With superhero action movies on the rise, like Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger, this movie is not one of them. It is based on the popular video game series Tekken, a strategic fast-paced fighting game. The video game series is popular both in the United States and Japan. This movie is better than the original Mortal Kombat movie, but both still have some degree of campiness to it. This movie much less so, and it does play favors for those who played Tekken before. This movie is not Academy Award-winning material, but it is surprisingly worth a watch.
Jon Foo stars as the main protagonist, Jin Kazama. Tamlyn Tomita plays as Jun Kazama, Jin’s mother. Mircea Monroe stars as Kara, Jin’s love interest in the slums, known as the Anvil.
Upon entering the formal Tekken tournament proper, Jin meets his allies and rivals. Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa stars as Heihachi Mishima, the head of the Tekken Corporation. Ian Anthony Dale stars as Kazuya Mishima, Heihachi’s son and one of the heirs to the Tekken Corporation. Luke Goss plays Steve Fox, one of Jin’s allies in the tournament. Kelly Overton plays Christie Montiero, Jin’s love interest in the Tekken tournament.
Cung Le stars as Marshall Law, Jin’s first rival. Darren Dewitt Henson plays Raven. Candice Hillebrand stars as Nina Williams, and Marian Zapico stars as Anna Williams, her sister. Gary Daniels plays Brian Fury, the half-cyborg kickboxer. Anton Kasabov stars as Sergei Dragunov, the former Spetsnaz officer. Lateef Crowder plays Eddy Gordo, the Copeira fighter. Roger Huerta stars as Miguel Rojo. Lastly, Gary Ray Stearns plays Yoshimitsu, the samurai swordsman.
The time is 2039, and after world wars have destroyed much of the world, corporations have taken over the run-down territories of which Tekken Corporation became the most dominant and cruelest. Jin Kazama witnesses the death of her mother by the Tekken Corporation, and after rummaging through her things, he finds out that she herself participated in the tournament. Seeking revenge for her untimely death, Jin defeats Marshall Law and finds a way inside the tournament. After defeating several of his rivals in the tournament, he seeks Heihachi Mishima’s head, but things don’t quite go as Jin thought it would. The tournament itself begins to unravel…
Unlike some other people, I didn’t think this movie was altogether horrible. True, it had campiness to it, much like Mortal Kombat. Compared to Mortal Kombat, this movie was slightly better as it paid tribute to the players of Tekken video game series. Most of the characters performed the signature moves of their respective video game counterparts. However, most of the martial arts sequences turned into mixed martial art fights instead. The martial arts sequences were remarkably entertaining generally.
Where it turned sour perhaps was that the movie does not follow the Tekken series storylines and all the characters spoke proper English, sometimes with a British accent. Kazuya Mishima was a bit disconcerting as he didn’t have the graveling voice in the video game series. In light of this, there was ample eye-candy in the movie, particularly Christie Monteiro. This movie was obviously catered to gamerboys rather than gamergirls who played Tekken, as some of the sequences featured revealing women dancing or otherwise.
Verdict (Out of 10)
Despite its flaws, it was a solid action movie. It is certainly better than some of the other video game-related movies to date in my frank opinion. I would rank this movie a 6 out of 10. This movie is no artistic masterpiece, but it is worth a $1 Redbox rental.