film Review

When a movie adaptation of Tekken was first announced the groans of video game fans everywhere could be heard. Would it be follow in the footsteps of other disasters of adaptations before, with the likes of Street Fighter or Mortal Combat? Strangely no.

Unlike previous video game to movie adaptations Tekken seems to have had some thought and money put into it. Street Fighter may have had a few big names but it lacked a certain production quality. Tekken, however, looks to have gone the other way. Its production value can’t be knocked whilst the visual effects of the fight scenes are good, with choreography that appears to have been taken from UFC and cage fighting but given a bit of Hollywood flair. The large captivating sets are look amazing and leave the audience wanting to explore them. There are some elements of the story that do come across as quite cheesy (such as the flashbacks), but its obvious the makers had the best intentions for them.

With all the money spent on set production and visual effects Tekken unfortunately lacks in the acting talent department. The most recognizable name from the movie is Luke Goss who plays Steve Fox, the coach of Jon Foo’s character Jin Kazama. Indicative of the film’s budget, the casting makes for a slightly refreshing change from big Hollywood blockbusters – that’s not to say that it wouldn’t have been nice to have seen a bigger acting talent pool. The people behind the movie seem to throw in hot girls such as Kelly Overton and Candice Hillbrand in revealing clothing to keep the audience distracted from casting their casting faux-pas.

The first half of the film has a good and well thought-out story but then the movie begins to feel as though time and money were becoming stretched – and the change is noticeable. The story becomes a lot more focused on violence and less on story. It is at this point the credibility begins to thin and a movie that could have potentially been mold-breaking for the video game to movie genre turns into just a half decent movie.

Writer Alan B. McElroy has taken his time to create a somewhat credible script for a game-based around beating people into submission and director Dwight Little appears to have given the directing of the movie a lot of thought after many other movies in this vein has suffered so poorly, clearly wanting to break the stereotype and he almost accomplishes it.

This is a movie that people can enjoy. It doesn’t require a lot of thought and you won’t feel compelled to watch it again but compared to other movies in the same boat this is a step up.

Best fight scene: Jin vs Eddie Gordo.
Best hair: Heihachi Mishima played by Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa
Best performance: Jon Foo who is surprisingly good.

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