I recently had the chance to see “Tekken”, the live action adaptation of the very popular video game franchise. I am a huge fan of fighting games, and of course, I love Tekken as well. As one would expect, this is a martial arts movie. I have to stress, however, that this is a low budget effort, and what many would correctly term a “B Movie”. So, if you completely despise these types of flicks, then you know what to expect, and that’s pretty much all of the pieces of this review that you need to read. If, however, the thought of this being a low budget chop-socky affair doesn’t bother you in the least, then read on!
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
|Jon Foo as Jin Kazama on the Japanese|
Tekken movie poster
Our hero is Jin, whose mother has taught him martial arts from a very young age (of course). The Tekken corporation, who rules the territory that Jin resides in, has sent in various soldiers to hunt down insurgents who plot a revolution against the company. Please, first of all, note, that, aside from ruling the people rather cruelly and arranging Iron Fist tournaments, it is never stated what the Tekken corporations (or the other companies for that matter) actually do. They act more like governments rather corporations, so what’s the use of calling them latter? Ah, well, the plots is rather horrid, so whatever. Jin’s mother is caught in the crossfire and sends him into a fit of anger, wanting nothing more than to kill the head of Tekken, Heihachi Mishima, who I will always remember as Shang Tsung from "Mortal Kombat",though he’s rather great in this as well. Jin joins the latest Tekken tournament and has to battle through several colorful opponents in order to attain his bloody goal.
Sounds rather generic, and it is. There is absolutely nothing original about this piece, and the story is truly bad. The characters are also all flat, and the main villain, Kazuya Mishima, is as cartoony as you can imagine, leaving them all to be either rather silly, or boring.
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE MARTIAL ARTS?
Ah, that’s where the movie really shines. If it didn’t have decent martial arts sequences then I wouldn’t have bothered writing about it, would I? After all, this blog is about fitness and martial arts, and not movie reviews.
|Gary Daniels as Bryan Fury|
From what I can tell, the director and choreographers tried to make the action as realistic as possible, but still have fantastic elements about them. So, while the martial arts are mostly real, you have the occasional wirework involving jumping kicks and wall walks and such. Nothing excessive like “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, of course, which I appreciate, since it lends to a certain atmosphere that they more or else successfully accomplished. The armed combat within the tournament involves things such as samurai swords, spears and chains. The sequences involving them are all quite impressive and well done, despite some of it looking a bit too cheesy because of the low budget. Though, the final battle, which also involves weapons, is, unfortunately, easily the worst fight in the entire film. Yes, even more boring than “point, shoot, and die”. It’s quite a shame to sit through several well done sequences and have to end the experience with a terribly uninspired one. It could have made me forgot the horrid storyline (nah, that’s a lie, you could never really forget how bad the story is).
I HEARD THERE WERE SOME GREAT MMA GUYS HERE. IS IT TRUE?
Yup, absolutely. Strikeforce fighter plays Marhsall Law and Bellator fighter Roger Huerta plays Miguel Rojo. Needless to say, their fight sequences are excellent, although a bit short, in my opinion. Roger Huerta even has a great line in there somewhere.
SO, SHOULD I WATCH THIS?
Well, it’s not a total waste of time, in my opinion, if you enjoy martial arts B movies, especially since some of the fights are genuinely impressive, and the actors look good doing them. Almost all of the actors are also very attractive, leaving another incentive for both male and female viewers. The movie reminded me very much of Jean Claude Van Damme's 80's action film Bloodsportand its sequels, so if you like that kind of movie, then there's a good chance that you'll genuinely enjoy this one.
I wouldn’t really recommend taking time to watch it in the theaters right now, though, unless you’re a hardcore Tekken fan that has to see this as soon as possible. Just keep in mind that if you see it up for rental in the future, or on TV, then you might honestly have a good time with it.
Like this review or seen the movie yourself? Leave a comment below as I’d like to know what you think. Thanks!
All the great pics in this article were from Tekkenpedia's Tekken Film page.