The world is in a state of disarray and is broken up into sections, each run by a corporation. Our hero, Jin Kazama (Jon Foo), lives in the slums of Tekken called the Anvil. When Jin witnesses the murder of his mother by the government, he decides to enter the Iron Fist Tournament which is held each year to determine the biggest, and most power corporation. Jin will take down the head of Tekken from the inside, by fighting in the Iron Fist, only he discovers other surprises and secrets that he never could have imagined.
Does that description make the film sound slightly intriguing? That’s what I thought too, and to be honest TEKKEN did get off to an alright start. Jin comes in as this resourceful kid who doesn’t really care too much about the government, even though his mother has told him how evil it is and has even taught him martial arts to survive the dangerous world they live in. After she gets knocked off Jin realizes that she was right all along and decides to enter the tournament to get to the head guy, Heihachi Mishima (played by Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, the bad guy in MORTAL KOMBAT). Jin enters the ring and here’s where we all keep our fingers crossed that there will be some good fighting sequences ahead of us.
The biggest problem with TEKKEN is that there are not enough rounds in the tournament. Instead of giving us straight up fighting and advance us all to the final round where a good match should ensue, the director and screenwriter tried to stick a story in there. That is not what I want in my video game turned film, I want a bit of a story mixed in, but I don’t want any deviation from the fighting if possible. In fact, during the tournament the film actually takes us out of the arena all together and has us back in the Anvil fighting some more bad guys and even kills off the guy who had taken Jin under his wing. In short, it was a big mess that leaves you wondering why they tried to stick a short movie in the middle of the big movie
What I will say is that the few tournament fight scenes we did see were fairly above average. I really wish we could have seen more, but it just wasn’t in the cards. If I actually played the video game Tekken, I probably would have been pretty annoyed that some of my fighters got so little screen time. However, my annoyance at the lack of fighters would have been overshadowed by my frustration at how awful the film actually was.
Hollywood really needs to deviate from turning video games into movies; it just doesn’t seem to work on any level. In this writer’s opinion, TEKKEN wasn’t as bad as STREET FIGHTER, but wasn’t as good as MORTAL KOMBAT. If video game turned movie are your cup of tea, I would recommend reaching for a different film unless you happen to be a big fan of the game itself. And even then, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Video: The video quality is actually pretty good though at times the film does look a little strange, though to be fair that could just be the make-up. Even though the film chooses to use a lot of dark colors and black background, the picture still looks clear and the colors stand out just fine.
Audio: Nothing spectacular to note although the surround sound is utilized during the fights with the audiences cheering in the background which flows nicely with the techno/rock soundtrack.
Stunt Stars: Tekken (51:02): Just what it states, this is a featurette about the stunts in the film. Fairly interesting if you are into this sort of thing, but it does tend to drag on a little too long for my taste.