brain dead impatient.
13. There’s an homage to Tekken 5 where Kazuya walks away from a burning building says “Heihachi Mishima is dead”. Pretty cool nod to the fans.
|Luke Goss as Steve Fox|
15. As mentioned, characters die in the film, from fatalities or whatever. So, if you have a favorite character that’s appearing in this film, you may or may not be seriously offended when he permanently goes bye bye.
16. I honestly thought that Cary Hiroyuki Tagawa played Heihachi brilliantly in the film. I thought that it would be a stretch after watching the trailer, but he really surprised me. The guys is really awesome. Too bad he never got to fight in the movie, though.
17. Kazuya is a wuss until the end. Not only does he challenge Jin after he’s already been beat on by Bryan Fury, not only does he do this with two double-bladed axes in hand, but he also gets beaten extremely quickly. Wuss.
|Raven and Dragunov|
18. There’s hints of a sequel at the end. But would you want one?
The director, writers, producers, etc. obviously had some sort of balancing act going on here, as they didn’t want to alienate certain Tekken fans (eg: fans who played only the early games vs. fans who’ve only played the newer games). So, they selected characters from various points in the timeline, so pretty much every fan could relate to the movie in one way or another. This is a list of characters in the movie, where they originally originated, and if they lived or died:
- TEKKEN 1
- Kazuya Mishima
- Heihachi Mishima (Dies from a gunshot. Or was it an explosion? I’m not sure; a Jack has a gun to his head, then the building they're in explodes. You tell me.)
- Nina Williams
- Anna Williams
- Marshall Law
- Jack (In some form or another. The Jackhammers don’t really look like Jack in any way. They look more like black storm troopers)
- Paul Phoenix (only referenced as a past Tekken fighter. He never actually appears in the film)
- TEKKEN 2
- Jun Kazama (Dies in explosion)
- Eddy Gordo
- TEKKEN 3
- Jin Kazama
- Bryan Fury
- TEKKEN 4
- Steve Fox (Dies from gunshot)
- Christie Monteiro
- TEKKEN 5
- Sergei Dragunov (Dies from having his neck broken by Bryan Fury. Yup: Fatality!)
- TEKKEN 6
- Miguel Rojo
Blade Seyo in the comments below mentions has informed me that there are actually additional scenes after the credits that show a bit more of Kazuya, and Heihachi's ultimate fate. From Wikipedia:
"In a post-credits scene, a wounded Kazuya walks by the holding cells back at the arena, as the scene shifts back to Heihachi's execution. A Jack is forcing Heihachi to kneel at gunpoint. His final words are: "I am Mishima Heihachi. I...am...Tekken. You WILL obey." The Jack lowers its gun in a sign of obedience, as Heihachi looks on, ready to take back his empire."
These scenes were actually not in the version I saw in the theaters. I have no idea whether or not there are actually copies of the film without these sequences, or if the theater folks goofed up (or just plain didn't care) at the time I watched the movie.
That’s all I can really recall for now. I’ll update this in the future if something else comes up. Anyway, any questions from the fans that I could answer? Reactions about this article? Please leave a comment below as I’d love to hear your thoughts!
All the great pics in this article were from Tekkenpedia's Tekken Film page.