Action Movie Fanatix Review: Tekken

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From The Streets A Warrior Has Risen.

Starring: Jon Foo, Kelly Overton, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Ian Anthony Dale, Cung Le, Darrin Dewitt Henson, Candice Hillebrand, Luke Goss, Gary Daniels, Roger Huerta

Stunt Coordinator: Eric Norris

Director: Dwight Little

2010  |  91 Minutes  |  Rated R

“Until today there was only one heir to the Tekken throne.  Now there are two.” – Heihachi Mishima

I am by no means an expert on the Tekken games or the world that they exist in but I had played, I think, every game through Tekken Tag Tournament.  It seems like a likely candidate for a movie as long as they don’t try to make it into something other than a tournament fighting movie (Street Fighter).

In 2039, after all of the world governments have fallen and corporations have taken over territories around the world, the strongest of those corporations, the Tekken Corporation, holds an annual fight tournament called the Iron Fist Tournament.  When Jin Kazama’s (Jon Foo) mother is killed he enters the Iron Fist in search of revenge.

Tekken is probably the best fighting video game adaptation ever made.  Seriously.  For once a fighting game was turned into a tournament fighting movie.  It actually baffles the mind to imagine that no one else thought of this.

Most of the major players from the game are here and they look pretty darn accurate to the games:

Jin Kazama is our main hero.  He isn’t necessarily the coolest but centering the story around him is probably the only one that would have made sense and it makes for a fun story.

Steve Fox (Luke Goss) is nothing more than a former champ mentor to Jin.

Christie Monteiro (Kelly Overton), Jin’s 2nd girlfriend who apparently can’t find pants that can cover more than ¾ of her ass.

Cung Le’s Marshall Law doesn’t really get a ton of screen time, Jin makes it into the tournament at his expense and then he is gone.

Miguel Rojo (my man Roger Huerta) seems to be some sort of tournament fighting matador or something.  The announcer kept mispronouncing his name as Roja.  It must be so hard to find someone who can pronounce the Spanish language properly considering the letters ALWAYS make the same sound, no matter what.

The Williams Sisters – Anna & Nina – are assassins who also happen to sleep with Kazua Mishima.

Bryan Fury (Gary Daniels) is the badass looking champ from the previous Iron Fist tournament who has apparently gotten some cybernetic enhancements in the off season.  Daniels absolutely rocks this role.

Some things don’t make a ton of sense.  Yoshimitsu is a samurai who not only wears metal armor but also fights with a samurai sword.  Why wouldn’t all of the fighters wear armor?  Why wouldn’t they all use weapons?

Where the hell is jaguar headed pro wrestler King?  He was always a fan favorite.

The fights are all really well choreographed and filmed combining a video game asthetic with a more realistic, almost MMA type feel.  No sonic booms.  No fireballs.  Really well done.

My main complaint was that they didn’t show all of the fights.  I found it actually made things a little harder to follow since you didn’t know who was still in the tournament and who wasn’t.  It was a shorter movie so to add a couple short fights in probably would have added five minutes to the overall runtime.  I think I could have sat through that.

The arenas are varied and well represented considering all of the fights actually take place in the same spot.

Even though this seemed like it should be right up my alley and I had been a fan of the game I was still surprised at how much I enjoyed the Tekken movie.  The fights were really, really well done, the acting was surprisingly good, the cast was awesome.  I just can’t express how truly solid of a video game adaptation Tekken was.

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